Yesterday was Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida’s 42nd birthday, and fans across the world have been quick to find out and to fill the official forums and social channels with their birthday wishes.
Yoshida-san responded with a message and screenshots of the upcoming expansion Heavesnward, with a bit of a twist: he posted different screenshots in each post in different languages, basically challenging players to find out. Here are the posts in Japanese and in French.
Hi everyone. Producer and Director here!
Thank you very much for all your comments wishing me a happy birthday!
To receive such well-wishings from you all is truly an honor as both a game developer and an MMORPG manager.
Even on my birthday I haven’t been at home eating cake; I’m currently being chased for the final checks for the master version of Heavensward!
As thanks for all of your comments helping me celebrate my birthday, I thought I might as well leak a screenshot….
All of us here at the development team will do our very best working on Heavensward for the release. Not long to go now!
I LOVE “YOU” GUYS! : P
The screenshots below show some rather interesting elements, like the fact that the fat chocobo mount will be able to fly thanks to the introduction of flying mounts (with those chubby wings? really?), and a few vistas showing the enormous size of the maps.
If you’re wondering about the “I love “you” guys!” message at the end, that’s a pun originating from a little slip Yoshida-san did a few months back, when due to the language barrier he wrote on the forums “I love guys!” causing an inevitable spell of hilarity among the player base.
It’s no wonder that Yoshida-san is so well loved among the fans of the game. Not only his friendly and open attitude definitely gives him an approachable aura, but his leadership steered around the sinking ship of Final Fantasy XIV and turned it in the outstanding success of A Realm Reborn.
He can also be seen as the “new face” that pretty much literally changed the image of Square Enix and its attitude towards communication with the fans, starting the trend of livestreamed shows and feedback gathering that now can be seen with other games like Final Fantasy XV, Bravely Second and more.