This past weekend at PAX Prime 2013, Square Enix held a launch event for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Lasting for three days, the event played host to stage presentations, raffles, and Titan battles. We’ve already posted some of the presentations over the weekend, but wanted to give you guys a proper write up with a bunch of pictures!
The venue for the event was adorned with several pieces of Final Fantasy XIV art. From a display in the lobby, to artwork and race specific costumes, the event had a very Eorzean feel to it. Check the bottom of this post for our master gallery of images from the event!
Fans lined up early in order to to get into the FFXIV launch event! Those who among the first 75 on day two and three were given a wristband for a special autograph session with the development team!
At the beginning of each of the three days, Naoki Yoshida, Masayoshi Soken and Michael-Christopher Koji Fox took to the stage alongside Senior Online Community Manager Matt Hilton (Bayohne) to talk about a variety of topics including the type of planning that goes into making FFXIV and some of the feedback that the developers have been seeing now that the game is finally out.
We were able to record the full presentations from the first two days- sadly the public transportation gods were unhappy on the third day, and we were only able to catch the last portion of the presentation (which I’m told was fantastic!… of course it was, since we weren’t there!) Check out the videos of the presentations we have below:
After the stage presentations every morning, fans would rush to get in line to fight the primal Titan in the hopes of coming out victorious and winning an “I Beat Titan” t-shirt.
They had five stations set up where players could challenge Titan. The fight, which is the same one that many of you have already faced during the game’s story missions, was made easier for the event by allowing for an additional four people to join in. The two White Mages, the Paladin, and the Warrior were situated in the middle of the group on the computers while Monk, Dragoon, Black Mage and Bard were on PlayStation 3 consoles on the ends.
The entire event would know when a group was victorious in their encounter with the Earth Primal because the groups would be so loud while celebrating their victories. Yoshida-san even mentioned at one point during the event that while doing interviews with the media in a room in the back, you could hear every time a group beat Titan because of the loud cheers. This proved especially funny during the raffles at the end of the second and third day. A number would be announced and suddenly you’d hear this loud cheer coming from the other side of the room- not because someone had the winning ticket, but because they just defeated Titan.
I waited in line to take on Titan, being grouped into a party of eight as we waited. Luckily I had gotten far enough in the main storyline to have completed the fight, so I was able to walk my group through it. We sat down at our station and configured our hotbars. We had about fifteen minutes to defeat Titan. That would give us a chance to give it two tries in the event that we wiped on our first run through. Sure enough, after I had given this whole speech about “don’t get hit and fall off the ledge!” to my group several times, I found myself dead, having been knocked off the ledge. Suddenly, I feel someone grab my shoulders from behind, shaking me and going “what happened!?”. I turn around and who do I see but Naoki Yoshida. He was walking around the Titan battle area in some of his free time to watch and cheer on players- which was great to see… I mean, when he’s not coming up to you and asking why you had fallen victim to the very thing you just told seven people to watch out for. Luckily, we managed to win during our second attempt. I caught Yoshida-san as he was going out to take a break and made sure to tell him “I won!” and of course immediately after that a member of my group made sure to tell Yoshida about my numerous “don’t fall off!” speeches and how I was the first to go off the ledge!
When he wasn’t doing presentations or interviews or cheering on those battling Titan, Naoki Yoshida would roam the floor and sign autographs for fans. At several points throughout the day you could see a swarm of people huddled around a table with Yoshida at its center, signing posters, games, soundtracks and whatever else the fans brought with them.
Additionally, Sound Director Masayoshi Soken was also at the event and was camped right next to the merchandise booth, ready to autograph every copy of Before Meteor that was purchased.
I managed to catch both of them on the first night to get some things autographed for myself. Earlier during the stage presentation, Yoshida had mentioned how Black Mage was probably his favorite job. I handed my Collector’s Edition to Soken to sign and he puts his autograph down right on top of the Black Mage and tells me to tell Yoshida that he signed there on purpose since it’s Yoshida’s favorite job.
At the end of day two and three, they held raffles to give away a range of items from Logitech and Astro products, to plushies and signed Collector’s Editions (which were signed right there on the stage as they were given out!). The last raffle was especially funny as Yoshida signed every single item being raffled off that night, even going as far as signing the pompom on a moogle plushie!