Square Enix struck gold when it came to Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward‘s Dark Knight questline thanks to the lead writer for that questline, Natsuko Ishikawa. Fans loved this writer so much that she actually received a standing ovation when she was announced as the lead writer for the Shadowbringer‘s Main Scenario Questline (MSQ) in a somewhat wholesome moment back in 2019 at PAX West. Shadowbringers was highly praised for its incredibly well-written story so it comes as no surprise that Ishikawa has reprised her role as the Lead Writer for the MMORPG’s newly announced expansion, Endwalker. In an email interview with Fanbyte, Director Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) confirmed Ishikawa’s position as Lead Writer for the expansion.
…she’s cheerfully (and perhaps somewhat frantically, as does happen) pouring her heart and soul into each line of dialogue for each and every character – Yoshi-P
Fans of FFXIV were wondering what Ishikawa’s role was going to be going forward following rumours that she was going to be a part of the Final Fantasy XVI team and not focusing on future stories for the MMORPG. Yoshi-P also took the time to talk about the new environments featured in Endwalker, stating that the story in Endwalker “might be the most varied adventure.”
What was probably the strangest announcement during the stream which revealed the Endwalker expansion, was the reveal of the Island Sanctuary; a low-intensity activity that seems designed for fans of small-scale farming games like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. Development began two years ago for Island Sanctuary as a response to feedback from players who expressed their desire to be able to just roam estates and care for animals and plants.
As a more recent fan of FFXIV, all this news is incredibly exciting. Square really has something special with this MMORPG and with Ishikawa at the helm for Endwalker’s story, the next stage of the game is sure to be great! Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is set to release in Autumn 2021, however, there is still one major patch for Shadowbringers due on April 13, with the last story content for the current expansion being added sometime during May.