Final Fantasy 14 director dislikes claims that it's beaten World of Warcraft

Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida has commented on players saying Square Enix's MMO has beaten Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

Earlier this month, the Final Fantasy 14 team held a mammoth 14-hour livestream, and while it was never officially translated from Japanese into English, one fan took it upon themselves to translate a segment of the broadcast in the video below. "Blizzard is definitely aware of this, but without World of Warcraft, A Realm Reborn wouldn't exist," said Final Fantasy game director Naoki Yoshida (thanks, PC Gamer). "Our goal was to recreate a Final Fantasy version of WoW, so saying we won or lost to WoW is off-base to start with, because they were the game we aspired to be."

"The hard work we've been putting into Final Fantasy 14 did pay off," the director added, of Final Fantasy 14's storied reboot from a disastrous launch. "But this whole conversation about surpassing WoW is the wrong conversation to have and it's honestly irritating," Yoshida continued, adding that if he was the "type of guy" who bragged about his game being the best, Final Fantasy 14 "wouldn't be loved by so many people."

Recently, Final Fantasy 14 has seen a massive surge in popularity, to the point at which Square Enix actually sold out of online codes for the game temporarily. While it's not entirely clear why Square Enix's MMO has seen such a surge in popularity recently, Yoshida added that even he was somewhat taken aback at Final Fantasy 14's recent growth, saying it was "kind of scary" to him. The game even surpassed its player count, with over 47,000 concurrent players on Steam, beating out its previous record of 41,000 players.

The surge in player numbers could have something to do with the excitement surrounding the forthcoming Endwalker expansion. Set to launch later this year on November 23 for PC, PS4, and PS5, the fourth major expansion for Square Enix's hit MMO has generated a lot of attention for the ongoing game, as Endwalker has billed itself as the "final chapter in the tale of this star." As the Scions march headlong into conflict with the evil Empire, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about the next chapter in Square Enix's fantastic MMO.

Head over to our best MMORPGs ranking to see where Final Fantasy 14 placed on the final list.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.