Final Fantasy XIV Animated Ad Director Talks About the Creation Process
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Yūhei Sakuragi (The Relative Worlds, Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo) and Kitaro Kousaka (Okko's Inn) directed the commercial, which features Kana Ueda as the narrator. Animators include Yasuhiro Aoki, Kouichiro Kawano, Airi Taguchi, Takeshi Sasaki, and Shigemitsu Abe. Keiichi Motoyama and Yūdai Okuyama from the production company SIX helped plan the commercial.
In an interview with Web Newtype, Sakuragi and Okuyama discussed the trials and tribulations involved in creating the ads. Sakuragi explained that the reason why they went with hand-drawn animation for the ad was to bring out a feeling of quirkiness and individuality as a way of emphasizing the diverse content available in Final Fantasy XIV.
"One of the great things about FFXIV is that there's so much to do that each individual person can enjoy it differently and live life with their friends. Using the message 'Choose Your Life' as a linchpin, we wanted to create a festive ad that depicts a world with boundless opportunities for play - an endless theme park, so to speak."
Okuyama noted that animated ads have been on the rise lately. However, he thought that an animated ad with constantly changing themes would be unique among commercials.
The biggest difficulty was in incorporating so many designs and details into three 30-second ads. According to Sakuragi, there were 86 different characters represented throughout the ads. He added that they were lucky that the game has such robust character customization options that it was easier to design characters through the game to include in the ad.
For his next ad, Sakuragi said that he would like to tackle a CG production.
Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIV Online for personal computers in September 2010. After criticism from fans, the company revealed an updated version of the game titled Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that added a new world and story. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launched on Windows PC and PS3 in August 2013, and then on PS4 in April 2014. The game's companion app for iOS and Android launched in August.
Square Enix released the first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, titled Heavensward, in June 2015. The second expansion, Stormblood, launched in June 2017. The third expansion, Shadowbringers, will launch on July 2. The game has surpassed 16 million registered users worldwide.