Square Enix today pulled back the curtain on the collaboration between the Nier Automata and Final Fantasy 14 dev teams. A bonus episode of The Creation of Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers delves into the design of the Nier crossover content between the two teams for the MMO.
You can see the bonus episode just below, in which Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida chats pretty candidly with Nier's Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito, director and producer on Nier Automata respectively. It turns out that aside from writing the Nier content for the crossover, the latter two Automata devs acted as playtesters for the crossover, and they really struggled to clear the Copied Factory Raid in Final Fantasy 14.
"We couldn't stop wiping!" explains Saito, mentioning that they kept on "eating dirt." Taro adds that he was "dying immediately all the time because it was so difficult," and he has "no idea how Final Fantasy 14 players could clear the content so easily." I'd highly recommend watching the episode above, for a talk between some of the most charismatic developers in the business (as I found out for myself when I interviewed Naoki Yoshida last year).
The bonus episode is a really nice chat about where the idea for the crossover came from, and Yoshida's mindset when approaching collaborations. The Final Fantasy 14 director mentions that if they were to simply "swap costumes" for a collaboration it would be easy, but very boring for players.
So instead, we got the Yorha Dark Apocalypse event in Final Fantasy 14, which saw the MMO players raiding a massive robot factory from Nier Automata in the Copied Factory Raid. The storyline of the collaboration is actually set to continue in patch 5.3 for Final Fantasy 14, where players will visit the Puppet Bunker, another location from Nier Automata. There's no release date yet for this patch introducing the next stage of the collaboration.