FFXI Producer Akihiko Matsui Handing the Reins Over to Director Yoji Fujito

22 Mar 2023

Today, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy XI Producer Akihiko Matsui will be stepping down from the Producer role that he took over in 2012. Taking his place, will be Yoji Fujito, who was previously the game’s Director.

In messages shared with the community today, Matsui revealed that Fujito had expressed interest to succeed the position. He notes that one of the bigger changes to the game in recent years, the updated installer, was actually Fujito’s idea.

Producer Fujito announced that he is downscaling the Final Fantasy XI team in order to “provide more leeway for our operations to continue” citing a desire to allow employees to further their careers and experience new opportunities instead of being dedicated to working on FFXI’s “decades-old technology.” In exchange for the version updates becoming more compact, Fujito says that they will focus on “stabalizing our operations environment for the medium and long term.” This includes replacing some of the server hardware that’s currently supporting FFXI to ensure long-term stability.”

Fujito also expresses an interest in holding live events, and releasing more merchandise when the time is right.

He urges players to take any of their questions and post them onto the official forums so that he can answer them in future Freshly Picked Vana’diel and FFXI Digest videos.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a chance to talk Matsui and Fujito about the game. In the interview, Fujito stated that, at the time, the game had a total of six planners and no dedicated engineers, with QA also being a different department. It’s hard to imagine the size of the team after the planned downscaling. What it does look like though, is that Square Enix is set to continue support and operations for FFXI into the foreseeable future, regardless of how small the content updates may be.

Image courtesy of Square Enix.