Square “Fully Redoing” Final Fantasy XIV

By Jim Rossignol on September 27th, 2011 at 1:44 pm.

The lizard is not happy, either.
Squeenix ultraboss Yoichi Wada has spoken about the ongoing woes of troubled MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, saying “The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged,” when asked about the game. VG247 reports that the Square man, speaking at a press conference in Japan, said that they company planned to “continue with our reform work, which basically amounts to fully redoing the game, and hope to revive the FFXIV that should have been released.”

The XIVth Final Fantasy game, which was launched in September last year, has been so beleaguered that its intended subscription model has never actually come online, with trial accounts being extended indefinitely. The PC version of the game sold 630,000, with the PS3 version, which was intended to appear in March of this year, returning for further development at a heavily reshuffled internal dev team.

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58 Comments »

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  1. BatmanBaggins says:

    But by the time they unbreak it, will anyone still care?

    • diamondmx says:

      No, they’ll just infuriate the people who are still playing it.

  2. caddyB says:

    Oh boy.
    At least they’re not afraid to admit failure.
    And they have the financial power to make it work this time, I guess.

    Unlike Mythic.

    • Fiatil says:

      Why didn’t they just make Dark Age of Camelot 2? :( :( :( :(

    • Danarchist says:

      I don’t think I have heard Mythic mentioned on a forum in a long time without someone asking that question. You know what would happen though, they’d turn it into a FPS and tell us it was “re-imagined!” oh and it would only have 2 factions, cause that works so well ya know…

    • Wulf says:

      Whoops, incorrect reply-ness!

  3. oddboyout says:

    Honestly if they just updated FFXI’s graphics and made the UI friendly I would jump right back into that.

    • Xercies says:

      True, just pretty much re-release FFXI and I would be happy, probably one of my favourite MMOs because the way groups worked and you kind of had to get a group to get through it, made PUGs alight and made you get friends and a community very easily, the story missions were pretty damn interesting as well. Also it was a world you could explore!

    • Wulf says:

      For me, they’d have to redesign more than the UI. I no longer wish to have to go and get a book to read and stand around with my ‘I need a party’ sign up just because I can’t play solo. The thing is is that I played a monk. Monks were hard hitters, and a team of monks alone could pretty much take down bosses if they did it right, and… other people seemed objectionable to that. So it was hard to find a team.

      Then I went from being a Galka Monk to a Galka Bard. >_> No one was willing to believe that I could actually do the profession that I’d chosen because I was a Galka. But there were more than a few times where I ran past an entire party and saved their arses with Bard songs, resulting in incredulous cries of “Were we just saved by a Galka Bard?!?!?”

      If I went back to FF XI, I’d want it to be soloable. So if people didn’t like my overpowered Monk, or they didn’t trust me to have the skill to play my weirdly specced Galka Bard properly, I wouldn’t have trouble playing.

      That’s why I love (love) Champions Online. I can make good progress in the game solo with an alt. So if my friends aren’t playing CO then I can just solo with an alt and have fun, and when they are on I can just switch characters to the guys I’m keeping level with them. That’s another thing you really can’t do in FF XI because you only get one character slot.

      I suppose I’ve just moved on to better things. After having played something like CO I could never go back to FF XI.

      (One thing I will say in FF XI’s favour is that Galka Bards did look rather awesome.)

    • Psychopomp says:

      I’ve jumped back into FFXI in the past few weeks, and you can now solo level all the way to max, albeit a fair bit slower than with a good party. There is still a fair bit of quest/mission content on the way to 95 that will require a party, though.

    • Wulf says:

      If they sped it up so that soloing wouldn’t be a horrible grind, and would be viable the entire way, so that I could have a ‘solo alt’ (which I like doing) then I’d be all for it. I did love FF XI, but after the likes of CO I just can’t go back to that, I can’t see me ever wanting to. It would kill me. Worse is that it would probably teach me to hate FF XI, and I don’t want that happening.

      I have sour memories of FF XI and the wait times, but I don’t hate it. And I don’t want to, either. I still have some fondness for it. If they ever manage to fix all of it, I’ll return and give it another spin, but I want my memories of it to be better than before, not worse.

