News center
We implement a flawless quality system to ensure excellent product output.

Even Final Fantasy’s producer is playing Zelda

May 16, 2023

By Ash Parrish, a reporter who has covered the business, culture, and communities of video games for seven years. Previously, she worked at Kotaku.

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Even Naoki Yoshida cannot resist the allure of Zelda.

Yoshida is a busy, busy man. Not only is he in the middle of a press tour promoting the soon-to-be-out Final Fantasy XVI, but he's also working on the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. Naturally, that leaves him little time for personal pursuits, but apparently, he hasn't let his demanding schedule get between him and the game launch of the summer.

During the downtime ahead of today's Final Fantasy XIV developer livestream — a regular event in which game director Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi talk about new additions and updates to the game — Yoshida was seen playing a Switch.

Naturally, fans assumed he was playing Zelda because... who isn't right now. And he was! Yoshida directed his attention to the camera and turned his Switch around to reveal he was playing Tears of the Kingdom on the fancy new Zelda-themed OLED Switch.

Yoshida put on his producer hat to conduct the Live Letter stream without distraction, but the event was enough to get the hashtag "吉田ゼルダ" or "Yoshida Zelda" trending in Japan.

Looking at a close-up of the Switch screen, it looks like Yoshida has two rows of hearts. That means he either just started the game when Link still has his full power or he's put in a lot of time to buff Link up between now and the game's launch in Japan some 24 hours ago in US time. As someone who's devoted an unholy amount of time to the game in an equally unholy timeframe... mood.

If Zelda isn't your thing and you’re more concerned about emotionally unavailable villains-turned-allies and the upcoming patch 6.4 for Final Fantasy XIV, you can watch the Live Letter here on YouTube.

/ Sign up for Verge Deals to get deals on products we've tested sent to your inbox daily.