FFXIV Composer Masayoshi Soken Opens Up on Battle With Cancer, Shares Tearful Reunion with Yoshi P
Square Enix held on the May 15-16 weekend the Final Fantasy XIV Fanfest event, most notably revealing a new class and the release date for the FFXIV Endwalker expansion – and amidst the celebrations, composer Masayoshi Soken revealed his successful battle against cancer and how the Warriors of Lights, FF14 players, have been supporting him emotionally.
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On May 16, at the end of the FF14 Fanfest event, as the Square Enix staff took turns to say their goodbyes to the fans, Masayoshi Soken opened up about his battle against cancer. Following the event, fans around the world flooded Twitter with the hashtag #WelcomeBackSoken.
Masayoshi Soken first started his speech by thanking all FF14 players. He started by going back to March 2020, how his FF14 band The Primals had a concert planned that was canceled with the pandemic, and how he was diagnosed with cancer right after. Even so, Soken kept working at the hospital.
FFXIV composer Masayoshi Soken opens up on battle with cancer
Masayoshi Soken: “I spent 6-7 months in the hospital, till October 2020. I didn’t want to stay there doing nothing, so I had a special arrangement with Naoki Yoshida and CEO Yosuke Matsuda to keep working. I had a lot of support from my sound team as well.”
Soken then mentioned chemotherapy and how the fans’ love supported him: “Chemotherapy was incredibly exhausting, but when I finished To The Edge, which released with Patch 5.3, seeing the players’ reactions from all over the world is what gave me strength.”
Soken also explained he was able to attend the Fanfest as his cancer is almost in full remission, thanking Naoki Yoshida, CEO Matsuda, and all the HR department of Square Enix who made arrangements for him to keep working. Soken also explained that besides these parties, the FF14 development team did not know about his cancer.
Soken thought that if he told the team, it would affect their performance. And being treated the same as usual pushed him forward. He also kept working on To The Edge till the last minute, in order to make it fit perfectly with the cutscenes.
Masayoshi Soken ended by thanking all FF14 fans once more: “All of your comments and love resonated in my heart and brought me back. It made me realize games can really heal someone. I will continue to give it my all to create great games for everyone.”
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Naoki Yoshida / Yoshi P comments
Naoki Yoshida, crying, then added he struggled about whether to let Soken keep working or not, and keeping it a secret from the staff. And how this is nothing compared to what Soken went through.
Yoshi P welcomed his “best friend” back, and shared his wish for the pandemic to settle down quickly. To organize an in-person Fanfest again where they can go and meet all the fans together, and plan new concerts for The Primals.
You can watch Masayoshi Soken’s emotional message from the 10:36:38 mark of the event’s livestream:
It’s also Important to note Masayoshi Soken held a concert during the livestreams. On May 15, the first day of the event, Soken delivered an incredible performance of LaHee during the concert part.
The Endwalker extension will be launching on November 23, 2021. Square Enix is also working on Final Fantasy 16.
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Lastly, while Square Enix did not reveal the composer for Final Fantasy 16 yet, it’s likely to be Soken. As you can feel his vibes in the JRPG’s reveal trailer. Assuming he is the composer, it’s possible he might have worked on the FF16 OST alongside the FF14 Shadowbringers tracks while in the hospital.