Final Fantasy 14 director: No NFTs, visual upgrade set to come soon

Promotional artwork featuring the core and supporting cast of Final Fantasy XV and its expanded media. - CC BY-SA

Naoki Yoshida, the director and producer of Final Fantasy 14, has clarified that he and his team have no plans to incorporate NFTs into its games. However, he didn’t completely condemn the notion of NFTs in the gaming sector.

Yoshida, speaking through Square Enix translator Aimi Tokutake, stated that looking at the way FF14 is constructed, he and the team have no intention of experimenting with NFTs.

NFTs not necessary, at least for now

“Based on how Final Fantasy XIV is designed, we don’t intend on incorporating any sort of NFT element in the game at this point,” Yoshida explained. “If anybody is worried or concerned about it, I can clearly state at this time that we do not have any intentions to incorporate that into the game.”

Yoshida also addressed the contentious statement from Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, which centered on the firm’s increased emphasis on NFTs, blockchain games, and the metaverse.

“We did notice a lot of reactions, especially from the Western [audience] about NFTs, many comments about how [they’re] opposed to NFTs,” Yoshida said. “I do understand our CEO [Yosuke] Matsuda commented on the concept of NFTs in his New Year’s message, and there might be a little bit of sensitivity and nervousness around the topic.”

Yosuke Matsuda, CEO of Square Enix, began the year with an atrocious remark, awkwardly touting the promise of NFTs in gaming but unable to provide any meaningful instances of advantages or acknowledge its negative impact on the environment.

Yoshida went on to add that he wasn’t completely opposed to exploring the NFT realm― just not in Final Fantasy 14.

“I would love if there is an opportunity to speak to the subject of NFTs in an interview that is completely unrelated to FFXIV because it is an opportunity for a new business model,” Yoshida said. “I do believe the vehicle itself could potentially be something that makes the concept of a video game a little bit more interesting. That being said, we would need a specific game design that would accommodate for the concept of NFTs.”

Visual improvement, return of free trial

Although Yoshida stated unequivocally that Final Fantasy 14 will not receive NFTs, it will get its first big visual updates in Patch 7.0 and even beyond.

Yoshida stated that the team’s goal was to improve the “overall picture” of FFXIV by upgrading graphics while maintaining the game’s current look. For those expecting FFXIV to appear like first-party single-player games like Horizon Forbidden West, he also wanted gamers to understand that “the new graphics will not be comparable to standalone titles”.

With the modifications, the system requirements for PC will be changed, but support for the PS4 version will stay. In fact, Yoshida stated that the team will optimize the PS4 version. It will also get new graphics settings from the PS5 port, including frame rate and resolution priority modes.

However, the graphical change isn’t limited to characters. Higher resolution textures will be added to the gear, as well as stronger shaders to simulate materials like metal, cloth, and leather, and overall lighting will be enhanced. These adjustments will not be applied to all gear at once; Square Enix will prioritize popular glamour first, then progressively roll out other updates in 7.x patches.

There will be a bit of a wait until Patch 7.0, as Patch 6.1 is currently scheduled for April 2022. On the other hand, players will not have to wait long for the return of the free trial, which will take place on February 22, 2022.