Final Fantasy 14's massive graphical overhaul will bring in new players but ease worries about the game's future, says director

Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14's massive graphical overhaul isn't simply to bring in new players, says game director and producer Naoki Yoshida.

The critically acclaimed MMO is set to launch its next expansion this summer, Dawntrail, and alongside a brand new region to explore, two new Jobs, and the beginning of a new adventure to experience, Final Fantasy 14 will be receiving its first major graphics update in 10 years.

It's an exciting prospect, and Square Enix has already showcased some of the changes players can expect to arrive with the overhaul, but according to Naoki Yoshida, the update has multiple purposes than simply making the game look up-to-date with the modern generation.

"When players would see the graphics updates, they would realize that Final Fantasy 14 will still push on and it will still continue driving forward to the future and take on new challenges," Yoshida said in the latest Play magazine (via GamesRadar). "And in that regard, I think it would give players a sense of ease so they would not need to worry about that."

Yoshida also confirmed that the main decision behind the overhaul was to entice new players, though most importantly, younger players who are just getting into the game who would otherwise be put off by the original, older graphics.

"...the important thing with MMOs is that we need to constantly get new players in, otherwise the overall scale of our game would shrink," he explained. "I also thought the graphics update is really important to get the younger generation into Final Fantasy 14. So by implementing the graphics updates, we can actually improve the appeal for 14 to those types of players."

In addition, Yoshida finds that the update will not only appeal to new players but also be a welcoming challenge for the development team who have been using older technology since A Realm Reborn launched in 2013. The director hopes that the newer features on hand for his fellow developers will allow them to also "advance their career".

"By being able to work on more advanced graphics technology, they can advance their career and they can also be able to work with the newer features," Yoshida said. "So, there’s a benefit for both in the sense that players can benefit from better quality and graphics, but our artists and engineers in the team can benefit by using more advanced technology and can advance their careers. 

"From that side of things as well, there are also efficiencies which we will gain by using better graphical technology."

Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail doesn't have a release date just yet, but is expected to launch this summer, alongside official Xbox Series X|S support, with an open beta available now. 

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