Monster Hunter: World and Final Fantasy XIV are both dense games that keep you coming back with new quests and events. In one way, it makes sense that the two would eventually come together, but it’s still a surprise we didn’t see coming. Revealed at Square Enix’s press E3 2018 press conference, the teaser left plenty of questions. Yesterday, it was confirmed the content is not just coming to Final Fantasy XIV, but also Monster Hunter: World. During E3, I had the opportunity to chat with Monster Hunter: World producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and FF XIV director Naoki Yoshida, and learned more about what this collaboration means for both games.
A Promise Between Friends
About seven years ago, Yoshida and Tsujimoto met at a bar arcade and became fast friends. Yoshida is a huge Monster Hunter fan, starting from the series’ inception on PlayStation 2 back in 2004. He’s since logged 1200 hours, laughing while saying he’s “hardcore.” Yoshida was just finishing up his work on the Dragon Quest series and was about to take over as director for the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn revamp. With the MMORPG’s rocky start, Tsujimoto was worried and said, “If you are really serious about revamping XIV, let me know what we can do to help, what [Monster Hunter] can do to help. We’ll collaborate on something.”
Yoshida resolved to get Final Fantasy XIV in a better state before even considering combining forces. “I wanted Final Fantasy XIV to be on an even playing field with Monster Hunter,” he said speaking to MMORPG’s quality and popularity. With two expansions behind the MMORPG alongside World launching, the time was ripe for their promise to work together to become a reality.
What To Expect
Both games will feature content from the other. So far we’ve seen Monster Hunter’s Ratholos and Final Fantasy’s Behemoth teased. The pair confirmed these monsters would be a part of the crossover. As a fan, Yoshida proposed Ratholos to make an appearance in FF XIV. “When I first encountered Ratholos in [the first game], I was just beaten to a pulp,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘How can one human being defeat [this] dragon?’ [However], as I continued to challenge the monster, I was able to beat the character. In my mind, it left a very strong impression on me. Ratholos is a very iconic monster that appears.”
Both Yoshida and Tsujimoto were tight-lipped on exact details, but said this crossover would provide a substantial amount of content. “We didn’t want to have just simply a monster of each respective series just show up,” Yoshida explained. “It’s not going to be fun to just have them appear. We’ve kind of gone outside limits and ignored what cost or bandwidth it’s going to take to develop this.”
The teams needed to think of how to get each games’ players enjoy the content alongside attracting the other’s fanbase. “We feel that volume-wise, it is pretty significant,” Yoshida said. “It does have some kind of story aspect as well and we feel like it won’t disappoint be disappointed.” That sentiment goes as far as the cosmetic possibilities, which the teams are not elaborating on at this time, but Tsujimoto confirmed our suspicions that we’ll get some gear from the Behemoth we saw in the trailer in Monster Hunter: World. Yoshida played coy, not confirming what would be on the table for awards. It’s in the realm of possibility that a Palico, also featured in the announcement trailer, could show up as a pet in Final Fantasy XIV or it could be something for your character to use or wear to commemorate completing the event.
One of the biggest challenges facing the crossover was figuring out how to fit their iconic characters in each game, which play much differently. “From the Monster Hunter side, the game is very action-packed as compared Final Fantasy XIV, so having Behemoth appear in Monster Hunter: World, I think fans can be excited about how it would behave in an action game, what kind movements or attacks it will unleash. We tried our best to make it crazy,” Tsujimoto said. “For XIV’s case, we really had to set up a new gameplay mechanic,” Yoshida teased. “It’s going to feel very different from your typical in Final Fantasy XIV.”
The Timeframe and Requirements
Those worried they’ll have to jump into the content as soon as it launches later this summer should find relief in knowing that the event is not limited time. “It’s something that we want to keep so players can jump in at any time whenever they are ready to try the content,” Yoshida confirmed. For both games, there will be some conditions to explore the content. While we don’t know exactly what those are for Monster Hunter: World, Final Fantasy XIV requires you to be level 70 and have completed the expansion Stormblood before taking it on. These requirements were done for good reason. “This collaboration wasn’t about bringing in new players,” Yoshida explained. “This is going to be challenging content. We didn’t want to have Ratholos appearing in XIV and being a dinky level 15.”
So far no decisions have been made if the content in each game will launch simultaneously, but both Yoshida and Tsujimoto stressed that the events will launch close together. “We’re both going into this very serious, very gung-ho about this content,” Yoshida said. “We have deep respect for each other’s titles, and we’re doing something really crazy.”