Long hours, perhaps no heat in winter outside business hours*, and somebody's pet Malboro bad-breathing on his neck, it's no wonder he gets sick so often. Though working with chocobos so often, he might need to watch out for catching horse-bird flu.
The strange thing about it all, though, is that I've never heard a developer of another MMO reveal such a crazy schedule and still only plod through a small handful of relatively minor fixes given an entire year and a half. All I'm saying is that at least a meth head manages to meticulously clean the entire house in under a day. >_>
There's something weird going on/been going on at Square-Enix. As noted, his reign in FFXIV has been surpisingly uneventful for the length of time and the amount of change needed, but also FFXIV pre-Yoshi took nearly 6 years and they had so little to show for it. Square of the early '00s took 2 1/2 years to develop FFXI and the whole online architecture and had a lot more to show with FFXI at launch and even FFXI in beta, which was 2 years in (and word is development ramped up significantly when Chrono Cross' translation into English was finished, which puts it at a little over 1 year). Either Tanaka decayed or the company decayed (or both). Tanaka's FFIII DS turned out fine. And it's beyond just him because FFXII under Matsuo was seriously drifting with its 4 year development. This is even beyond the quality questions arising from FFX -> FFXIII and Kitase/Toriyama essentially taking over FF and Ito, Kitase's natural counterbalance, being sequestered in some secluded cloister in SE headquarters (Kitase= mr. movie/graphics, Ito= mr. gameplay, Toriyama= mr. FPS/I hate RPGs, Matsuo= mr. tactics). *: There's a great interview with the lead developer for the NES game Kid Icarus. He noted how the game was made in autumn and the heat gets turned off at the end of the business day, and he worked many a night in the office, often slept in there programming the game and there were some chilly nights then. This had quite an influence on the game, World 2 (the overworld) being very icy and hot springs being used to replenish Pit's HP. Japan is very different from the US in terms of heating. Central heat isn't nearly as prevalent. They still use room heaters and heated tables. And there's probably something about eggplants at Nintendo that they found their way into a number of games, evolving to their most dangerous form in Kid Icarus, the dreaded Eggplant Wizard, the deadly yin to the deadly yang of the Metroid
I'd expect some of his illness(es) to work their way into the game somehow. Just like with above, the Final Fantasy Legend trilogy on Gameboy, particularly 2 & 3 had a lot of character in enemy names. FFL3 had 1 enemy named after a clown statue outside an Osaka restaurant and several enemies with names very specific to Japan (a band hired to promote a business, the name of a stand-up comedy corporation, a brand name of fireworks, bosses named from various anime characters or Sentai-style show villains etc), given bland names in English. FFL2 had a series of robot enemies named after the mecha/robot anime the developers watched as kids and there was a Virus enemy family. Most had typical names, but one's name in Japanese was the name of an outbreak that affected Japan when the developers were kids, or if they weren't born yet, older siblings. It would kind of be the equivalent in English of naming an enemy Chickenpox, or going older, Measles, Mumps, Polio.
Somewhere out there, there is a road with 2 signs on it. One says "No Trespassing". The sign right next to it says "FREE KITTENS".