Hello, this is Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida, wishing all of you Warriors of Light a Happy New Year!
2020 was a year that won’t soon be forgotten, and I mean that not only for our development and operations teams, but also for our players and, indeed, the entire world. Even now, the threat of COVID-19 continues to present us with unprecedented daily challenges, the likes of which we only knew about through history books.
In the midst of this adversity, we’re determined to provide you with a source of entertainment, while remaining mindful that our team members, too, have their own families, and are facing the same hardships as everyone else. Setting up stable working environments and figuring out how to get on with things was, I think, a common experience for a great many people.
And through it all, we’ve received messages of support from a truly staggering number of players. When things get rough, it is your voices which spur us on and keep us moving forward. We thank you for all your thoughtful words of encouragement.
Adapting to the obstacles of COVID-19 is an ongoing struggle, but we remain committed to developing and running FFXIV to the best of our ability.
So, where do we stand? The saga of Shadowbringers concluded in Patch 5.3, and hinted at the next story to come. Ah, but of course we had Patch 5.4, which then flipped the page to the “final chapter in the tale of this star.” Keep a close eye on the team’s progress this year as events build once more to a thrilling and unexpected “ending.” (To the story, not to FFXIV itself!)
... I'd barely finished typing this when I had an unannounced visitor─a minstrel, as he introduced himself, on a journey from faraway lands. He placed a note into my hands, and it had this poem written on it:
Our progeny may never know
Wherefore we look into the sky,
Nor why we dig for truths below;
We bear their scorn or watch them die.
─From the journal of a resolute man
Who is this “resolute man”? And what’s this about his “progeny” scorning him? I turned to put these questions to the traveler, but he was gone. Vanished, as if swallowed into a rift between worlds...
While we could ponder the meaning of this verse and make a few guesses, the upcoming FFXIV Announcement Showcase planned for February might help us make more sense out of it. As the day draws near and we make our preparations, I’m as excited as anyone to see what this event has in store.
Meanwhile, we’re entering our eleventh year of operation since the original release of FFXIV! The development and running of an MMORPG is an incredibly difficult undertaking, and the larger in scale they are, the fewer of them survive beyond the ten-year mark. It’s thanks to you, our Warriors of Light, and your inexhaustible enthusiasm that we’ve reached this amazing milestone. Please continue to lend us your support, and we’ll do our utmost to reward your passion for the game with captivating stories and high adventure!
Lastly, I’d like to address a slightly different topic...
As the battle against COVID-19 rages on, one of the toughest jobs falls on our healthcare workers, who risk themselves on the frontlines to care for the infected and shield the rest of us from harm. Amongst the words of encouragement we received, there were many messages from these selfsame workers that were both heartfelt and heartbreaking:
“No matter how tough things get, I can always see my friends in FFXIV.”
“It gives me the strength to face the next day.”
“Please keep it up, we need this.”
If anyone should be grateful for something, it’s us. Thank you for everything you do.
You work under enormous stress, but despite all the sacrifices you make, some people still treat you with disrespect. And it's unforgivable. Sometimes you must wonder why you work so hard when you encounter those who clearly don’t appreciate it. But you can’t carry the world on your shoulders. Our earnest comments may not affect you as keenly as one pointed and thoughtless remark, but know that you always have our gratitude and support. Allow me to offer you that, at the very least.
We will keep doing all we can, and I hope our efforts give you reason to smile in these difficult times.
FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer/Director