  4. arienette says:

    Can’t say I’ve enjoyed a final fantasy game for a long time. Squeenix have done some fantastic stuff on handhelds but I’ve largely given up on their console/PC offerings.

  5. Berzee says:

    I actually thought this game looked cool…I never really looked into it or heard that it was awful though. Hmm…a sad surprise followed quickly by a happy one! (Maybe I ignored it because it looked Solo-Unfriendly and PvE-only-mostly, or somesuch…I can take one of those but not both =).

    • Snesso says:

      I’m not sure about higher levels, but I managed to solo all the way up to level 25ish (cap is 50), it just gets slower the higher you get, and you get incentives for questing in group. As for the PvE, I think there isnt even a PvP mode right now. Even on FFXI, a PvP mode was added years after release and it wasnt really that good.

    • Xercies says:

      Theres a reason why its called an MMO….

    • Wulf says:

      @Xercies

      Don’t misunderstand ‘massively multiplayer.’

      Final Fantasy XI was enforced five-player group-y player. Now, if you look at something like Guild Wars 2 and the dynamic events, you see a lot of independent players which can work solo but choose to work together for an event. When the event isn’t happening they can go do personal storyline stuff in the interim, but when they want to team up with others they can run into a big group.

      Providing the ability to be independent in a game does not make it any less massively multiplayer. I like being able to play a game when my friends aren’t online, and often there aren’t enough of them on at the same time for a team size of five. Now the problem with FF XI was that it took permanent team sizes of five with massive time investments, these two elements were mandatory.

      What this meant is that if you had three friends on only, you were screwed.

      That’s why Final Fantasy fails, because it was discovered with FF XI that very few people want to sit around with a ‘looking for party’ sign up just to group up with a bunch of strangers. The forced grouping of FF XI forced me to have to deal with some very unpleasant, very racist people who used that mechanic to be parasites. I tended to have to put up with people because that was the nature of the game.

      To be honest, I’d rather choose whom I team with. That’s the key component of an MMO. It should always give you the right to choose. Other people can be around and doing stuff but if they’re going to be popping out racist/homophobic slurs then I can just ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. All MMOs should embrace this idea.

  6. acidtestportfolio says:

    wait, you mean that was the game that in their opinion really damaged the final fantasy brand?

    you mean they think their last few final fantasy games were perfectly all right?

    it’s like ferrets driving a car off the cliff

    • Fiatil says:

      I would like to say that their statement gives me hope for turning the franchise around, buuut they just registered the domain for Final Fantasy XIII-3, so nope!

    • wssw4000 says:

      Yes. The last great Final Fantasy was FF9 and the last good one was FF10. 11 was an MMO, 12 was an offline MMO, 13 was dumbed down too much (a truly remarkable feat considering it’s a JRPG), and 14 is a shitty MMO.

    • Fiatil says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Love me some 9, 10 was pretty good but weird at some parts (at this point I’d love for another one of that quality), MMOs don’t count, and why the hell would they replace their turn based system with really boring MMO style combat for 12? Squaaaaaaaareeeeee.

    • Sabre_Justice says:

      FF fans are pretty hardcore, and even though 13 was a parody of itself in all the worst ways, it seems to have been safely forgotten.

      FFIV is an ongoing game that they CAN’T just shove under the rug, and that it’s been such a complete failure on so many levels has had a far worse effect than anything else they could have done.

    • Wulf says:

      “The last great Final Fantasy was FF9″

      This is so true. My Favourite was VII followed closely by IX. I felt that VIII was the beginning of the decline for the series. IX was strange because it was like some sort of reflexive snap back from VIII to what made Final Fantasy great. And then it was forgotten. VII and IX will stand as my favourites, though. I loved those games.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Not counting XI, the only one I’ve really liked was XII :(

  7. Snesso says:

    I played the game for 2-3 weeks on release (I actually bought a new pc just for this, since I’ve been a huge fan of FFXI), and it was pretty bad. I recently decided to give it another go, when I found that they still didnt charge for the subscription, and was surprised by all the changes. The game HAVE gotten much better since release, but it’s still not 100% enjoyable. Theres a huge patch coming out really soon that should further fix the game, add chocobos (about damn time) and airships.

