Final Fantasy XIV Director Plays Final Fantasy XIV, Gets Mobbed By Fans

Final Fantasy XIV Director Plays Final Fantasy XIV, Gets Mobbed By Fans

Yesterday at E3 in Los Angeles, I went to Square Enix’s booth for an interview with Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida and found him in the middle of a session of his own game. As it turns out, he had been chatting with fans during his interview breaks. And getting mobbed.

As his team then explained to me, every once in a while, Yoshida will log into his MMORPG on a public account and tell the world that he’s hanging out. Then people will flock to wherever he is, spending hours basking in the presence of the man who helped save Final Fantasy XIV.

Yoshida has become a celebrity in the game’s community, not just for his work on the game but for his constant interactions with fans, in frequent streams and blog posts. People love the man.

When he moved, everyone moved with him. Watch:

During our interview (as my questions were being translated to Japanese), I occasionally turned over to the screen and watched the stream of messages, which appeared to be nothing but kind. “Thank you for all your hard work Yoshida san,” wrote one player in a private message. “It’s appreciated every day.”

I asked Yoshida how often he plays with strangers who know who he is, and he told me that while his main account is anonymous — and top secret — he sometimes uses his “Yoshida” account to join random groups of players and help them out with tough raids.

“A lot of the times people at first think I’m a fake,” he said, speaking through a translator. “But when they start paying attention to the gear, or the movements, they realise they have seen this player.” Then they have a story forever.


  • Unlike a lot of Squenix’s designers *cough*Nomura*cough*, Yoshida actually deserves the cult status. Not many people could have stepped into the utter clusterfuck that was FF XIV at initial launch and rescued it so comprehensively.

    • While I agree, I think these days Nomura gets an undeservedly bad rap for things that aren’t really his fault. The guys actually in charge at Square are the real reason a lot of his projects go nowhere and it’s precisely because they just put him on almost every big project they have when he clearly doesn’t have time for it. FFS he didn’t even know they’d made him director of FF7 remake until he saw the credits said as much when they put out the teaser trailer.
      His one real fault is that he doesnt push back hard enough against the execs for continuously dropping everything on him when he’s in the middle of other games. That and maybe not training/finding replacements to take over the jobs he clearly cant get enough time for.
      Imagine if Kojima back in the golen age of Konami was told “OK, we know your working hard on MGS3, but people like your name so we’re putting you in charge of a spinoff for MGS and a castlevania game… oh and we’ve just announced a policenauts remake we want you on”

      • He’s gone on record saying he hates interacting with people and just wants to be left alone in a bubble just creating stuff, which sounds like the exact wrong temperament to be put in charge of directing games to me.

        That said, a lot of Squenix’s issues in the FF 13 / Versus era were because they screwed around for years making their White Engine / Crystal Tools, which I should note they ended up throwing away for FFXIV (it sucked for open world games even after massive retooling for Lighting Returns) and they are no longer using for new games. About a decade’s work on that thing went basically nowhere.

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