Square producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, in an interview posted at Core Magazine, recently revealed
some interesting details regarding Final Fantasy XI,
the massively multiplayer Final Fantasy RPG set to launch in the fall of 2001. Sakaguchi told Core
Magazine that the difference between existing Final Fantasy games, and future series incarnations
featuring network gameplay is that, in the future games, there will be 2000-3000 characters
being played by actual people within a virtual world.
According to Sakaguchi, players will be able to communicate through the network and chat as they
play. Sakaguchi assured Core that since Final Fantasy XI
is, at its heart, a Final Fantasy game, Square intends to keep the game storyline oriented, saying that,
"existing online RPGs for the PC typically have little story development. In that sense,
[Final Fantasy XI] will be different from other
Sakaguchi reviled that in-game communication will be somewhat basic, saying that gamers
will need to converse through a series of game-related commands. This will allow people from
all over the world can actually play together without knowing each other's language. There will
also be opportunity to freely chat, however, Sakaguchi thinks that Square might prefer that
gamers stick to the English alphabet.
When asked if Square would be releasing Final Fantasy XI
simultaneously in America and Japan, Sakaguchi told Core that would be tough
to release the game simultaneously in both Japan and America. However, he did add that he
didn't want there to be an extended release gap between both regions. Sakaguchi revealed that
PlayOnline, (Square's online component company) will most likely utilize separate
Japanese and English servers. However, it will remain possible for players from
different countries to meet and communicate online.
Sakaguchi also spoke with Core Magazine at length about Final Fantasy IX,
as well as the Final Fantasy Movie. Check out the whole interview at Core Magazine
and keep coming back to RPGamer for all the Final Fantasy info you can
shake a stick at.