    To be honest I’m really hoping they manage to make the game work, because I think the game has potential. It IS a Final Fantasy game. The soundtrack, the atmosphere, the areas, they are all really beautiful.

  8. Fox89 says:

    It’s a shame, this one. The game had some pretty nice ideas, and interested me more than most MMOs do. There were just some very fundamental design choices that were baffling, and not enough content. Now I fear it’ll just be a copy and paste of FFXI, which I couldn’t get into at all.

  9. elnalter says:

    lol they say it like x2 and 13 werent already horrible enough

    • Groove says:

      I tried playing 13 earlier this year, it was one of my worst ever gaming experiences.

      I’m not sure I care enough to find out whether all the game of the year awards in Japan were corruption or just madness. The game both playing itself and having dozens of random fights was just….incredible. The only thing worse than fighting a hundred identical battles is WATCHING a hundered identical battles.

    • Jimbo says:

      I was going to post much the same thing. I played the first couple of hours of FF13 just last week and couldn’t stomach any more. Literally the worst opening to a game I have ever ‘played’.

    • Groove says:

      Hah, awesome. I also broke down after just the first hour.

      I kept thinking to myself, it’s meant to get better, it’s meant to get better….after an hour the good will ran out. A solid hour of no fun, pretty unique as games go.

    • J-Spoon says:

      Really, the playable game is 20 hours in. Which is 19.9 hours too long.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    If they made a final fantasy: tactics mmo? Ah, who am I kidding, I don’t pay subs.

    • caddyB says:

      Why not try Wakfu?
      It’s on open beta and quite grindy but the combat is good if you have a few friends you can discuss tactics with.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, a query, is it very grindy?

    • Heliocentric says:

      oh, its a one character turn based tactics game? No ta, I like a little more depth.

    • caddyB says:

      Well it is an asian style MMORPG, it is very grindy. And the combat being turn based, it takes a while to kill anything. Especially if you’re a support class who’s trying to solo.

      It’s just the price you pay for the really great tactical combat at later at around level 60 or so with a proper group. Too bad the endgame is unfinished, but it is fun for a few weeks and what more can you expect from an open beta I guess.

    • Namos says:

      @caddyB

      I was under the impression Wakfu was made by a French company, though…

      Ah well, there’s always Disgaea for grid and turn-based tactical fun.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Wakfu IS made by a french company… one of those that are obsessed with japan.

      If you don’t want to be one-man in a team, try Dofus Arena/Confrontation instead… same company, FFTA team control, but it’s basically PvP only.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      It is French. Seems like another iteration of Dofus.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Ouch. This can’t be cheap for them. Both the development costs and the hit their brand has taken. The “new MMO announcement” storm of the last few years has finally calmed down, seems even the thickest CEOs have started to realize the astronomical investments that are needed before a new MMO has the slightest chance to reach the WoW “licence to print money” stage.

    • Choca says:

      Thick CEOs are now too busy spending astronomical amounts of money trying (and failing) to reach the “print money stage” of Call of Duty to bother about MMOs anymore.

    • Sabre_Justice says:

      I think the current money hole is ‘casual’ Facebook/smartphone games, and/or FPS knockoffs.

  12. WolVenom says:

    Making it free to play needs to be part of that redoing

  13. Srethron says:

    If I wasn’t such the grumpy gamer about thinking current edition Square-Enix is capable of not screwing things up, I’d say replace the roman numeral in the article title with IV, VI, VII or VIII, and the sheer force of those titles’ rabid fanbases would end completely any financial woes Square-Enix may have.

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      True, Srethron!

      Final Fantasy VI is the greatest Final Fantasy game of all time! Those of you who prefer VII are wrong, wrong, WRONG.

      Just my opinion :D

    • hoobajoo says:

      Agreed, VI was the best.

    • Wulf says:

      Final Fantasy VI was a bit of dumb fun. Final Fantasy VII had its dumb fun moments, but it was also strange and deep. I preferred the complexity of VII over VI. Plus VII clearly had the more interesting cast going for it, so there’s that, and the more interesting world. It’s a shame it was butchered by the film and later games set in the same Universe.

