The idea to develop the game as an MMORPG was conceived by executive producer Hironobu Sakaguchi when he was impressed by western MMOs, such as EverQuest. He convinced Square to begin the development of their own online game, suggesting that it be based on the Final Fantasy series.
Having been released on the PlayStation 2 as well as PC, the game became the first cross-platform MMORPG ever created.
Since recurring monsters of the series are known by different names in the Japanese and English versions of the other installments, the game uses both Japanese and English names for different variants of the same monsters.
The game's battle and magic systems are heavily influenced by Final Fantasy III.