There have been many announcements, surprises, setbacks, speculations and rumors lately regarding the perpetually evolving Final Fantasy series. With the first real Final Fantasy X details now being revealed, as well as the decision to remove all PlayOnline elements from the title, fans are even less sure of what to expect from Square's eleventh installment. Hironobu Sakaguchi, acclaimed director of Square's hit RPG series, recently spoke with the Swedish multiconsole publication, "Super Play," regarding the quickly approaching future of Final Fantasy.
With the decision to make Final Fantasy XI an entirely online title, many fans came to believe that they were witnessing the end of the series. However, Sakaguchi stated that, despite the changes, it will simply be the next title in a continuing saga. As well, he commented that the online elements "[do] not mean that the series will change for good. [Final Fantasy XII] might just as well be completely traditional, just like FFIX turned out after VII and VIII."
Sakaguchi also went on to mention that the emphasized goal of Final Fantasy XI will be to create an exciting online world to accommodate many participants, while maintaining the essence of the series. He did reveal that players will be able to communicate within the game, allowing them to make friends and enemies during their adventures. However, Square intends its online title to differentiate itself from other currently running online worlds. Sakaguchi stated that, "because it is a Final Fantasy game, we will be incorporating a story too. Most PC online games today do not have a set story but leaves most up to the players themselves. FFXI will be different in that respect."
Final Fantasy XI has faced a number of difficulties and technical setbacks. However, the game is still aiming for a release on the PlayStation2 alongside the launch of Square's PlayOnline service next year. RPGamer will keep you notified as more on Square's premiere fully online title is revealed.