Square Enix’s MMORPG, nearly two decades old Final Fantasy XI was originally supposed to end with the lifespan of the PS2, but was reportedly extended with its PC release. In an interview on the game’s 20th anniversary official website, FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui and former producer Hiromichi Tanaka revealed that porting to the PS3 would have taken a tremendous amount of time, and the company instead decided to devote its resources to developing FFXIV.
While the game’s console servers shut down in 2016, Final Fantasy XI still has a dedicated PC player base and has even recently released new content and campaigns like a few days ago. Although not as tall as its later counterpart FFXIV, the latter owes many of its mechanics – from battles to character creation – to Final Fantasy XI.
Tanaka notes that traditionally game consoles only lasted about five years before becoming obsolete with the release of the next generation. And while the team initially hoped to port the MMO to the PS3 and use the upgraded hardware from the console, it would have required the team to recreate many elements of the game from scratch. Instead, they decided to focus on getting out of FFXIV next to updates for FFXI. The former producer also says that with the ubiquity of smartphones, gaming habits have shifted away from home consoles, making “high engagement games” difficult to maintain in the mainstream.
Current producer Matsui also initially worked on FFXIV, but had felt “exhausted” and had decided to join FFXI as a producer after Tanaka resigned due to chronic illness. Additionally, Tanaka says it was also around the time of the Tohoku earthquake in 2011, when Square Enix had to suspend its servers for several weeks. Among other incidents, the company also had to deal with DDoS attacks for some time.
If you’d like to find out more, the official anniversary site also includes a gallery of official artwork as well as other interviews discussing the history of the game’s development, including how it was inspired by the game. originated from the creator’s gaming experience. Everquest.[Source: FFXI Anniversary Site]