Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest was basically Disneyland for FF fans

The Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest Europe came to an end a few weeks ago, and after attending, I felt like it was a joyous celebration of not just FF14, but everything Final Fantasy related.

The Final Fantasy 14 Fanfest is a celebration of all things FF14. The gigantic MMO is entering the teaser round for an upcoming expansion and is celebrating the game’s 10th anniversary in its current version. We headed over to London’s Excel Center to see exactly what Square Enix has in store for players.

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FF14 Fanfest EU with Dawntrail key artwork aboveSquare Enix

The festival began with a palpable atmosphere of excitement as the latest trailer for the upcoming title “Dawntrail” was released. The audience erupted in enthusiastic cheers and applause, showcasing new character moments and a brand new class. It was clear that almost everyone in attendance were die-hard Final Fantasy fans.

Director Naoki Yoshida took the stage and wowed the audience while sporting a custom cosplay of the upcoming “Viper” class, which comes equipped with dual swords and promises a more technical melee DPS class for players to look forward to . Dawntrail, as its name suggests, marks a new chapter for Final Fantasy 14. The previous expansion, Endwalker, concluded a storyline ten years in the making.

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By now everyone knows the story, Final Fantasy 14 was initially released to great success and eventually the development team had to start over, with a new director and a new approach. A Realm Reborn breathed new life into Final Fantasy 14 and made it the massive MMO it is today.

To regain players’ trust, the developers began releasing regular updates on development and what to expect from each patch. This decades-long bond between player and developer was clearly evident as Naoki Yoshida and localization director Koji Fox had a great rapport with the audience throughout the keynote.

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Respect for heritage

Hironobu Sakaguchi at the fan festivalSquare Enix

Hironobu Sakaguchi, one of the original creators of the Final Fantasy series, was also present at the festival. In one panel, he detailed his journey through Final Fantasy 14 and how he eventually mastered the game’s most difficult content and founded his own “boutique” fashion brand within the title.

But Sakaguchi’s decline in Final Fantasy 14 was also due to the sheer number of major FF titles that FF14 spawns over the course of your time with him. FF4 references abound throughout Dawntrail, and the MMO even brought back veteran author Yasumi Matsuno to write a questline themed around Final Fantasy Tactics. Therefore, it is often said that Final Fantasy 14 is just a big Final Fantasy theme park, and the organizers of the Fan Fest in London clearly understood the task.

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Fan Fest was like a big Final Fantasy theme park

Of course, Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest isn’t just a room with a few development panels. Instead, the exhibition space was peppered with recreations of various locations from Final Fantasy 14. From Ul’dah to Limsa Lominsa to the Gold Saucer itself, each location was full of carnival-like activities to take part in, and they were all incredibly well thought out. The fishing at Limsa Lominsa proved to be a great success, as did the craft section where participants were able to make an FF14-style badge to take home.

One of my favorite aspects of the event was the Golden Saucer. Each participant receives a “Cactpot” ticket, an in-game lottery, and the activity works 1:1 with its FF14 counterpart, with participants taking home huge prizes through the luck of the draw.

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Killer cosplays

Yoshi-P at the fan festivalSquare Enix

There were also special photo spots equipped with props to hold and statues to take photos nearby. Considering how many intricately designed cosplays were showcased at the event, it sometimes felt like we were walking through Eorzea itself. On the second day of the event, we were also invited to a cosplay walk where participants could show off their cosplay skills. It was a joy to be treated to the loving, fan-made recreations of the game’s characters, and it’s clear that the community still supports the decade-old game.

Naoki Yoshida announces further collaborations

According to recent reports, FF14 is a big moneymaker for Square Enix Results reportsSo it’s no wonder that the team wants to keep the players involved. We had the chance to ask Naoki Yoshida himself a question during an after-hours roundtable interview at Fanfest, with the director promising that popular collaborations like FF15 and Yokai Watch will be returning. The team is also considering bringing back more limited events should the community clamor for them again.

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Additionally, Dawntrail will also introduce a Final Fantasy 11-themed Alliance Raid series, which promises to be a major return for fans of the series’ original MMO, which debuted in 2002. But with Dawntrail set for release, it could be a while before we learn more about the titles themselves.

We’ll have to wait until the next Fan Fest for more Dawntrail details

The next time we’ll hear more details about the new expansion from the FF14 development team is at the Japanese Fan Fest, scheduled to take place on January 7, 2024. But if we were to say something about Fan Fest, there is supposed to be a Final Fantasy theme park. The series is rich enough to cover many different areas, and the possibilities are almost endless for the number of attractions you can experience. When can we explore a real Midgar or Valisthea?

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Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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