During a recent interview with Gamer, a prominent Japanese gaming website, Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida let slip that his team was at one point mulling the possibility of adding a competitive battle royale to the online role-playing game. It sounds like it’d be a whole lot of fun, too.
The mode, according to a third-party translation on Reddit (h/t Fanbyte), was conceived as being limited to Blue Mages, the unique Final Fantasy XIV job that learns skills and spells from enemies rather than by leveling up. Yoshida explained that players would need to gain abilities on the fly and navigate a rapidly shrinking arena—two hallmarks of the battle royale genre—all while fending off their fellow Blue Mages.
I’m not much of a battle royale fan and dipping my toes into Final Fantasy XIV’s other player-versus-player modes left me mostly unsatisfied, but even so, this sounds very cool. Blue Mage is a job that, while intriguing, has always intimidated me—it’s largely segregated from most of the game’s content due to its eccentricities—and a battle royale could be the perfect way to get folks like me to finally check it out.
Hey, it couldn’t be worse than that mobile battle royale Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, right?
Yoshida didn’t say if this idea ever got past the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” phase of development, but it’s obvious his team is putting a lot of thought into competitive content. And it’s paying off: Crystalline Conflict, which sees two teams battle to push a giant crystal to the opposing goal, is proving to be very popular since launching alongside the 6.1 update in April despite ongoing balance issues.
Final Fantasy XIV is currently in its “Newfound Adventure” era following the conclusion of Endwalker, its most recent (and most excellent) expansion. Current and subsequent updates are said to pave the way for the next major chapter in its storyline. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see the Blue Mage battle royale come to fruition, much like Crystalline Conflict, during a future lull between expansions.