      But FF VII stands as an example of what Final Fantasy can be, at its best. Sure, it had a story where you actually had to read it, otherwise you wouldn’t understand it, but that applies to any book. :P

      (I was amazed that anyone was confused by VII. I understood it perfectly on the first time through, and thus I’ve always been completely convinced that anyone whom was confused by it was probably just skipping scenes to get back to the fighty bits. I wouldn’t be surprised.)

  14. flipd58 says:

    4.0 lololololoololloo

  15. Namos says:

    I’m actually somewhat intrigued by Final Fantasy 14 at this point. It’s available at bargain bin prices (7 GBP or so, last time I looked), currently has no monthly fee, and is undergoing constant, meaningful changes. There’s something appealing about seeing a game evolve before you.

    On the other hand, it’s an MMO.

    • flipd58 says:

      And it’s FF.

    • Wulf says:

      They’d have to change the aesthetics of the Nu Galka back to the original Galka fr me to even take not of XIV.

  16. RyuRanX says:

    “The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged”.

    Haha. The Final Fantasy brand has been damaged since the Playstation era and it only got worse and worse . Do they really believe Final Fantasy XIII was any good? Pfff…. it was even worse than Final Fantasy X!

    The good ones died with the Super Nintendo. Sad but true.

    • Wulf says:

      I think it’s more that the ones with simple stories died with the SNES. Back then they were more of the ‘save the princess’ variety, and that even implied to VI, I remember this clearly so you should know that as well as I do. The stories were hardly interesting.

      I think the PlayStation cinched it. It had more deep, involved plots, it had more fleshed out characters, but it retained the fun of previous games. VII and IX were my personal favourites. I could see where they were getting too serious and dry with VIII. All they need to do is bring back the silly that VII and IX had and they’ll be fine.

      It’s the missing quotient of silly that’s exactly what’s wrong with the Playstation2 games, and later.

      But yeah, the SNES ones were all silly and dumb fun, the PS3 ones are more deep story-wise but dry, humourless, and bland. The magical balance was in the PSone era with VII and IX. Square, figure that out. Come on.

    • Fiatil says:

      I feel like XII could have been a solid game if they stuck with the turn based combat, but more importantly if they hadn’t decided to force those god damn kids into the story at the last minute of development and then make them the protagonists. They’re way too obsessed with appealing to the teenage Japanese schoolgirl demographic.

  17. Space-Pope says:

    As someone who loved VI and Tactics (I even liked XII!), as well as thoroughly loving Front Mission 3, Square-Enix has a long way to go before they can earn my good will again. This is a decent enough start.

    But on the other hand, they’re making FFXIII-2. A sequel no one seems to want, to a game no one seems to like. I’m baffled why they aren’t sweeping that game under the rug and pretending it didn’t happen, after it got huge amounts of criticism from both eastern and western gamers, largely centered around the same issues. Even if they manage to fix that and make a combat system that actually requires me doing something, why would you keep those characters and that whole story? Was it just too big of an investment to not do it, and they’re just reusing their assets as much as they can?

    • Sabre_Justice says:

      You might actually be right in that last reason- apparently as huge (and comically linear) as FFXIII was, there’s TONS of content that went unused.

      Apparently, Square-Enix employs way too many artists.

    • apocraphyn says:

      Ugh, indeed. Utterly despised the sheer linearity of FFXIII.

      Corridor!
      Mash X to win battle!
      Cut-scene!
      Corridor!
      Mash X to win battle!
      Cut-scene!

      Been playing FF games since the fourth iteration of the series. I remember being incensed by the linearity of FFX to begin with, which eased after a while…but XIII was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I assume your point is right, Sabre_Justice – I see no other reason why they’d continue on attempting to milk something that was so heavily reviled by the majority of the fanbase.

  18. Sigvatr says:

    I was about to get really pissed that there was console game news on my precious PC game news site. In fact, I still feel kind of pissed for some reason.

  19. JackShandy says:

    Pity they all seem to be kept in concrete bunkers thousands of miles apart and forced to communicate only via morse code.