字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 I handled network and server related matters. At the time, PlayStation 2 was implementing online connectivity for the first time Of course, online connectivity was available through the Dreamcast but for the PlayStation platform it was the first time they were implementing the online element to it. So I was in charge of writing programs for network related things for the PlayStation 2, such as TCP/IP drivers Back then we were still on modems for communication transmissions, so PPP transmissions. ADSL was starting to get implemented, too I wrote programming for PPPoE for the authentication of ADSL. Really the lowest part of the network that no one would write programming for anymore, was what I was working on. So with Final Fantasy 11 it was the first time for Square to do an MMO to that scale in Japan. And there were many many different things... Am I allowed to say more? *looks at PR and laughs* But for MMO titles overseas like there was Ultima Online and other, different predecessors in the overseas market. But most of the games, if not all of them, were basically on PCs only. And so coming up with the idea of having an MMO on a console was treated as something that was almost impossible. As well this was in the PS2 era with the hard-disk, and there were so many different arguments that were going on around that. Their perspective was that it was impossible to do. So it was quite a challenge. What I believe are some of the problems in looking at that first version of Final Fantasy 14 was… that the initial concept was for the game designers to write the scripts to create the game. Of course there is an advantage of utilizing scripts in that the game designer can write the script and then it's executed quickly. You don't have to consult with an engineer to talk about how the game is structured or you don't have to debate on the different parameters that have to be set if a script is used. So the majority of the game elements were built upon the usage of scripts that kind of automate the process. The user interface was affected by this as well. When those scripts are running it uses a lot of CPU resources. The usage is extremely high to just run these different scripts. So as we try to execute something in game it led to the servers being slowed down because it's trying to execute these different scripts. And so whatever we tried to do would lead to the slowdown of the servers and then the load that was on those servers was just too heavy and we could not do anything robust or rich in terms on in-game depiction. and we could not do anything robust or rich in terms of in-game depiction. And interface-wise a lot of it was being executed via scripts, so those were some of the problems that we were facing. So the tasks just discussed were done during January 2010 to the actual release of August. When we took notice of the game not being good, was ultimately when the beta started around August, through September, October timing And then we went into the beta phase. And then more people were starting to notice that they were having a problem here In actuality, the team's feeling was that, before the release, before the beta started, people were questioning whether or not we should even release this game. Whether it is at a quality to release it to the world. Of course not officially, but amongst developers they were taking notice of it and deliberating about it. So at the time I was CFO but I did notice the biggest difference between all the issues that happened around Final Fantasy 11 versus the original 1.0 Final Fantasy 14, was that despite all the issues that were happening with Final Fantasy 11, the game was still fairly received well. But of course there were some operational issues surrounding Final Fantasy 11 and it was kind of expected for those problems to happen. But the game content itself was going well received and people were accepting and they thought that it was okay. But with Final Fantasy 14 - the 1.0 version of it. What I felt was problematic was that the game itself was not regarded very well it was actually received very poorly at and after launch. I really felt that sort of reaction. And so you are not too far from the launch of the old Final Fantasy 14. They was worry and concern within the company about can we continue doing this. As mentioned earlier the developers were already sort of sceptical even at the beta even pre-beta phase. There were feelings that this game is very premature, it shouldnt have been released to the world at this state. But before the launch there was this sort of broad feeling that maybe it will resolve itself. Maybe once it's launched maybe. Sort of like a glimpse of hope. We had nothing to back up this feeling but we were hoping that it would all work out well once we launched the title. But the magic didn't happen. Once released, our fears did come true. It was not ready to be released to the world and I think everybody already had that worry in their minds somewhere in the back of their head. And so it wasn't difficult for everybody to realize that there is some kind of fundamental issue that we need to resolve. So it wasn't difficult to convince the other team members that we were running into an issue here. The first game I have played was on the on the Japanese system it's called Family Computer. the American system I believe it's called Nintendo Entertainment System. But the original Mario Brothers was the first I played. Up until now as a child I always thought a TV is something that you look at. But when I first got a chance to play with Mario Brothers and got to hold that controller in my hand I wish I was actually playing this at my friend's house but being able to move something that's on the TV screen using a controller - it was just shocking to me. And of course another very impactful video game was the Dragon Quest. It is one of the titles that spread the whole RPG gaming in Japan. It's not about action or the back and forth of numbers but it was very story driven that was very impactful for me as well. And so that kind of prompted me to focus in on the RPG genre as well. And of course the Final Fantasy game that came out the following year after Dragon Quest took a more cinematic movie like approach to depicting these pictures. So those two games Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are definitely very memorable games for me. And then the following year one of my seniors had recommended to me Ultima Online and I joined in their beta. And so that would have been my first MMO game. And those like the third time I received such a huge shock. This time it's 3000 people concurrently playing on the same game. That was a big impact to me as well. Ultima Online, especially in the earlier days, I felt like the level of freedom was very big. Some players would have the title of "Lord" and be very gentleman-like... a sort of community leader-type, plus I created a separate, completely evil character that would kill other players. I played a lot as both. And so through Ultima Online I was able to sort of study what kind of like engineering is required for an MMO type game. So yeah around then I think I was playing games on PC just as much as I was on a console. And so I also looked into some FPS games and then also 3D MMOs Everquest was one of them. I just I got to tell you it was very difficult to obtain a package of Everquest in Japan. I would travel to Tokyo on a business trip and I would go to Akihabara and I would search like a zombie trying to find it. Moving from store to store asking "Do you have Everquest? Do you have Everquest?" This may be at risk of being cut by corporate PR but a middleware by the name of Crystal Tools was in the process of being developed company wide. And a lot of the really talented programmers were pulled from all different projects and different lines so many