A recent piece on Gamasutra
discussed one of the more prominent and yet understated issues facing Final Fantasy XI
-- the challenge of creating, bolstering, and supporting a global community. It's easy to forget at times that the game is sold and played in four different languages across three continents on the same set of servers, with a Japanese development team and customer service representatives across several countries. Robert Allen Peeler, the assistant community manager for the game, went into details about several of the issues, hurdles, and pitfalls the game has gone through over its near six-year multi-lingual run.
Peeler discusses the challenges associated in communicating the wishes of the fans to developers, who speak only Japanese and don't necessarily have a clear grasp of what the rest of the world's players want out of the game. He also mentions the now-infamous Pandemonium Warden
boss encounter and explains that the issue was largely focused in North America, but due to the communication issues it began to be seen worldwide before the developers could adequately address the issues.
The piece also goes into some detail regarding the plans for how these same issues will be addressed when Final Fantasy XIV
is released, which will most likely share the same multi-lingual support and servers. If you're interested in taking a look inside some of the problems of a global game -- or if you're a Final Fantasy XI
player looking for more of an answer about why the developers don't respond to issues -- you should take a look at the article.