Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker: Director Naoki Yoshida Q&A

Every two years since 2013’s A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy XIV has received a new expansion. Each of these huge updates introduced a wealth of new content for Square Enix’s MMORPG, with each release comparable to a full standalone JRPG. All packed in enthralling stories, new regions, missions and impressive boss fights, continually building out the game’s fantastical setting Eorzea.  

Last week, Square Enix debuted the fourth expansion. Like its predecessors, Endwalker promises new jobs, new areas to explore (we’re going to the moon!) and much, much more. 

And as with 2013’s reimagining and subsequent expansions, Endwalker’s development is headed by Naoki Yoshida. The director and producer has spent the last eight years reshaping Final Fantasy XIV into a critically-acclaimed MMO behemoth. This latest release marks the end of a decade-long storyline, one that stretches all the way back to the game’s original version, which launched in 2010. 

Yoshida-san is a busy man. Not only is he overseeing yet another feature-packed expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, he was recently announced as the producer for the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI. Yet between juggling two Leviathan-sized projects, he found the time to answer our most burning questions around that astounding Endwalker reveal. 

Endwalker will bring Final Fantasy XIV’s 10-year long story arc to its conclusion. How does it feel to finally close this long a chapter? When did you first envision how this chapter of FFXIV was to end and how much has the final version changed from that initial premise?

Since the time of A Realm Reborn, the idea of the “Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga” already existed and was what we were working off of when creating the story. Being able to tell this story to its conclusion required Final Fantasy XIV to succeed as an MMORPG, and we were far from being able to declare the ongoing story as the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga even at the time of Heavensward’s release. Following the release of Stormblood and having seen the growing community and success of the game, I thought it was time to more fully flesh out the concepts of the story and think as to how and where this conclusion might take place.