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Reader Comments (37)

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:34AM Baromega said

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Well, at least we know they're capable of learning from their mistakes. Good call, SE.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:54AM MrGutts said

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@Baromega

I honestly think it's a PR move to save face.

I also "think" the main reason the game didn't do as well is because of the Japanese culture, the whole east and west mentalities. They do not normally ask for help, it's a sign of weakness and communicating to there players base would have been just that. This is why SE do the things they do.
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 10:00AM Ekphrasis said

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@Baromega - Perhaps.

It appears the full gravity of the situation has finally dawned on them - with an announcement that is part admission of guilt, part punishment/accountability for the leadership team at the helm and, as MrGutts suggests, part PR move.

The announcement itself is a huge step in the right direction but I really want to see *interactive* communication and feedback moving forward - not more 'Ask a Dev' posts on the LodeStone where we can't ask/clarify anything. Communicate WITH us, not AT us. I'm sure some will disagree with me but I want to see official forums with an active company presence and visible community managers. They need to pull out ALL the stops to turn this train wreck around, and then some.

Continuing the free trial for an indefinite period of time while they bring this game up to standard is again promising but I think it will be a very long time (if ever) before SE regains the trust from players that they are seeking. I'll keep watching this space, but I daresay that by the time FFXIV is 'good enough' I'll have probably developed a long term attachment to SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, Tera, Rift etc.

I'm still amazed that they thought they could design their game in a vacuum, relatively devoid of the incorporation of player feedback during development. Yet what amazes me even more is that even with vocal beta testing feedback, player opinion was dismissed and there wasn't anyone over at SE that seemed to be concerned, until now.

To me it felt like the game was launched with a view that players would be blissfully occupied by skill grinding on daily (boring) leves until they had time to patch in content, features and address bugs (all the while continuing to ignore player opinion). I've jumped back in several times since the November update and found that while it is an improved experience, it is still a barely adequate game that fails to hold my interest for very long - at least in its current state. We'll see what the future brings I guess.
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Posted: Dec 11th 2010 11:33AM Twisvel said

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@Ekphrasis

Of course they didn't listen to player feedback, they never do until:

1) The Japanese media grill them
2) They start losing a lot of players doing what they want

I mean, ignoring the player base has been their agenda since XI, it's nothing new, they only started listening when people started to quit which resulted in a server merger for XI. They have almost 8 years of not listening to the player base with a "my way or the highway: this is how we want you to play, so LIKE it." agenda.

Big companies don't care until they start losing money.

However, you can talk about how the other western MMOs have failed because of bad launches, but Japanese players are seemingly more forgiving than westerners.

Just like how FFXI's player base is majority Japanese players, even when times are bad, (Server population shoots up really high during JP peak times across the board) once the Japanese media starts churning out good reviews of the "new and improved" FFXIV, it will probably garner the same amount of stable subs that FFXI has had.

The first true test will be when they finally make people pay a sub fee. When that is, is anyone's guess.
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:45AM Betel said

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Can't really ask more of them, especially Tanaka. His mistake, his responsibility, and his demotion.

Now it's time to own.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:49AM Wisdomandlore said

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Maybe Tanaka can finally find time to develop the next Chrono Trigger game.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:50AM AlluvianEstEndrati said

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Very good idea. A shame they did not seem to realize the project needed more development prior to launch. Personally I felt that the game needed about another 4-6 months of development work (and maybe another month or two of testing/bug hunting) before launch.

The basic mechanics and premise of the game are fine IMO, but some things still needed work.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:56AM Halldorr said

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Very surprised to hear developers apologize for not delivering but kudos to them for doing so!

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 8:57AM Rubberjohnny said

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This is a really polite way of saying "We're laying off the entire management team", I've never seen an MMO do this.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:03AM Jade Effect said

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So heads have rolled for the travesty that is Final Fantasy 14, and it's back to the drawing board. Will it be enough? I doubt it. Games like Age of Conan made heroic efforts to improve, but never really bounce back.

