Skip to main content

Naoki Yoshida says FF14 Dawntrail is more than a ‘blank slate’

The old world and its mysteries still play important roles

Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail isn’t just a blank slate so the MMO game can start fresh, producer Naoki Yoshida said in a recent interview with GamesRadar. It also digs into some of FF14’s long-standing mysteries.

Yoshida didn’t say which mysteries, only that the world hasn't changed since the Zodiark episode came to a close. Which is a pretty vague statement. FF14 has a tradition of teasing story elements in one segment and not answering them for another expansion or two, if ever. The thing that interests me, though, is that Dawntrail isn’t a full break with everything else.

I have some reservations about the idea of a beach holiday interlude following the end of a major narrative arc. It’s the kind of thing you see frequently in anime, and while it serves a purpose – expanding on characters, for example, or just letting everyone decompress after all the tension – it’s the kind of thing I’d expect from post-expansion passes and not from a full expansion.

Yoshida said that, even though Dawntrail is a fresh start, the Creative Business Unit 3 team kept the same foundational ideas in mind that guided FF14 from A Realm Reborn through Endwalker.

"The important points [for Dawntrail] were 'adventure,' 'surprise,' and 'expectations for the future,'" he said. "10 years have passed since the start of A Realm Reborn, and the team has worked together to continue the development and operations of the game to try and provide an adventure of surprise for all the players. The first culmination of this process was Endwalker, but this concept has not changed. We hope that we can continue to create another big saga, not only with this expansion but also beyond it, to give players an even greater sense of achievement, surprise, and excitement."

You can also expect more references to other, non-MMO Final Fantasy games. Yoshida said turning FF14 into a "theme park" for the series helped restore fans' positivity after the game's disastrous 1.0 launch prior to A Realm Reborn, and that tradition will continue with Dawntrail.

"In accordance with the overall concept, we are aiming to make the overall game more exciting by paying homage to and drawing out the essence of various FF titles," Yoshida said. "Like the Japanese saying, 'Learn from the old and know the new,' we would like to continue to elevate the ideas of our predecessors into new FF titles."

Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail launches sometime in summer 2024 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.