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(Up Next: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - Eruyt Village)

The Player Community of Final Fantasy XIV Unites for Project Thank You Yoshida

May 13th, 2017 by Raptorchan

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The relationship between the Development Team of Final Fantasy XIV and their Player Community is indeed a special one.

This unique partnership was forged in the early days of Final Fantasy XIV, before its relaunch in August 2013 as A Realm Reborn. When Naoki Yoshida first took the reins for the fallen FFXIV, he went to the player community for help, knowing full well that saving the struggling game would be a task too big for his team to handle alone. While they had very little reason to trust the new director, the player community agreed to help and support the development team. From this, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was formed, and with it came a unique friendship between developer and player.

With the player base giving helpful feedback and the development team taking to heart the constructive criticisms, Final Fantasy XIV rose from the ashes of its failing predecessor and became the success it is today. And with the development team frequenting the official forums, and hosting regular Q&A sessions on their livestreams, the development team and player base are in constant communication; with both sides working together in harmony, hiccups and all.

So when it was discovered that Naoki Yoshida was terribly exhausted from all the preparations for Stormblood and the FanFestivals of 2016, a player known as Kuutamo on the official forums decided it was time to give back and to thank Yoshida for all he has done.

Recruiting the aid of people from the official forums, Tumblr, Reddit, Facebook and other social media platforms, Kuutamo sought to create a book filled with grateful, happy messages, screenshots, artwork and more from players across the world. The goal was to get it done in time for Yoshida’s birthday, so that he could receive a gift filled with nothing but joyful love from his supportive players in hopes it would help him ease any stress, and to remind him that his players are thankful for all his hard work.

And thanks to Community Representative Foxclon, Kuutamo and the player base were able to see that Yoshida did indeed receive the book, mentioning it was professionally done and that they were impressed.

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Foxclon also thanked the community for all their great work, and said that he was positive this gift would help ease Yoshida’s exhaustion.

Wanting to highlight this incredibly heartwarming moment between the development team and player community, I had the chance to ask Kuutamo a few brief questions, and the response I received detailed the project from its humble beginnings:

“I’m a community manager by trade so orchestrating fun community projects has become something of a hobby of mine. This project actually came about from a conversation with my Free Company, White Wind on Odin. We were talking about creating a company hoodie and getting an extra one printed to sent to Yoshida-san with a nice thank you card from us all. In the end I wanted even more to join in with the thank you portion of the idea and when I realised it was coming up to his birthday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity send our thanks as well as give him warm wishes for his birthday.
I started on the official forums with the idea and got some great feedback. Then I looked around and thought about making this a project that would unite as many of the FFXIV communities as I could; the official forums, Reddit, Facebook Groups, Tumblr etc. The Reddit mods were really helpful and even pinned the promotion for it for a short time which really gave us a boost.
I regret not thinking of the idea earlier though. I only started advertising at the beginning of March and at the time I had only a two week deadline set in place. However, I received requests for artists who wanted to draw something especially for the book and asked if I could possibly extend it. In the end I did, though I did manage to leave myself with only a very short time to do the final edits before the book needed to be sent to the publishers for printing. Lucky for me, one of the community who had joined in, offered to design the cover for me so thanks to Kristian I didn’t need to panic about designing a cover and could concentrate on getting the content in and it’s internal design.
The main goal was to get it to Japan for Yoshida-san’s birthday. But sadly due to production error and then public holidays, it ended up delayed. Thankfully he received it before the Stormblood media tour as I was starting to panic if he would get it before he left the country or not.
In the end we had an amazing number taking part. We have a total of 274 pages in the book itself with over 150 groups joining (Free Companies/Linkshells/FB Groups etc) and a further 150 individuals. I’ve already received emails and PM’s asking to do it again next year, either because people loved the idea or they missed out. So I’ve already pre-warned Yoshisa-san to expect something next year as well, and it’s extra special as it will be his 45th. Have some ideas already in mind.”
As someone who is also part of the FFXIV community, it was definitely wonderful to watch as people from across the globe united together to thank a man for all the wonderful memories and joy he had brought them. The players supported one another, signal boosting the project and sharing it among friends and company mates.

And now with Yoshida setting out on his media tour for Stormblood, the player base can only hope he does so with the mindset that they all stand behind him, ready to catch him should he stumble or fall.

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  • Glad to see the communuty come together for one thing. Bwcause there is no community otherwise in-game thx to the duty finder killing what chance it had to develop one