Final Fantasy 14 has crossed over with everything from Monster Hunter and Nier to Yokai Watch and Fall Guys. But there’s one video game crossover that remains at the top of director-producer Naoki Yoshida’s list: Diablo.
That ambition hasn’t diminished in the three years since, with Yoshida reiterating at this weekend’s Final Fantasy Fan Festival in London that Diablo is still the ‘collaboration of his dreams’.
“I mentioned this in the past, but I’m a huge Blizzard fan,” Yoshida reaffirmed. “So, I mean, if we could just make it work then I would be so happy to see some sort of collaboration with Diablo.”
While Diablo is still the game that Yoshida would like most to bring into FF14, the developer admitted that Diablo’s mature content and “hardcore” tone – in other words, buckets of blood, misery and an abundance of spikes, apparently – might make it difficult to work into Final Fantasy XIV’s lighter world. (Though, given the existential dread and multidimensional suffering in Endwalker, perhaps it’s not a million miles away.)
“Diablo has quite a, I would say, hardcore graphics outlook in terms of the world,” Yoshida observed. “So, you know, you see spikes here and there. Lots of spiky things and that. In terms of the ratings, it might be a bit difficult. Of course, on the other hand, we don’t really want to disappoint fans of the franchise as well. So, yeah, it’s a tricky one.”
Filing those spikes off to a less brutal vision of Diablo’s world of demons, undead and death probably isn’t the answer, either.
“If we go for a softer version of Diablo in XIV, of course, maybe that’s not what people want, as well,” Yoshida said.
While Blizzard are apparently yet to return Yoshi-P’s calls – perhaps because they’ve been a bit busy these last few years – Final Fantasy XIV has forged ahead with plenty of other crossovers, including this year’s somewhat unexpected collab with bean-racing party game Fall Guys.
Yoshida said that while most Final Fantasy 14 crossovers tend to come about from his direct discussions with other developers – as was the case with the game’s Monster Hunter Rathalos fight, which Yoshida suggested to series creator Kaname Fujioka and Monster Hunter World producer Ryozo Tsujimoto after “plann[ing] in my head for a long time” – the MMO’s Fall Guys minigame arose after developers Mediatonic approached the FF14 team.
“They wanted to maybe have some sort of collaboration and they raised that through the European Square Enix team,” Yoshida recalled. “We replied, and we said, ‘Well, hey, we love Fall Guys as well. So definitely, we would be interested.’”
Yoshida added that the depth the XIV team go to in bringing other games to the MMO – including an in-game Fall Guys course, battles with brand new gameplay mechanics and custom questlines – often surprises other developers who expect little more than an in-game skin.
“In those cases, we also make our own proposal and we send that on to the other company,” he continued. “And generally, they get quite surprised. They’re like, ‘What? You don’t want to do just costumes?’”
For the FF14’s part, they’re apparently quite happy to put their all into introducing Final Fantasy 14 players to other video games in an effort to support fellow developers. (I’m sure Diablo is doing just fine, though.)
“Whenever we do these collaborations, it’s more like our policy to create it as a crossover. So we’re putting all of our energy and all of our motivation into it,” Yoshida said. “Through this action, we want to kind of generate more hype and excitement for the games industry. And so if it’s something that will get 14 players happy, then we would definitely want to go through with them.”
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