On March 22, 2023, Square Enix announced that Yoji Fujito will take over as the new producer of FINAL FANTASY XI, succeeding Akihiko Matsui, who has served as the game’s producer since August 1, 2012. This news was greeted with mixed reactions from fans, as Matsui had been a beloved figure in the community.
In his farewell message, Matsui expressed his gratitude to the players and the development team for their support over the years, especially during the recent 20th Vana’versary celebrations. He reflected on his approach to the game’s development and operations, admitting that he may have been too conservative at times, and expressed confidence that Fujito would be the ideal successor to continue the game’s legacy.
Fujito, in his greeting message, acknowledged the pressure of succeeding Matsui and Hiromichi Tanaka, the game’s former producer. He outlined his vision for the game’s future, which includes downsizing the development team and focusing on stabilizing the game’s operations environment for the medium and long term. He also announced plans to update Ambuscade, Prime Weapon reforging, and Master Trials in 2023, as well as introducing live events and merchandise in the real world.
Despite the changes in leadership, Fujito reassured fans that the game’s ongoing operations and support would continue, and invited them to pose any questions on the official forums. He pledged to keep FINAL FANTASY XI an enjoyable environment for players to continue their adventures in Vana’diel, and expressed his excitement for the future of the game.