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Final Fantasy XIV is heading to TV from the crew behind The Expanse

A more mundane fantasy?

Picture from Brendy's coverage of the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest.

Maybe they shut down the Final Fantasy XIV servers today to give today's surprise announcement of a TV adaptation a chance to sink in. As covered by Hollywood Reporter, there's a live-action series in the works based on Square Enix's popular fantasy MMORPG. It's produced by Hivemind, the crew behind The Expanse and the upcoming TV version of The Witcher.

The TV show will tell a tale of "struggle between magic and technology to bring peace to a land in conflict", and Hivemind say that notable characters from the game will make an appearance, including heartthrob engineer Cid.

Benig produced for Sony Pictures Television, it sounds like they've got a good crew at the top levels of this project. Project leads Jason Brown (The Expanse) and Sean Daniel (The Mummy) have some experience. Worryingly, writing credits go to Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, who penned the script for Winter's Knight, a gritty fantasy origin story for Santa Claus. The project was canned, per Deadline, but that doesn't fill me with hope. Fingers crossed they got all their bad ideas of their system with that one.

Cover image for YouTube video

A story arc that the TV show will likely not cover. I'd like to be wrong, though.

Final Fantasy XIV has a very high-fantasy setting that would likely demand an enormous budget to depict in its entirety. As such, I'm hazarding a guess that the story will focus on the despotic high-tech Garlean Empire. Mostly plain old boring humans and devoid of magical power, Garleans make up for their shortcomings with technology, including computers, aircraft and robots.

Focusing on the less magical side of things would be a great excuse to create a bunch of stock industrial metal-plated sets and avoid having to render too many eight foot tall people with wildly varying skin colours. Still, I want to be wrong; I'd love to see more people try to pronounce "Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn". Til' sea swallows all.

There's no word on when they're planning on bringing the new show to small screens, but in the meantime, there's a new Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Shadowbringers, entering early access tomorrow. Plus, there's the Netflix series Final Fantasy XIV: Dad Of Light, a story about a father and son bonding through the game, inspired by real-life events.

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Dominic Tarason