different projects were missing our lead programmers, our main programmers. So. I feel that that is one of the reasons that led to the failure of 1.0 as well. And then two large points that were involved in that sort of problem. One of the problems was that because Square-Enix in the PlayStation 2 generation had produced games that were revolutionary. With very high graphic quality and quality gaming experiences also. That it was regarded as perhaps on top of the line of the world that the corporation itself became very, arrogant so to speak. We had that extraneous sort of confidence that - oh we have the world's number one graphics and only we are able to accomplish that kind of quality. And I feel that that extremely large success had become a sort of shackle and I think we had become very arrogant very prideful. Back then, we had swordsmiths, artisans that make katanas We compared them to swordsmiths creating katanas one by one, by hand. And they would create world-class quality, but meanwhile the world is developing technologies so that they can cover that sort of tedious manual labor through technology. And so going back to the gaming industry once PlayStation 3 came out. Technology finally had caught up and you are able to cover those tedious task through technology but Square-Enix did not change our old methods of creating assets. And then we didn't have the resources to catch up on the technology to cover for that as well. And then the programmers we knew that we had an issue that we needed to catch up technology-wise were wrapped up in creating middleware. And of course the artists are in that sort of artisan mindset thinking that "oh I make the worlds best graphics" and so it was a very laborious and time consuming way of creating our assets. And I believe that that is one of the large problems that we had in terms of the original 1.0. So the second problem relates to - of course pride is very important but with great success. they started thinking that because they are great they dont need to look at other games. So say for example with an MMORPG. If you ask anybody who knows MMORPGs what is the most well known MMORPG that you know. If you asked 100 people I'm sure 100 people will say World of Warcraft. But did the staff members play it for Warcraft? No. None of the people were familiar with that game. So I gave that example of World of Warcraft not because I wanted to talk about whether or not the developers knew World of Warcraft or not. But I just wanted to point out that we need to look at what would be our rival and what users are experiencing in terms of the latest gameplay experiences. And I felt it was very unbelievable that no one was doing the research for titles outside of your own because you won't know where you are unless you look at other games. Even with online games. Final Fantasy 11 of course there was great success on that title as well but that was actually based on a lot of the developers looking at Everquest and they've thoroughly looked at it and studied it and played it and they applied that sort of knowledge in order to make 11 such a great game. It's like if you're trying to open a new restaurant when you go in and do absolutely no research on the surrounding competitors and open up a new restaurant, right? I was in a different team of course but I was reading up on the Internet that the response to the beta was poor and I mean at that time, of course, whenever an MMO launches I know the Internet tends to get up in arms and they try to complain about it. The development team does do server stress tests but of course the player wants to play it as soon as they can. So of course it is anticipated that server crashes and things like that. So I mean I wasn't involved in the team so I was looking at it from the outside perspective but I was thinking that because it is the same team who worked on 11 so I thought it was just the consumers comparing it to the high level of completion of FF 11 and so I thought eventually that sort of animosity would die down. But coming from an insider perspective, there were apparentaly a number of people within the original development team that though if we continued moving forward with this we were in a very bad situation. The company, Square-Enix, had turned around and told those people that well that's how it was for Final Fantasy 11's launch. We had missing functions that were a lot of negative feedback but we were able to patch it up and fix it. So the company had decided to conclude that beta phase and then go into launch. This is information that I found out when I talked with and interviewed with some of the development staff members after I had joined the project. But yeah there were indeed people within the development team that did raise their voice that it was we were in a very bad situation. But the company had ultimately decided to move forward anyway. So I believe there were three major points that I had to accomplish with this sort of transition of course the first being that the top level were going to be swapped out from the original team and then that our task force that was said was going to be sort of like the lead there would be a core team that was involved with the development. And because I was on the Dragon Quest side I did not know these people on the development team. Of course some of them I knew their names and faces but I had not had a chance to work with those people so it was literally just saying "hello!" that was kind of like my beginning and I told them that because I have not worked with you, so if you don't like what I do in my job, you are more than welcome to leave the team. But please give me about three months to work together to see what we are like what you are like what I am like and that's the kind of talk that I deliver during my speech. I did mention to them that we are going to take this challenge on one more time. At that time we didn't have any plans of A Realm Reborn just yet. But I did communicate that we're not going to give up on this project and we're still going to push through. So there were people who already knew me and they would be just as encouraged. Like 'oh yes I'm going to go and do this'. And some people reacted like 'this is this impossible you're putting too much' on us or some people just got frustrated because they did not like what was going on. So I think that was the kind of general reaction that I got. And there's a team member on the XIV sound team even now, Masayoshi Soken, was there when I did this speech in a large hall to the development team also was in charge of adjusting my microphone there and when I delivered that speech he was the only one I can still clearly remember. He was like "Yes I'm going to do it!". Plan B was apply patches to the current version of Final Fantasy 14, but alongside that in the background we would build a completely new Final Fantasy 14 Of course just listening to those two options corporate would have been like "What are you talking about, trying to divide up your team?" But I told them also because we had promised our fans that we would release a PS3 version we would need to launch this within the lifecyle of PS3. So we wanted to get the game out if not by the end of 2012, then sometime within 2013. Of course there was a very high risk, and we've never done it before in the games industry, and on top of that, we're releasing it under the same title. But I think at least by taking on this challenge we'd get the fans to realize that Final Fantasy is doing something crazy again or something really great and they will see our effort in trying to regain their trust, and trying to make good on the damage we had caused to the franchise. So that was my presentation to corporate and I was going to leave it up to them to decide upon Option A or Option B Of course as you may already be aware, corporate did choose Option B, and here we are today.