Xbox Still Wants Final Fantasy XIV, ‘We Haven’t Given Up Yet’ Says Phil Spencer

Xbox says it’s still keen to get Final Fantasy XIV on its platform, despite hearing nothing from Square Enix regarding the game for the last three years.

During last week’s Tokyo Game Show, Japanese outlet Game Watch asked Head of Xbox Phil Spencer how negotiations around Final Fantasy XIV were going. As spotted by VGC, Spencer replied: “We certainly announced that (laughs). Naturally, we haven’t given up yet. This is a commitment from both Microsoft and Square Enix to gamers and we will continue to coordinate our efforts.”

Final Fantasy XIV, of course, has been around since 2010. Spencer pledged that the game would come to Xbox platforms in 2019. PlayStation got it out the door for the PS5 in 2021.

To hear Square Enix tell it, the reason progress on an Xbox version of Final Fantasy XIV has been so slow is due to restrictions on several important cross-play features, like chat and guilds, for example. When he spoke to Wccftech in 2019, Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida was happy to list all the factors he saw as roadblocks to an Xbox port.

“To play an MMORPG (on the Xbox), there are 2 regulations for Microsoft which stand in the way of making crossplay feasible. Unless these regulations are rejected, there is no meaning,” Yoshida told Wccftech. “One of the regulations is that players with different platforms cannot chat with each other in-game. Then how do you play an MMO?

“The other regulation is you cannot make a community with plays on a different platform. You can’t form a guild, you can’t enter into a link shell, [and] no free company. So I would like to have Microsoft change their regulations.”

Just last week, Discord functionality on the Xbox platform ran afoul of its party and chat features, requiring the two apps to remain entirely separate. Using Discord for comms on the Xbox means sacrificing built-in party and chat functionality like game invites. It seems Square Enix is looking for a way around similar restrictions.

Given Xbox’s approach to cross-play and cross-platform compatibility in the Series X|S era, one wonders if Xbox would be willing to bend its rules to secure a game it clearly wants in its ecosystem. Historically unable to hold any ground in Japan against local heroes Nintendo and Sony due to its Western-heavy library, a get like Final Fantasy XIV could be enticing to Japanese players. If one of Xbox’s goals is to put more games that appeal to Asian markets on its platform, it may be a matter of meeting publishers like Square Enix halfway.

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