FFXIV: Shadowbringers writer given emotional standing ovation at PAX West

Square Enix’s MMORPG FFXIV launched to a dismal critical and commercial reception, which saw the Japanese video game company head back to the drawing board in order to try again. Almost three years later FFXIV: A Realm Reborn released and like a phoenix from the flames a new MMO phenomenon was born. Improving even upon that, this year’s Shadowbringers expansion has been considered to be the game’s high point, which led to an emotional moment during a recent Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers PAX West panel.

The expansion’s main writer, Natsuko Ishikawa, introduced herself and her job role on-stage at PAX West and was immediately met with an overwhelming response from a room filled with some of Final Fantasy XIV‘s most dedicated fans.

She’s visibly taken back by the reaction, as told by her facial expression, holding her hands to her face, and audible nervous wavering. As her colleagues join in on the applause and the large crowd of onlookers transition to their feet for a standing ovation, Ishikawa is “overwhelmed” and moved to tears.

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Watch the moment below:

After wiping away a few tears the panel continues as scheduled, but this opening moment was truly heartwarming.

At a time where many news headlines regarding game developers interacting with their fanbases serve to highlight what has perhaps become a toxic relationship — Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella recently had to apologize for Apex Legends devs’ rude behavior, for example — the FFXIV fans present at PAX West illustrated that that isn’t always the case.

Perhaps the reaction isn’t too big of a surprise, however, as Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers received high praise all around when it launched back in July. This also isn’t the first time the game’s community showed writer Natsuko Ishikawa some love, as seen in this particularly hot Reddit thread which serves to praise her for what’s said to be the “best Final Fantasy story in almost two decades.”