The director of Final Fantasy XIV’s 57-game winning streak likely earned Zangief big nerfs in Street Fighter EX 2

There’s a running gag in the fighting game community that Final Fantasy XIV, the hugely successful massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), is a retirement home for ex-fighting game players.

As it turns out, the director and producer of this game, Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P), once nerfed Zangief in the Street Fighter EX series due to a 57-game win streak, where he also throttled the game’s developers in the process.

The roots of the fighting game run deep, and Yoshida told the story back in 2018 in an interview with 4Gamer over Reddit/ Twitter. Yoshi-P was at an Amusement Machine Operators’ Union (AOU) trade show now known as the Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO), a long-standing trade show where video game developers showcase their arcade games.

The story gets a bit murky here, as the exact game and date aren’t clarified during the interview, but based on what we know of that timeline, it was probably around 1997 or 1998, and Arika did a location test (loctest). at the AOU convention, probably for Street Fighter EX 2.

It used to be common for fighting game developers to hold tests before releasing a game to tweak the balance and get a feel for how it would be played by the general public.

The person who would go on to produce and direct Final Fantasy XIV went on a 57-game win streak — and even accepted — at the event, defeating three of Arika’s developers. Yoshida said that he destroyed them.

This resulted in Zangief being heavily modified in the release version of Street Fighter EX 2. Zangief was widely considered one of the best characters in Street Fighter EX in 1996, but was seen as much weaker in its 1998 sequel. According to Yoshida, this all had to do with him.

Zangief tends to be one of the most polarizing characters in the entire Street Fighter universe in terms of his balance, as this isn’t the first time a player has had a huge win streak with him in a location test and has prompted the developers to nerft him because of how which also happened in Street Fighter 2.

The fact that the story repeated itself a few years later in another game starring Zangief is pretty hilarious.

Zangief’s playstyle can lead to amazing runs from players when they figure out how to circumvent his numerous disadvantages, as his okizeme and squeezing skills are often top of the class or close once he catches up with the other player.

There are many video game developers who have created hugely successful titles that can trace parts of their history back to Capcom’s Street Fighter 2 and the fighting game revolution that took place after its release in 1991. We can now add Final Fantasy XIV director and producer, Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P), to this list.

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