Superstar Final Fantasy XIV Producer’s First Square Enix Game Was Canceled

Square Enix (YouTube)

“You would follow this one path, and then you’d have to team up with somebody else who has gone through a different history, or there was an item that you had to obtain in order to change your trajectory, but that item can only be obtained from somebody else,” said Yoshida.


Stories like this are a dime a dozen in the industry. Game development can be a fraught process of starts and stops, and often even the most polished products are held together by duct tape and dreams. We’ll probably never know all the games that never saw the light of day. But something about a man as highly regarded as Yoshida sharing his experiences with failure struck me as meaningful. Here’s a guy who today oversees both of Square Enix’s online Final Fantasy games while also guiding the iconic franchise’s next single-player adventure, and even he wasn’t safe from meddling and cancellations early in his career.

Despite this setback, important people at Square Enix saw something in Yoshida, which led future Nier series producer Yosuke Saito to bring him aboard in 2005 as an official employee. From there, Yoshida would work on Dragon Quest X (another online game, by the way) and various spin-offs before being tasked with saving the failing Final Fantasy XIV. The rest is history, and according to Yoshida, his success turning the MMO around ties back to that scrapped project.


“That chain of events is actually one of the reasons why I was determined to rebuild Final Fantasy XIV,” Yoshida said. “Despite all [original Final Fantasy XI producer Tanaka Hiromichi] had done for me, I wasn’t able to release the title he had high hopes for, so I felt like rebuilding Final Fantasy XIV was the only way I could repay him.”


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