“There’s no entertainment there”
Earlier this year, heralding the uncertain times of 2022, the Square Enix CEO gave us a cryptic message on the company’s potential involvement in the Metaverse, and NFTs. For those of you who aren’t interested in Square Enix’s possible future with the concept, the Final Fantasy XIV Metaverse likely isn’t going to be a thing if producer Naoki “Yoshi P” Yoshida has anything to say about it.
Speaking to the weekly news magazine Shukan Bunshun [via Siliconera], Yoshi P very plainly explained how he stood on the matter, and why there likely isn’t going to be any attempt at a Final Fantasy XIV Metaverse:
“… In the Metaverse I’m thinking of, people will be able to use an avatar in virtual reality, and take a stroll in Shinjuku or do shopping, just like in real life. Though it might be fun, there’s no entertainment there. ‘What’s so interesting about the systems of our real world?’ is how I feel.”
He further clarified that he’d potentially work on a VR project, but not something specifically Metaverse related. Hey, someone has to do it (someone has to work on traditional games, that is)!
Yoshi P’s sentiment is shared by many, and it’s refreshing to actually hear it out loud from a major designer. While the buzzword “Metaverse” belies some neat community-based concepts that have existed for decades before the corporate-speak monetization term came into fruition, we’re continuously moving toward an industry that attempts to capitalize on “service” rather than a core focus on gameplay for games. Some projects benefit from it for a time, then fizzle. Even fewer actually sustain themselves. It remains to be seen if Square Enix can actually make any of these pipedreams happen, but given their track record, they should probably stick to doing what they do best: making complete games.