Even though Final Fantasy XI's 20th Anniversary is next year, Square Enix has begun its celebrations by launching a new website. Fans can view a collection of behind-the-scenes content, interviews, and unique artwork.
But the numbering of the iconic franchise could have looked very different, with the eleventh mainline instalment potentially not existing at all.
Final Fantasy 11 Was Almost Unnumbered
In an interview on the new site, producer Hiromichi Tanaka discussed the origins of the game.
As the open-world, MMORPG style of the game strayed from traditional beats associated with previous entries, Tanaka suggested the game be called "Final Fantasy Online" instead. There were additional concerns of hardware requirements that would prevent Final Fantasy fanatics from running XI on PC, aside from the PS2. When discussing the notion with Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, he was very adamant XI's name would remain:
He insisted that a game with a name like 'FF World' would be viewed as a spin-off rather than a main entry in the FF series, which led to a debate between him and management.
Sakaguchi made a cause for retaining the game's numbered entry to Tanaka, who in turn convinced Square Enix management.
It is fair to say the decision has paid off considering FFXI still has a healthy player base. While, XI's success in the MMORPG sector paved the way for Final Fantasy XIV, which will receive a new major expansion in Endwalkers later this year.