Square Enix's long-time MMORPG Final Fantasy XI announces new story content and character growth options are being developed for 2021.
19 years after its launch, Square Enix's long-time MMORPG Final Fantasy 11 is still alive and kicking. With a new story arc just released in 2020, Final Fantasy 11's producer Akihiko Matsui has recently mentioned in his New Year's greetings that players can expect story expansions and more will be implemented in 2021.
In his holiday salutations shared in the game's site, Matsui brought to light the challenges the whole team faced as they adapted to a new work-from-home environment, even lamenting cancelling in-person events as other game developers have had to during the pandemic. However, Matsui was proud to share that the Final Fantasy 11 team was able to produce no small amount of content for its player base while on lockdown. This included the all-new Voracious Resurgence storyline, the modified Mandragora Mania event, several in-game seasonal activities, and updates to Ambuscade and Odyssey.
In the same greetings, Matsui also stated that the team is planning to periodically expand The Voracious Resurgence arc all throughout 2021. Besides the storyline expansions, development will also occur to add more character growth to the game's job system and to increase the storage options already available in the Final Fantasy MMO. This will give players more incentive to keep adventuring through the world of Vana'diel.
With no concrete details about the story content outlined in Matsui's message, players can hope that this is all part and parcel of the team's plans leading up to their celebrations for Final Fantasy 11's 20th anniversary, or 20th "Vana'versary", which is happening in 2022. Despite development of the mobile game being canceled in December, it is possible that fans can expect big in-game festivities or actual physical merchandise, like the Shantotto and Chocobo figures that were recently launched, to mark Final Fantasy 11's big 2-0.
After seeing the success of shows like Castlevania and The Witcher on Netflix, the time seems ripe for video game adaptations. Square Enix specifically has recently seen the release of Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai and also anticipates the release of The World Ends With You: The Animation sometime in Summer 2021. So why not Final Fantasy?
How is it that the world has only seen two feature-length films and yet not a single anime adaptation? It almost seems like the game series was built to be made into a long-form, episodic series. On top of that, the creativity and imagination that goes into an anime series is perfect for capturing some of the more cinematic moments from Final Fantasy. The more thought given to the subject, the more a person can see exactly why Final Fantasy and anime were made for each other.
In some ways, Final Fantasy and many anime already have the same art style. Amnesiac spikey-haired heroes, androgynous villains, and wackily-oversized weapons are hallmarks of both. This is in part due to the rise of Tetsuya Nomura's popularity as a character designer after the smash success of the original Final Fantasy 7 (he debuted with Final Fantasy 6). Looking at characters released in subsequent games in the series it's clear to see the anime aesthetic continue to dominate.
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