Final Fantasy 14’s Naoki Yoshida on Fortnite Chapter 2: “I did that six years ago”

In a recent chat with Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida, Trusted Reviews asked him about the startling similarities between Fortnite Chapter 2 and the MMORPG. 

Earlier this year, the original version of Fortnite was shut off suddenly, caused by a black hole essentially swallowing up the entire universe. Servers remained inaccessible for several hours, with players waiting desperately to play the battle royale.

Once Epic Games was ready, it returned with the introduction of Chapter 2. This version of the game featured a new map, new mechanics and a revamped progression system that arguably transformed the entire experience. It also brought drew a number of comparisons between itself and Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn.

“Some of the development team are fans of Fortnite and they noticed it resembles the End of Era in Final Fantasy 14. Some people came to me and asked, ‘did you see this, did you see that?’ so everyone was aware of it. The visual representation did really resemble what we did with destroying the world,” Yoshida said. 

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However, the act of obliterating the world of massively multiplayer online experiences isn’t new in the slightest, with Yoshida referencing classic titles such as Ultima Online, which flooded the world with demons and expected players to fight them off. It seems the best aspect of these events in his eyes, is how such things bring players together. 

“In older MMO titles like Ultima Online when the world was ending a lot of demons suddenly appeared and killed everyone. They all died, were resurrected, died again and were resurrected again. It was quite messy, but that’s the kind of thing older MMORPGs did” Yoshida told us. 

“The developers just want players to enjoy the moment together, almost like it’s a giant festival kind of thing. That’s probably why Fortnite made the decision to do this, and given it’s Fortnite, players probably saw it as an even bigger surprise.” 

Despite Final Fantasy 14 not being the first title to destroy its world in such a way, it’s arguably the most iconic. It set the foundations for a success story which, by all accounts, shouldn’t have really happened. Even so, Yoshida couldn’t help but gloat a little bit, and it turns out his son is an avid player of Epic Game’s battle royale. 

“My son is in his first year of college and he’s a massive fan of Fortnite. When I went back home he came up to me saying, ‘Fortnite is doing something really great, they’re destroying the world, you need to see it!’ So I’m like, well I actually did that six years ago. He learned through Fortnite that Final Fantasy 14 has actually gone through such a moment.” 

Our full chat with Naoki Yoshida is coming soon, where we ask him about the past, present and future of Final Fantasy 14 while also delving into the game’s community, approach to inclusivity and future rebuild of A Realm Reborn. Be sure to stay tuned for that!

 

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