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Valve Boss Gabe Newell Says His Son Got Him Into FFXIV

Pentamelding claims another soul.

With 25 million registered players, Final Fantasy XIV continues to reach a wide variety of players. Even the father of Final Fantasy himself has been getting in on the action. It’s apparently going as high as famed veteran game developers and tech founders if recent interviews are any indication.

Reviews for the Steam Deck, the new portable PC from Valve, have been published and units are being shipped. Alongside the reviews are a number of interviews with key people at Valve, including founder Gabe Newell. In an interview with PC Gamer, which is largely about Newell’s thoughts on the ‘metaverse’ concept, he admitted that a lot of what’s being touted is already available in games like FFXIV.

“Most of the people who are talking about metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. And they’ve apparently never played an MMO. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’ll have this customizable avatar.’ And it’s like, well… go into La Noscea in Final Fantasy [XIV] and tell me that this isn’t a solved problem from a decade ago, not some fabulous thing that you’re, you know, inventing,” Newell told PC Gamer.

The mention of La Noscea in that quote is likely Newell talking about Limsa Lominsa and the cornucopia of players milling about the Lower Decks’ Aetheryte plaza in their best glamours. Standard character looks, meticulous glamour, and even Fantasia enthusiasts all mix and match in the plaza, alongside dancing players, role-players, and Bards banging out familiar gaming tunes.

Newell doubled down on his affinity for FFXIV in another interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Near the end of the interview, when asked about what he’s currently playing, he mentions that after a long time playing World of Warcraft, he’s moved to FFXIV. Apparently, his son’s complaints about high-level crafting prompted the shift.

“I’m playing Final Fantasy XIV,” said Newell. “One of my sons was playing a bunch of Final Fantasy and he wanted me to play. He wanted to be mad about stuff, like he’d be pentamelding some piece of gear, and it would break 10 times in a row and he’d come in and try to complain [to] me about it. And I’d like, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ And that’s a pretty good game, it has great controller support and so on, so that’s what I’ve been playing.”

Even in a video interview with IGN, Newell also mentioned moving on from WoW and how he’s been playing FFXIV on the Steam Deck. Newell said he’s been raiding with his son, who he quoted saying, “‘Be my Healer who doesn’t let me die when I’m tanking.’”

Regardless, we welcome a new player to the fold. That’s especially cool given that FFXIV is playable on Valve’s new standalone system. (IGN has a video of FFXIV gameplay!) If you’re lucky enough to get a Deck, maybe you can raid Pandaemonium or send your retainers on ventures while you’re on a bus or plane, if your internet connection can hold up.

About the Author

Mike Williams