We're no longer in the 1990s and early 2000s when players would sit tight and wait patiently for MMO companies to fix stuff. Once players leave, it's difficult to get them to come back.

More free months won't really help. Even if the game is free, my time is not. I have only x hours a day to play. I have no interest spending it on something that isn't fun and might or might not eventually turn out to be fun. There are no lack of other games vying for my entertainment time and money.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:11AM Holgranth said

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@Jade Effect I would agree with that except for the fact that it will be released on the PS3. The PS3 release will make or break this game. I'm very glad they have decided to move it back because frankly console gamers are even more finicky than PC gamers.
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:07AM Holgranth said

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"inability to fully satisfy users with the initial release of Final Fantasy XIV."

"inability to FULLY SATISFY"??

The understatement is strong with Tanaka.

So basically whats going to happen with FFXIV is they are going to try and rebuild it while still maintaining the live servers. They can probably do it but man they would have saved a lot of money if they had realized that, "hey this game is a million miles from ready, releasing it would be a disaster."

Now personally I'm hoping this will open a few eyes at Square Enix. They have some extremely talented people that have made some excellent games.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:15AM Syesta said

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The biggest thing about this announcement has to be the personnel changes.

First of all, I love Tanaka to death for the experiences he brought in the early years of FFXI, but he has really mishandled the prioritizing of development. I wish him all the best.

Next, Komoto moving from Director back down into the trenches of the dev team is huge. Man has a lot of talent, and I don't think it was being put to use in management.

Now that FFXI's latest expansions are set, they've moved the directors of thos teams into mgmt roles in XIV, smart move. New content in XI is fantastic, hopefully they can cultivate some fresh ideas into XIV.

Last, the new lead UI designer is the former Art Director for FFXII and Vagrant Story. F- Yeah.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 11:07AM Audacious said

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@Syesta

"Last, the new lead UI designer is the former Art Director for FFXII and Vagrant Story. F- Yeah."

Yes.
YES!

This can only turn out well.
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:23AM jealouspirate said

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Interesting to see. History has shown it's very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome that initial first impression though.

What's with Square these days, anyway? Have they changed so much, or is it just me changing? When I was a kid I adored Final Fantasy 1 through 9, but lately everything they put out seems... wrong somehow. I even bought FFXIII out of good faith and ended up returning it only after a couple hours of gameplay.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 2:19PM DevilSei said

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@jealouspirate

Personally, I always accuse the Enix half for their rather.. sudden shift towards horrible games. Its why we haven't seen any spiritual successors to Vagrant Story (far as I'm aware), why there isn't a PS3 entry to the Musashi series, and why they allowed Front Mission: Devolved to ever have been made, while not releasing Front Mission 5: Scars of War, to the US like they should have.

Though, I'll admit FF 13 was the closest they've come to a good game. Its not exactly bad, but the beginning 10-12 hrs just to hit the real meat with fully customizable roles and such is just too long, and they really rush the last few summons onto you without so much as a blink of an eye. The first summons all had some emotional merit to them, but the last are just "shut up and see it happen".
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Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:31AM dudes said

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Uh oh. Smells a white elephant.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 9:40AM Eldan said

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I've said all along, "It will be a good game in a year."

That being said, by acting as they did SE certainly lost their chance at getting a strong player-base. If I were them I might even consider shutting down the servers for a bit, and "relaunching". That's probably their best chance at getting new players into it, though there are obvious catches to that approach. I doubt I'd try FFXIV again if they didn't do something like that to show, "Here, we NOW have a finished product at this point." Otherwise it'll just be a long series of updates and people won't know when it's good enough to jump in.

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 10:20AM Pewpdaddy said

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Too little too late IMO...

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 10:23AM Cirocco said

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Well, this reboot should provide a better game and experience for the Playstation crowd, though the PC players have been the experimental guinea pigs for this "beta" trial run. Fortunately there is no monthly fees until the game has improved by leaps and bounds for the future Playstation base and the current PC base.

With an entire new team on board, I'll take another look at this franchise in the future. Though bleak for the old guard development team, this looks promising for the future Playstation base.

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