Q: What is the state of the PS3 version right now?
HT: At the moment almost the same version as Windows is running on the PS3. So we are focussing on optimisation and fine tuning the detail and fixing all the bugs.
Q: Why do you think more MMOs don't make the move to console?
HT: Because MMO's are very hardcore games you really have to have PC as one of the audience, that's fundamental part of MMO business. But if you make the PC version and simply move it to console it's going to lack something which console players are looking for, and also the many parts of the MMO experience will be removed. What we're trying to do is make the game designed from the beginning focussing on PC gamers and console gamers. Also, if you make the PC version first and simply shift it to the console version it is going to double the manpower and the cost. That is one of the reasons why we think our other competitors will find difficulty with.
Q: How do you compare the first few months of Final Fantasy XIV with Final Fantasy 11?
HT: Final Fantasy XI was first launched on PS2 in Japan and then the PC version came out after six months, so we started from the console side. At that point players had a network and also had to buy external hard space for PS2 to play FFXI, so it wasn't easy for them to start playing the game in the first place. We wanted to have PC and PS3 launched, a simultaneous launch this time but unfortunately we couldn't do it so we're hoping to bring the PS3 version as soon as possible so we have the same cross-platform, cross-region experience as FF11.
Also, because FFXI started on the console side, the UI wasn't really a problem for FFXI because more players using PS2 would use their gamepads. But this time, because it's started with the PC version players are really focussed on the mouse and keyboard and usability and that is something very different from a game point of view so we are really focussing on improving the UI. There will be a new UI in the future.
Q: Technically the game is quite story driven but the primary story line only seems take place between certain levels, why is this?
HT: Since it's an RPG, it's very important to experience the storyline when you level up your character, so you don't see the ending when you're level one so it's quite natural that you gradually experience it. But we do understand that it's taking some time for players to level up to 20. We consider 1-20 quite an early stage of the game, and players are able to enjoy their class quest from level 20 onwards where you really get into the main storyline, but we do understand it's taking too long to reach level 20. We are planning to adjust the speed-up level, so they can really get to the main storyline as soon as possible.
Q: Which relates to the cap that's been put on experience you can receive daily, to keep players from playing too long. What has been your opinion on that decision now that the game has been launched?
HT: We received a lot of feedback that it's taking too long and it was longer than we actually expected, that is one of the reasons why we decided to make adjustments to that and speed it up.
Q: Having seen all the feedback, what would you have done differently within development if you could?
HT: Actually if you see the list of plans we have for the next version updates, we would like to change everything. You will be able to expect quite a few changes to the game.
Q: Was there anything you were specifically happy with in the game?
HT: First of all, the storyline and the cutscenes, those are areas we are really proud of and we hope all the players will enjoy that. Also the armoury system. We are planning to adjust it, we think it needs to be adjusted slightly to make it more unique for each class, but the system which allows players to have more flexibility and grow in different directions, having more freedom on how they're able to progress in the game. The armoury system itself is very unique to Final Fantasy XIV and it is something we're happy with.