Check out the hottest discussion topics surrounding Final Fantasy XIV.
Tanaka or Yoshi: Who's the Man?
One has more experience, while the other is younger and more outspoken. One has a track record of producing strong games, while the other is in the midst of turning around a game that had been left for dead. Hiromichi Tanaka could be called the father of the Final Fantasy franchise, while Naoki Yoshida is the new kid on the block.
Who would you rather have in the driver's seat of Final Fantasy XIV? This question is the subject of a lengthy thread on the official Lodestone forums. While I'm unquestionably thankful that Yoshi-P was promoted to FFXIV's lead role, there's no denying that Tanaka is a skilled developer who simply dropped the ball when managing this game.
See the thread on The Lodestone forum.
Or discuss this in the ZAM forums!
During my time working for ZAM, I've had the pleasure of meeting both of these fine game developers. That's one of the things I'll always be thankful for during my time in this position. I grew up with the Final Fantasy franchise, and to meet two people with so much influence over the direction of this franchise was a real honor. I was especially thrilled to meet Tanaka (at the Final Fantasy Fan Fest in 2008).
I've played Final Fantasy XI since 2004 (still play, in fact), and Tanaka had a huge hand in the hardcore, imersive feel of that game. That's why I had such high hopes for his vision of Final Fantasy XIV. Unfortunately, the game fell far short of its expectations. Actually, the game fell far short of basic industry standards. Perhaps it was Tanaka's fault, or maybe he really was forced into a bad launch by his superiors. Regardless, Final Fantasy XIV was released with too many problems to rehash. If the game ever recovers from those launch day issues, it will be a gaming miracle.
Naoki Yoshida has provided hope that such a turnaround is possible, and that's why he's the guy I'd rather have at the helm. His vision for FFXIV may be more mainstream than the game Tanaka envisioned, but the guy knows his audience and he clearly has fans of the franchise in mind. He's a fantastic communicator, and from our outside perspective, he seems to be an equally effective task manager. His development team is sticking close to an ambitious schedule of patches en route to the massive launch of Version 2.0. More importantly, Yoshi-P is letting players know that there are long-term plans for FFXIV.
The way people think about FFXIV is already changing. The game has improved tremendously, and it will only be getting better. A lot of people are excited to see what Square Enix unveils at E3. We're not even halfway through the year, but already people are buzzing about the relaunch of this game.
I don't think FFXIV would be at this point without what Yoshi-P has done. Hiromichi Tanaka is a great developer whose name should not be tarnished by his failings with FFXIV. However, it's Yoshi-P's endeavors to lift this game from the ashes that could forge his legacy as Square Enix's next great developer.