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Messages from the FINAL FANTASY XI Producers (07/31/2012)Follow

#1 Jul 31 2012 at 4:52 AM Rating: Good
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PlayOnline wrote:

On August 1, 2012, Akihiko Matsui will take over as producer of FINAL FANTASY XI for Hiromichi Tanaka, who has produced the game since its launch a decade ago.

To commemorate this occasion, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Matsui have respectively written a farewell and a greeting to the FINAL FANTASY XI community.

Read on for both of their addresses.

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On August 1, 2012, Akihiko Matsui will take over as producer of FINAL FANTASY XI for Hiromichi Tanaka, who has produced the game since its launch a decade ago.

To commemorate this occasion, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Matsui have respectively written a farewell and a greeting to the FINAL FANTASY XI community.

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Greetings, everyone. It feels good to write to you once again.

As of August 1, 2012, I will be the new producer of FINAL FANTASY XI. While Mr. Tanaka's shoes are certainly big ones to fill, I am confident I will eventually be able to do so with the support of the many talented people on the FFXI team.

FINAL FANTASY XI has undergone some radical changes since I left the project two years ago, and although I obviously expected it to evolve in my absence, the degree of change is overwhelming. I will definitely need to familiarize myself with the current state of the game as fast as possible if I want to be effective at this new position.

Thinking back to when I wrote, "I wanted to stay on the development team to the very end," for a FFXI tenth anniversary book, I had never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to assume the role of producer. Therefore, please allow me to write this down in hopes that it comes true in the same way that tenth anniversary message did: I will work as hard as possible to protect the integrity of FINAL FANTASY XI and to honor the opinions of its community so that the players may continue to love this game as they have for the past decade.

On that note, I had best get started checking the official forums every day.

I look forward to working with XI again, and may your words of encouragement give me the motivation to continue to do my best.

Akihiko Matsui

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After coming here day after day, year after year, this is my last day at SQUARE ENIX.

A little over one month has passed since I announced my departure at Vanafest, but even now I can scarcely believe the time has come. I'll have to make sure not to accidentally show up for work tomorrow out of habit.

Although my time on this project has come to a close, I know that all the developers and project staff will give their utmost under the guidance of Mr. Matsui to expand the world of Vana'diel, and, in particular, to develop the new lands of Adoulin. I can sleep soundly knowing the game is safe in their hands.

Though I will be leaving for new pastures without SQUARE ENIX, I hope to continue to contribute to the future of the gaming industry and online gaming, even if only in a small way. Thank you very much for your support all these years.

Hiromichi Tanaka


http://www.playonline.com/pcd/topics/ff11eu/detail/9045/detail.html

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 6:53am by Szabo
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#2 Jul 31 2012 at 5:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sad day, but thank you for the memories Tanaka. Also reactivate your character and come play with us all.
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#3 Jul 31 2012 at 6:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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So, Tanaka does not only leave FFXI, but Square-Enix as well. Interesting.
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#4 Jul 31 2012 at 6:52 AM Rating: Good
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I have a great deal of respect for Tanaka for all of his past works, especially in the console gaming era of the super NES. But I can see that he's growing quite old, and I honestly believe this is in FFXI's best interest. I am genuinely impressed with Akihiko Matsui's opening letter, and I won't lie; I have high hopes for him. I get the feeling Tanaka and he have radically differing opinions on the direction the game should go, and he is going to get full command over Adoulin from here on out.

Also, is it just me, or does anyone else feel like Matsui's letter comes from the heart, and that he has a genuine interest in making a game that players WANT to play and have fun in. Tanaka's farewell letter is more of a "well it was a fun ride and I trust everyone to do a good job in my absence. Farewell and thank you everybody". Even in his farewell letter Tanaka's statements are mostly devoid of compassion and emotion, whereas Akinori's address shows a certain burning passion towards his work.

These letters only further sustain my opinion that Tanaka was once a fantastic gaming developer, but the years have taken a toll on him and both his artistic talents as well as his flame of passion toward his work have faded in the process. Akinori is much more youthful and closer to his artistic prime. He definitely shows a promising spirit and mindset. With adoulin on the horizon and Akinori in charge of everything I actually have high hopes for FFXI's future over the next few years.

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 8:56am by Melphina
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#5 Jul 31 2012 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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Best of luck Tanaka-san. Your vision for the world of Vana'diel, especially the early days, is something your fans will remember fondly.

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#6 Jul 31 2012 at 8:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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I like the contrast in their shirts. It amuses me.
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#7 Jul 31 2012 at 8:48 AM Rating: Good
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FINAL FANTASY XI has undergone some radical changes since I left the project two years ago

If you can make it how it was 2 years ago again... fix the cursed filth that has tainted the game... I'd come back.

I'm still dwelling in the forums, watching for the torch of Tanaka to be snuffed out, and hoping on Adoulin being as good as Abyssea (preferably directly based on the systems of Abyssea).

If this ball gets dropped, I'm out for good. I'm going on 30 and have been playing this game since I was a young teenager on and off over the years. I'd gladly come back and play with friends, but I'm not going to bother if it's the same BS brick-wall head-slamming game-play FFXI has recently reverted back to.

