Triumph through adversity. Such has always been the way of Final Fantasy, which seems to exist in its own perpetual struggle. Indeed, it thrives off it - the series name famously originated from creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, working out of a then-beleaguered Square on what he believed at the time to be his last project. Later projects, such as Final Fantasy XII - a high point for the series, in many people’s own opinions - came from tumultuous development, and of course most recently Final Fantasy XV marked the end of a very long, winding and often torturous road.
None of the series' calamities, though, come close to that which befell Final Fantasy XIV upon its launch back in 2010. Naoki Yoshida at the time was working on the Wii MMO Dragon Quest X before being drafted in to help fix the mess.
None of the series' comeback stories have been quite so sweet, either, and Yoshida perhaps deserves a place alongside Cloud, Squall and Zidane as one of Final Fantasy's greatest heroes. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, launched in 2013, did more than revitalise the MMO; it added up to the best Final Fantasy in a generation. Ever since then, with expansions such as Heavensward and, most recently, Stormblood, it's only gone from strength to strength, sitting at some 10 million players - just two million short of the 12 million subscribers World of Warcraft enjoyed at its peak, and the closest any MMO has come to those dizzy heights. Not that there wasn't struggle along the way.