Celebrating FFXI’s 20th Anniversary

To our adventurers, greetings! This is Producer Matsui of FINAL FANTASY XI.

As of May 16, 2022, FINAL FANTASY XI has finally reached its 20th anniversary. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone, referring to the “WE” of “WE ARE VANA’DIEL,” including our friends who contributed to Vana’diel thus far, the media who supported us throughout, and most of all, our adventurers who have continued to enjoy the game.

WE ARE VANA’DIEL is the culmination of everyone’s passion for Vana’diel. Since its debut on July 7 of last year, the website has been periodically updated with fulfilling content, each packed with memories.

For instance, our historical timeline, WE REMEMBER VANA’DIEL, reminded and astounded me with just how much content we implemented in 2002. Back then, it took everything we had to keep pressing forward and there was no time for reflection, but looking back now, I keenly feel that our present success is owed to the foundation that was established in the early days. We also have behind-the-stories from back then that we can finally share, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them while looking back at your own memories.

Over in WE DISCUSS VANA’DIEL, where we speak with special guests who are familiar with FFXI, our conversations traced back to the origins of Vana’diel, how the media portrayed us, how our game influenced the development of other online games, as well as the atmosphere and the perspectives of the eras leading up to the present. Personally, I really liked the analogy of how various developers were drawn to joining Square, as if they were characters coming together in an RPG. The conversations have a different flavor to them compared to interviews with FFXI developers we’ve had in the past, so I hope you’ll give them a read.

Our art gallery, WE ILLUSTRATE VANA’DIEL, has various concept artworks and illustrations on display for your viewing pleasure. The gallery is the very definition of the word “masterpiece,” considering what a special opportunity it is for all of them to be collectively available in one place. Many of them are development illustrations rarely shown to the public, so I’d be glad if you could browse through them when time allows.

To all of our participants in the survey for this website, thank you very much. I read through all of the comments from our adventurers, such as touching stories that made me nearly well up with tears in public, and harsh critiques from those hoping to contribute to the further improvement of Vana’diel. I would like to feature some of them on this website or during a broadcast, so please look forward to it.

Anyhow, these past 20 years carry a lot of meaning for me as well, but I can’t indulge in the festivities forever. This is a milestone, after all, and not the finish line. The development and operations teams will strive onwards to our 25th year, 30th year, and beyond so that our adventurers may continue to visit Vana’diel at any time. Furthermore, this website will continue to be periodically updated during our 20th year, so please check back every now and then.

Finally, to those of you viewing this website and are currently on hiatus from your adventures:
FFXI has shifted gears and is now enjoyable solo, and all scenarios can be enjoyed on your own. Those of you who were with us back in the day may be astounded by how quickly you can now level up, and how various content can be completed by calling upon Trust NPCs to accompany you. We urge you to come stop by Vana’diel to see how accessible the world has become. The development and operations teams will be awaiting your return, not to mention your fellow adventurers!

During 2022, I hope to celebrate our 20th year with all of you both in-game and outside. Furthermore, I hope that you’ll enjoy your everyday lives in Vana’diel as usual. Thank you for your continued support of this website and FFXI.

May 16, 2022
Akihiko Matsui


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