Hello again, all of you FFXIVers out there! Yoshi-P here, bringing you my fifty-eighth Letter from the Producer. It gives me immense pleasure to say that today, August 27, 2014, marks the first anniversary of A Realm Reborn─a major milestone that we wouldn’t have been able to reach without your support.
We’ve been through so much over the past year, and your enthusiasm, support, and feedback have been the key factor in keeping us motivated. Thank you all for a wonderful first year in A Realm Reborn!

The team and I believe that the true challenge for an MMO begins with its first year of updates, and we took this to heart as we poured our souls into the game’s development. From a player’s perspective, I’m sure there have been quite a few shortcomings in the game thus far, but we’ve continued to work at breakneck pace, and everyone on the team can hardly believe that it’s already been a year.

The operations and marketing teams have also been doing a phenomenal job organizing events over the past year, giving us an opportunity to meet face to face with players, and now they’re preparing for the upcoming fan festival. They’ve been working with such zeal, you’d think the game hasn’t yet been released. With numerous trips across Japan and the world, I’ve also been fairly busy promoting the game as I continue to live and breathe FINAL FANTASY XIV.

I still remember the start of service in August, and the unforeseen server congestion and login issues that followed. We not only had to restrict character creation and logins, but we even suspended digital sales. While thrilled with the game’s incredible reception, again, I sincerely apologize for the terrible inconvenience this caused.

Through the combined efforts of our server and infrastructure teams, we were able to stabilize the servers in the latter half of September, but the time spent doing so delayed our plans for patch 2.1, resulting in an even tougher schedule than pre-release. Despite our best efforts to make up for lost time, patch 2.1 was delayed by about a month, which I deeply regretted.

We managed to get the development cycle back on track by patch 2.15, at which time we decided to revise our release schedule. Rather than just implementing major updates every three months, we also began releasing minor updates in between, so that we can bring you new systems and features at more frequent intervals.

Patch 2.2 and 2.3 saw the introduction of various systems including the Zodiac weapons, glamour prisms, Frontline, and housing, all of which help to form the core of FFXIV. We kept our noses to the grindstone in order to bring you these systems, and before we knew it, the first anniversary was upon us.

But we’re not going to stop here. We’re going to keep on keeping on, like we’ve done so far. Patch 2.4 will bring a new class and job to Eorzea, and with work on 3.0 happening at the same time, it’s going to be a madhouse here. But no matter what it takes, we’re going to give it everything we’ve got to create exciting new adventures for you all.

I feel I may be repeating myself, but can’t stress enough how important your feedback is in keeping the team motivated. In addition to frequenting the forums, we’ve made a point of hosting events whenever possible to meet with you all in person. Even if it’s just for a moment, the opportunity to talk with fans is my greatest source of encouragement. I look forward to meeting more of you, and to this end I plan to keep on having regular events.

Now then, while today marks the game’s first birthday, we’re still not done putting the XIV in 2014! In September we have the Tokyo Game Show, and in October, the fan festival will kick off! Over the course of three months, I’m looking forward to meeting players from all over the world. FFXIV staff members the world over are putting the final touches on our plans for the big event, and it’s going to be amazing!

I can’t thank you all enough for your feedback and encouragement, but as a start, we’ve collected an assortment of anniversary messages from the team, and I hope you’ll take a moment to read them on the anniversary website.

As I approach the end of this letter, I’d like to say a special thanks to our legacy players, who have stood by us through thick and thin. Without your staunch support these past four years, we wouldn’t be here to celebrate the first anniversary of A Realm Reborn. Our journey in Eorzea is just beginning, and I look forward to creating a beautiful world we can be proud to explore together for years to come.

The anniversary celebration will continue for a while, with lots of events for you to enjoy. I hope to see you all in the weeks and months to come as a fellow player and Warrior of Light in Eorzea.

See you all soon─at Tokyo Game Show, the fan festival, and our next FATE event! Here’s to another great year of FFXIV!