FFXI 20th Anniversary Toshio ‘Foxclon’ Murouchi Interview Appears

FFXI 20th Anniversary Toshio ‘Foxclon’ Murouchi Interview Appears

FFXI 20th Anniversary Toshio ‘Foxclon’ Murouchi Interview Appears

As part of the FFXI 20th anniversary series of interviews, Square Enix General Manager of Community & Service Division Toshio “Foxclon” Murouchi discussed his time with both the MMO and acting as a GM for Ultima Online. While people likely know him know as a FFXIV Global Community Producer who often shows up on Letter from the Producer Live with Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida, he has an extensive background with other games. This first part of a multipart interview dealt with his beginning in the company and approach to FFXI.

Initially, Foxclon brought up moving from EA and Ultima Online to Square Enix and FFXI. He noted how when FFXI Global Online Producer Sage Sundi transferred over to Square, he was one of the first three to go to the company. He started right before the first beta, and was involved slightly in that test to check features. He also mentioned that while working on Ultima Online, the Japanese operations team got in trouble for “making a uniquely colored variant of a weapon” for a winning player during an event.

Foxclon also brought up the neutral approach Square Enix decided upon when handling issues. He noted the game is more protective of beginners. Here’s the official response from the first part of his FFXI 20th anniversary series interview.

Over the years, however, we started to see an issue where beginners became easy targets for those kinds of scams. Even though the premise was “anything goes,” a consensus was starting to form about where we ought to draw the line, and the mindset of “take care of the beginners” started to take over, which is when FFXI launched.

So with FFXI, instead of saying “everything is your responsibility,” we discussed where we’d draw the line in terms of what players couldn’t defend themselves from, and as a result, FFXI was more protective of beginners than the rules of Ultima Online in the early days.

Foxclon also noted that consistency was prioritized. He noted:

At the time, the internet was rife with all kinds of stories regarding GMs in EverQuest, who supposedly spoke candidly when mediating arguments, revived everyone, or gave away money. We didn’t take that approach in FFXI; instead, we opted to minimalize preferential treatment and have every GM address the same issue in the same consistent manner as much as possible.

As an example, let’s say the owner of a candy store generously included a few extras sweets in someone’s purchase. Especially in Japan, even a heartwarming act like that can be taken out of context and spread on the internet, and other people would be indignant about how unfair it is and demand the same treatment.

Therefore, we chose to go with uniformity in our approach. In hindsight, the policies we ended up with may feel unsympathetic in some areas, but it’s because we were consciously prioritizing consistency at the time.

The second part of the Foxclon interview will come to the We are Vana’Diel FFXI 20th anniversary site at a later date. Final Fantasy XI is available for PCs.

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