Even though Final Fantasy XI's 20th Anniversary is next year, Square Enix is celebrating early through the launch of a new website.
But the eleventh instalment of the iconic phenomenon may not have been celebrating this landmark occasion if it wasn't for PC gaming.
FF XI was supposed to finish with the PS2
In an interview on the anniversary website, producer Hiromichi Tanaka mentioned how Final Fantasy XI was initially developed for the PS2 and was presumed to end with the console.
When we chose to make the game for the PlayStation 2 (PS2), we assumed the game was fated to end with the PS2’s lifespan. However, the Windows version extended FFXI’s lifespan beyond that of the PS2.
The PC version of the game kept the game alive beyond the PS2 generation. There were discussions to port and possibly re-develop the online adventure for the more advanced PS3, but nothing materialized:
The PS2 was succeeded by the PlayStation 3 (PS3), which had drastically better graphical capabilities, and we felt that a simple port wouldn’t cut it. Of course, we received many requests for a PS3 port, but we had a massive amount of development resources, of which the graphics data in particular would have to be remade from scratch.
Instead, Tanaka set out to redirect resources and time to generate new episodes in the beloved series:
Rather than pouring manpower and budget into reconstructing a world that players had already thoroughly experienced, we felt that those resources would be better spent creating a new game with its own world and adventures.
There were also plans to revoke Final Fantasy 11 of its number in the franchise because of its online aspect. Instead, this feature was expanded further into Final Fantasy XIV. After its initial rocky launch, XIV has become more and more popular as it awaits a new gigantic expansion in Endwalker.