You may think that the MMO-playing crowd is one and the same worldwide. Of course, those who may think that obviously don’t follow the differences between Eastern developed and Western developed MMOs and the design philosophies that go into them. Recently Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida was interviewed by Gamasutra and he has some interesting things to say about some survey results worldwide, and how what players want from the game was vastly different from region to region.
Some things do remain constant regardless where the player resides, but there are some rather alarming differences between what FFXIV players want in North America, Europe and Japan.
“We’ve had two surveys so far, and we’d say probably 80 percent of the answers have been the same worldwide. And then the remaining 20 percent, we found, have been requests for other changes.”
What are the differences? Yoshida-san goes on to explain.
“For example, in Japan, Japanese people have a really busy lifestyle, a lot of stuff to do, work. So, the Japanese players wanted us to keep a lot of the solo aspect, because they liked the aspect that you can solo a lot. Whereas in Europe, a lot of the European users wanted more of a Final Fantasy feel to the game. They wanted airships and Chocobos. They wanted it to feel more like a Final Fantasy game that they envisioned. Whereas the U.S. was more ‘Okay, we want parties. We want to have big battles where we get with our friends and put together strategies.'”
Quite the interesting differences. It’s odd, I would think players in the U.S. would be more solo-friendly than Japanese players, because it seems like a lot of Eastern MMOs are geared around grinding and grouping up for various dungeons and encounters. Perhaps that idea is changing, somewhat? I’m more of the soloing type, myself. I do enjoy the occasional group session, no doubt, but I’m busy, as well, and soloing just seems to fit with my play style more. If you play MMOs, what do you think? Which group do you fall into?