As gamers, we’ve typically wanted to express ourselves as much as possible in the immersive titles available to us. In MMORPGs, fans have become used to gender-locked races and character classes. However, Final Fantasy XIV is loosening up that trend by introducing a a male Viera.
This race of bunny-earned warriors have always been seen as female. Director Naoki Yoshida spoke on the subject to PlayStation Blog, saying, “One of the biggest reasons I moved forward with this decision is because there were no male Viera in Final Fantasy XII, either.” However, he knew adding this race to the game wouldn’t be easy and requires hours of playtesting and alterations to equipment. He adds, “Adding a playable race does not end with just the initial resources needed to create the race (i.e. character modeling; preparations for variations in facial features, hairstyles and head shapes; animations that are unique to each race, etc.). Even following initial implementation, the tasks required with each patch update will multiply.”
To get a male Viera into the game, the graphics staff on the development team spent half a year using their free time to make this work. Yoshida-san recalls, “They spent over half a year using what free time they had in between their normal work on the patches to consider ways to add another playable race. From this they concluded that we could probably squeeze in just one more at this time. Of course, by adding male Viera now, we anticipated people may be vocal about the absence of female Hrothgar and want to know what the situation was. Rather than waiting until (hypothetically) 7.0 to add two playable races at the same time, we realized we could actually ease the impact on our resources if we implemented these one at a time. Ultimately, I decided we should then move forward with implementing one playable race at a time, and I will make sure to explain that to our players: that’s what we did for this upcoming expansion.”
The implementation of this character was due to fan outcry for the option to play as a male Viera and this love for the series motivated the developers to make it happens.
Yoshida-san adds, “We have a desire to let our players enjoy our game even more at the very core. The development team loves our players, so when male Viera are actually implemented, we would love for you to have a smile on your faces when you play as one, and if you could say a quick “Thank you!” to the Graphics team, I’m sure they’ll be very happy. If you can do that, I think it would also serve as motivation for our developers to continue working hard.
Final Fantasy XIV is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.
In case you missed it, check out our feature on how to prepare for Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.5.
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