New FFXI interview explains why the name isn’t Final Fantasy Online

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A new We are Vana’Diel website has been designed to celebrate Final Fantasy XII turn 21. Most notably, the site will host a series of interviews discussing the development and growth of the game. The latter has to do with its earliest days. In particular a producer Hiromichi Tanaka FFXIA interview explained how he and Hironobu Sakaguchi fought not to be the name of the game Final Fantasy Online.

Tanaka started by noting that it was Sakaguchi who started the fight to make sure FFXIA would go by that name, instead of something like Final Fantasy Online. The goal was to unify and get people to see it as a main game, rather than a spin-off. When Sakaguchi left the company, Tanaka said he then convinced current Square president Yoichi Wada to allow it. FFXIA.

Here’s the full set of quotes from the interview where Tanaka explained what happened.

That said, Mr Sakaguchi and I discussed that if we were to make an MMORPG it should be based on FF. When we were deciding whether toFF Onlineor release it as a numbered item in the series, Mr. Sakaguchi was adamant that it should be released as a numbered item.

He insisted that a game with a name like “FF World” would be seen as a spin-off rather than a feature article in the FF series, sparking a debate between him and management.

Management later wanted to revoke its place as a numbered listing, fearing that many players would not be able to play the game, as additional hardware had to be purchased on top of the PS2 console. However, during the debate, Mr Sakaguchi left Square in 2001 and there was no one left to defend FFXIA‘s position as a numbered item. (laughs) Even then, I strongly believed that future titles in the FF series must be online. Although I have been approached several times by the then president of the company, Yoichi Wada, to revoke FFXIA‘s status as a numbered item in the FF series, I finally persuaded him.

Final Fantasy XII is available on PCs. It also appeared on the PS2 and Xbox 360 for a while, although the MMORPG is no longer available on either platform.

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