When World of Warcraft Classic launches later this summer, players will get the nostalgia trip of a lifetime: A chance to return to WoW as it existed in its original form back in 2006. But WoW isn't the only MMO that's changed significantly and irreversibly over the course of its life. Though few might remember it, Final Fantasy 14 originally launched in 2010, and was Not Good. The game was rebooted in 2013 as A Realm Reborn, and went on to be one of our favorite MMOs ever. That 2010 version of Final Fantasy is forever lost to time, though.
At E3, Easy Allies interviewed Final Fantasy 14 game director Naoki Yoshida and, with WoW Classic looming, asked a reasonable question: Would Final Fantasy 14 ever get classic servers that recreated its 2010 version?
Watch the video above because Yoshida's response is pretty hilarious. Even as the interviewer is asking the question, he seems to deduce the direction its headed and busts up laughing. Though not a native English speaker, Yoshida is able to summarize his thoughts into one simple word through the laughter: "Nightmare."
Elaborating on his response, Yoshida says that Square Enix acknowledges that players have asked about this in the past, but has no plans to revisit that ugly time in FF14's history—in fact, he's worried that FF14 classic servers might even cause players to stop playing the modern version altogether.
Yep, it was that bad.
Yoshida is revered by the FF14 community as the man who saved Square Enix's ill-fated MMO from certain death and made it really good. When it first released in 2010, Final Fantasy 14 was an absolute disaster of a game.
We made poor Tom review it, and he gave it a 30, saying its best feature was the opening intro movie because everything else was buried by "one of the most heinous interfaces ever devised, and strangled by lag issues, framerate dips and a nightmarish control scheme that goes out of its way to make even basic actions like checking your inventory a long and irritating exercise in menu-faffing."
Final Fantasy 14's original release was such an unmitigated disaster that Square Enix brought Yoshida in to try and save the project. Over the course of a few years, Yoshida rebuilt the entire MMO using a new engine, culminating in an in-game event that destroyed the old world with a meteor (no, seriously) while the original FF14 was taken offline and plans to launch the new version were made. When A Realm Reborn launched in 2013 it was a significantly better game.
So, yeah, I'm not surprised Yoshida has very little interest in resurrecting that dark chapter. While everyone seems to be clamoring for World of Warcraft's long-past glory days, Final Fantasy 14 has been getting better and better with each new update—and it has a new expansion coming out on July 2, too.
If you want to find out more about Final Fantasy 14's fascinating development, No Clip has a superb documentary on it.