Final Fantasy XIV launch was 'big mistake,' says new director

Final Fantasy XIV's new game director, Naoki Yoshida, has made some frank comments about the direction of the game's first launch, calling it a "big mistake" and claiming they should have researched more about the current MMO market.

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Square Enix hasn't been shy about admitting it mucked up Final Fantasy XIV. Company CEO Yoichi Wada apologized for the game in 2010, and began a restructuring process culminating in the upcoming Realm Reborn update. But all the apologies won't make a difference if Square's designers don't understand the missteps, and the new game director Naoki Yoshida is being very frank about where the first one went wrong.

"When I heard that it was going to go on sale as planned [after the beta], I thought, that will probably be a big mistake," he said.

Square's insistence to push forward with the game despite a poor beta reception was just the first public example of many issues that hit the game hard. Internally, Yoshida says the company focused too much on differentiating the game from Final Fantasy XI, but didn't learn from its competitors in the market.

"I think it would've been good if they tried seeing what happened if they turned World of Warcraft into Final Fantasy," he told Kotaku. "So, because they tried only to make something that was 'different from FFXI,' they ended up with not much of anything. They should have said, 'Hey you, go play WoW for a year [for inspiration].' Unless you are a genius, you cannot make something completely new from nothing."

Yoshida says the stakes are high for his reboot, and insists he won't repeat the same errors. "If we did, it would be like at the level of destroying the company."

The old era of Final Fantasy XIV officially ended on November 11. A date hasn't been set for the relaunch, but Square is inviting former players to be alpha testers for the new version.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 26, 2012 11:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Final Fantasy XIV launch was 'big mistake,' says new director.

    Final Fantasy XIV's new game director, Naoki Yoshida, has made some frank comments about the direction of the game's first launch, calling it a "big mistake" and claiming they should have researched more about the current MMO market.

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      November 26, 2012 1:58 PM

      At least they "ended" the bad version with that neato comet flying at their planet.

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        November 26, 2012 2:46 PM

        I think that was bahamut summoned as it was a dragon in what looked like a shell of fire.

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          November 26, 2012 2:48 PM

          I should add this is not news every one who was in the beta and played the game knows it should never of been pushed out as it was.

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      November 26, 2012 2:01 PM

      They should rename the game.

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        November 26, 2012 2:52 PM

        'Enhanced' Edition.

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        November 26, 2012 8:28 PM

        They did. "Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn".

        "Reborn! Oh, God, PLEASE pay attention to this game!... 'Cause EVERY bad MMO gets a second shot with the fans! That always happens! They always make big changes and pivot, and THAT TOTALLY ALWAYS WORKS!" -- Jeff Gerstmann, Giant Bombcast 07-31-2012

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      November 26, 2012 2:55 PM

      Huh. You don't say.

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      November 26, 2012 9:24 PM

      They should have just cut their losses. Nothing they could / have / will do is going to reclaim the FF14 name. Best thing to do would have been to kill it and develop the new one for as long as it took, then launch a new game (and give free keys to anyone that had previously bought / subbed to 14).

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