The reaction to Lightning’s inclusion in Final Fantasy XIV was largely expected, according to producer/director Naoki Yoshida. Speaking with fellow network site, RPG Site, Yoshida discussed a variety of topics, including his reasoning for including Lightning in the XIV universe.
“Final Fantasy XIV is very unique. A Realm Reborn hasn’t been released yet, but the 1.0 version of the game has – so we have a lot of hardcore fans who played the 1.0 version,” explained Yoshida. “When we decided to make this announcement here at Japan Expo, this is a very special event where the people here love Japanese subculture, and they want to find out new information, and try out different Japanese culture things, basically.
“We thought it would be more suitable if we focused on how we’re going to make it catchy to that audience instead. We’ve made a straightforward announcement – Lightning is going to be in FF14 – here is the costume you can wear. That’s very straightforward, and to the Japan Expo audience we felt that this was the suitable way to explain it.
“…But, yes, we do understand that 1.0 hardcore players will wonder ‘Well, what’s going on? How is she going to fit in the world?’ and so we definitely expected that reaction.
“Once I’m back in Japan I will probably write a long forum post again to explain in more detail to the fans. Myself, I am one of those who really wants to make sure that the FF14 world is kept safely in a FF14 way – so I don’t want to destroy the lore. There’s going to be plenty of cutscenes and explanation of the reasons in the storylines of why Lightning can appear in FF14.”
Yoshida went on to assure fans that Lightning’s inclusion in the game would be “natural” and everything including her ultimate fate will be woven into the history of Eorzea.
Lightning’s inclusion begs more questions, of course – how will this set the stage for other potential character appearances in ARR? “Well… first of all, I will leave it to the players to imagine if there’s going to be Sephiroth in the game, or maybe Cloud is going to appear on his motorbike… Please enjoy sort of thinking about what could be happening in the game,” said Yoshida. “The main message we wanted to tell the players is the same as the announcements we made at E3 and now again at Japan Expo, which is that previously, all these numbered titles in the FF franchise were totally different, each of them were independent of each other – totally separate.
“However, between the dev teams and also within the company, we also really want to work close together and have a strong relationship with each other and sort of push FF as a whole.
“It’s not like that we want to just get more attention from players or get more money by using the elements from previous FF games – it’s nothing like that. As a company and as a group, we wanted to make sure that the FF projects have a strong relationship between the dev teams of the numbered titles. We’re not necessarily planning to bring back all the characters.”
So there you have it. Love it or hate it, Final Fantasy XIV stands to be a fanservice game unlike any other mainline title before it. We’ll have the full interview syndicated here tomorrow.