In 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Japan and have a conversation with Yoshi-P, the Game Director of Final Fantasy 14. During our discussion, there was one burning question on my mind – when would Final Fantasy 14 be available on the Xbox? Little did I know that I, along with countless other fans, would have to wait an entire decade for an answer.
The inclusion of Final Fantasy 14 on the Xbox signifies the end of a long-standing question. Back in 2013, Yoshi-P explained that the lack of Xbox support was due to Microsoft’s cross-play policy. As Xbox Live was a closed network, players on Xbox couldn’t interact with players on other platforms, which, according to Yoshi-P, was not ideal for an MMO like Final Fantasy 14.
Now, years later, Xbox fans like myself will finally have the opportunity to experience the game on our preferred console. Xbox Wire has announced that Final Fantasy 14 will be brought to the console, accompanied by an expanded free trial that allows players to access the first three expansions and reach level 70 without any playtime restrictions. This means that new players can enjoy over 100 hours of content right from the start. It’s truly amazing to see the game make its way to yet another platform.
Back in 2013, the game’s compatibility across PS3, PS4, and PC was a key factor in building one of the greatest gaming communities of all time. I remember playing with my friend Greg, me on PC and him on PS3, and we were welcomed with open arms by a supportive playerbase. We, along with many others, had hoped that Xbox players would eventually have the same opportunity.
The lack of Xbox support remained a topic of discussion, and in 2015, Phil Spencer addressed it by mentioning “business” and platform exclusivity as the primary reasons for the absence of Final Fantasy 14 on Xbox. However, at E3 2016, Xbox seemed to have a change of heart and expressed their willingness to embrace crossplay. This sparked hope once again – would Final Fantasy 14 finally make its way to Xbox? In an interview with Polygon, Yoshi-P revealed that Microsoft had approached the Final Fantasy 14 team about cross-platform opportunities. However, certain regulations required adjustments for an MMORPG like Final Fantasy 14 to run smoothly on Xbox. Discussions were underway, but challenges still needed to be overcome.
The following year, Yoshida hinted at a potential release on Xbox and Nintendo Switch, mentioning conversations with Microsoft’s Phil Spencer and Nintendo’s upper management teams. However, the issue of cross-play continued to pose challenges. For Yoshida, community was everything, and closed-platforms hindered the team from creating the best possible experience.
In 2019, all the waiting and uncertainty turned into a solid promise – Final Fantasy 14 would come to Xbox. Phil Spencer reassured fans of his dedication to bringing the game to Xbox, and Yoshi-P explained that certain regulations needed to be changed for cross-play compatibility. It took time, but finally, the game was announced for Xbox, much to the delight of fans worldwide.
Looking back, it’s evident that Phil Spencer and Yoshi-P had been working diligently behind the scenes to make this dream a reality. The adaptation of Microsoft’s policies was no small feat. It’s a testament to Spencer’s determination and Microsoft’s efforts. Maybe one day, we’ll get an inside look at what it took to make it all happen. But for now, Square Enix is happy, Phil is happy, fans are happy, and an adored MMO has gained a whole new group of players.
In retrospect, I can’t help but wonder if the delay was somehow connected to the discussions between Microsoft and Square Enix, which were revealed during the Activision hearing. Regardless, Square CEO Takashi Kiryu’s recent confirmation that they plan to bring their games to Xbox is promising. Hopefully, it won’t take another 10 years for titles like Final Fantasy 7: Remake and Final Fantasy 16 to arrive on Xbox.
As the Director of Content Strategy at IGN, I can’t help but be thrilled by this news. Even though I struggle with the combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, I find myself drawn to it time and time again. If you’re interested, you can follow me on Twitter for more updates.
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Basant Kasayap is an entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood to regional cinema, she offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.