Oh and in regards to the recent cheaters thread here on Alla: yeah, the cheats would be annoying to play with, but there have been cheaters in FFXI rampantly running around since the early days, just not as many people knew it because players were discrete. Fix the new Neo Nyzul so that stuff isn't necessary, and they'll probably fade back into the distance so the masses don't notice the rampant cheating. Then introduce af3+++ upgrades so the Neo Nyzul gear is unnecessary, and let the tower burn to the ground or be a chill way to get "casual" gear. Boom, instant mass satasfaction.
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#8 Jul 31 2012 at 10:48 AM Rating: Default
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Well Tanaka thanks for FFXI and if you go anywhere else, I suggest you go to Sega and do the same thing you did with the final fantasy series and turn ShiningForce into a MMO. Here's to hoping
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#9 Jul 31 2012 at 11:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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cidbahamut wrote:
I like the contrast in their shirts. It amuses me.


I hope it's symbolic of a brighter future ahead!

ZanonX wrote:
Well Tanaka thanks for FFXI and if you go anywhere else, I suggest you go to Sega and do the same thing you did with the final fantasy series and turn ShiningForce into a MMO. Here's to hoping


You must really hate Shining Force. What did it ever do to you?

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 1:35pm by Camiie
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#10 Jul 31 2012 at 11:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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thanks a lot, I just spent money on Shining Force
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

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#11 Jul 31 2012 at 12:05 PM Rating: Good
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I miss SF. Could be a decent spin on MMOing, but I'd almost rather keep it to its TRPG roots than the arcade/action dungeon crawler types some of the recent Shining games have been.
#12 Jul 31 2012 at 2:19 PM Rating: Excellent
What I take away from Akihiko Matsui's message is that he may be taking a page from Naoki Yoshida's playbook. For those not familiar with Yoshida (a.k.a. Yoshi-P), he's the man most responsible for putting Final Fantasy XIV in position to make an unprecedented comeback after a disastrous launch.

One of the first things Yoshi-P did after replacing Tanaka as FFXIV's director/producer was to reach out to the community and establish direct communication with players. It's something the FFXI development team should have started doing years ago. Although many FFXIV players still have big gripes about the game itself, Yoshi-P has definitely earned the trust of most of the game's community.

If Matsui adopts the same principles in communicating with his players, then FFXI will be alive and viable for a very long time.

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 1:20pm by Thayos
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#13 Jul 31 2012 at 2:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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One can dream.

I think XIV's gripes hinge largely on Yoshi working with the husk of what he'd come into. Giving people some new things to do while knowing it's all going to be thrown away in X amount of time is perhaps a bit disheartening to do as a dev, but also a must if the intent is to maintain those who haven't sworn off the game into the forever pits of sucktitude.

I'll be curious to see if XIV really does turn around, if only for the angry haters to eat some humble pie if they find out they not only want to try it, but enjoy it. Regardless of either game, I do believe more communication between devs and players is a good thing.
#14 Aug 01 2012 at 1:02 AM Rating: Good
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What I take away from Akihiko Matsui's message is that he may be taking a page from Naoki Yoshida's playbook. For those not familiar with Yoshida (a.k.a. Yoshi-P), he's the man most responsible for putting Final Fantasy XIV in position to make an unprecedented comeback after a disastrous launch.


Why am I not surprised you use any piece of XI news to PR for XIV.
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#15 Aug 01 2012 at 2:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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XI may not be perfect, but it changed so much in 10 years I can barely recognize it. Most of the changes were for the better, others were meh but look at what happened to other titles and than look at XI now.
I truly love this game for its sense of familiarity and community. The fact that I can truly feel the character on the screen as a virtual extension of myself is something I didn't get from other games. I made friends, REAL friends thanks to XI. It helped me outgrow my shyness and develope several skills that helped me in my studies and personal relationships.
This game truly helped me become a better person in the "real world", it's a part of me that is going to stay there for a very long time.

So here's to many more years of gaming in the world of Vana'diel.
Yes, I am optimistic.
#17 Aug 01 2012 at 8:37 AM Rating: Good
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I am about as fed up with the Tanaka-era of "balance" as the next guy, but I can't deny the talent and contributions to the RPG industry. Without his efforts I doubt it would be where it is today. In light of that Mr. Tanaka, /bow, and I wish you nothing but pleasant days ahead.
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#18 Aug 01 2012 at 12:02 PM Rating: Excellent


Preludes, I bet the community reps at SE would laugh in your face if you told them I was a Square Enix PR muppet. You should look back at some of the editorials I've written in years past, one of which sparked a wave of apologies from SE.
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#19 Aug 01 2012 at 2:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, just cause Thayos is optimistic doesn't mean he has overlooked glaring flaws in favour of boosterism. While I strongly dislike some of the design decisions that (I believe) he supports, I don't think he has given XIV anything remotely close to excessive praise.
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

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#20 Aug 02 2012 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Camiie wrote:
cidbahamut wrote:
I like the contrast in their shirts. It amuses me.


I hope it's symbolic of a brighter future ahead!

ZanonX wrote:
Well Tanaka thanks for FFXI and if you go anywhere else, I suggest you go to Sega and do the same thing you did with the final fantasy series and turn ShiningForce into a MMO. Here's to hoping


You must really hate Shining Force. What did it ever do to you?

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 1:35pm by Camiie


It didn't do anything, I would just think it would be nice to see, all the different races and Jobs and promotion system.
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#21 Aug 04 2012 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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FF XIV PR or not, Thayos's original point is right on. Yoshi-P has certainly earned a lot of trust amongst the community, and if Akihiko Matsui follows his lead as a producer, good things will happen for FF XI.
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#22 Aug 05 2012 at 6:43 AM Rating: Good
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ZanonX wrote:
Camiie wrote:
[
You must really hate Shining Force. What did it ever do to you?


It didn't do anything, I would just think it would be nice to see, all the different races and Jobs and promotion system.


It'd be nice to see, but not with Tanaka at the helm.
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