In an interview with Famitsu, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) Producer Naoki Yoshida discussed the development of the Endwalker expansion. This included detailing some of the difficulties of developing Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker during the ongoing situation with COVID-19. Additionally, he opened up concerning server congestion, the Metacritic score for FFXIV Endwalker, and how he believes these two things are tied together. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
Final Fantasy XIV Lead Story Designers Banri Oda and Natsuko Ishikawa also spoke briefly about the reception to Endwalker. Both Ishikawa and Oda are thankful that players chose to refrain from posting major spoilers on social media. However, Ishikawa feels as though it would have been fun to see reception to the narrative while the “conversation was still hot.” That said, all three developers appreciate that most players seemed to abide by the request not to share major spoilers.
Further on in the interview, FFXIV Producer Naoki Yoshida elaborated on some of the development struggles of Endwalker. He used developing the fight with Zodiark as an example of some of the struggles the team went through as they adapted to working remotely. Yoshida explained that the reason some of these challenges didn’t happen before was because the team was located on the same floor, and they could easily exchange opinions or give criticism:
Even if you can check the material, there are some unique problems that arise from working strictly online. For example, there can be difficulties when checking quality when using screensharing. And it does take a lot of time to record and upload the data. This is unavoidable when working remotely, and I had to rethink the workflow for FFXIV because we moved to a new development style.
Regarding the Metacritic score, Yoshida said he noticed that there had been some negative reception among users. He believes that the server congestion attributed to some of those low user scores and wonders if, were that not an issue, the expansion would have been even more favorably received among its player base.
Final Fantasy XIV is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.