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Square Enix Still Adding Blitzball in Final Fantasy XIV

Speaking with Kotaku, Final Fantasy 14's game director Naoki Yoshida expressed Square Enix's continued interest in adding the old FFX mini-game Blitzball into the MMO, but he's not sure to what capacity. As reported, Yoshida is torn between two options, a playable version of Blitzball or a manager-style mini-game.

If you haven't played Blitzball, or know what it is, the mini-game is somewhat like underwater basketball or soccer, or both really. Although Blitzball was a mini-game players could dive into at any given point, it had significant value to the plot of FFX's story. However, Square Enix is unsure how to introduce it into FFXIV.

“There are two different ideas that have been in the pipeline,” Yoshida said in an interview with Kotaku. The first possible option would be implementing Blitzball as a playable sport. “[If we did] that, the fans that are especially familiar with Blitzball would be excited—they’d be like, ‘Here’s the Blitzball that we’ve been waiting for,’” Yoshida said. “But looking at it as an element within an MMORPG might not be appropriate. It might not be something that people can come back to and play repeatedly. We’re worried people might come for the novelty of it, maybe play it once and leave it behind.”

Making the mini-game playable might make Blitzball a fad for a short time, but players may end up growing tired of it and end up ditching the content. The second idea would run as more of a managerial-style mini-game, where you'd become the coach or manager of your own Blitzball squad.

“As an MMORPG element, that sounds a lot more feasible or interesting,” Yoshida continued. “You can recruit a lot of NPCs, increase your roster, maybe scout other famous NPCs to be part of your team. But when you look at that, people will definitely say, ‘Well this isn’t the blitzball that I remember.’”

Both options sound feasible, but they have significant issues to face with either one. One solution could be to allow players to become the manager of their team, but also play in their own matches if they wanted, but Square Enix has yet to make a final decision.

“We haven’t decided yet,” Yoshida ended. “Once we do make that decision, we’ll make a formal announcement.”

Final Fantasy 14's latest expansion, Stormblood, is releasing on June 20 for PlayStation 4 and PC.