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Yoichi Wada: FFXIV “greatly damaged" the Final Fantasy brand

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Final Fantasy XIV’s launch was rough, even by MMO standards. Reviewers and players alike complained about the game’s lackluster UI, grind-heavy gameplay, and overall lack of any sort of polish. We gave it a 4/10, but hoped that future updates would fix the issues and make it a game worth playing. Now here we sit, in said future, and Final Fantasy XIV is still absolutely crap. But Square-Enix CEO Yoichi Wada isn’t hiding from his company’s mistakes – he’s willing to admit that the game was not only half-baked when it released, but that "The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged" by its release.

For as disappointed as we were by Final Fantasy XIV, we don’t know if we’d go as far as to say it has actually “damaged” the brand much all that much. Heck, we doubt most people even consider the Final Fantasy MMOs as part of the Final Fantasy core series, instead casting it off in the same section as other spin-offs. Sure, it was bad (really bad), but it didn’t do any more damage to the brand than Dirge of Cerberus did, right?

But that’s not the point for Wada, who isn’t content with the game dying a slow, painful death. The CEO says that the company plans on fixing Final Fantasy XIV, even if it means tearing it apart and putting it back together. “We'll continue with our reform work,” he said in a Tokyo press conference, “which basically amounts to fully redoing the game, and hope to revive the FFXIV that should have been released."

Sep 28, 2011

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29 comments

  • Zaft - September 29, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    I played in the alpha and I played in the beta. The reason this game failed so badly was because they refused (let me emphasize that, REFUSED) to listen to their testers. There was no communication on the forums. No emails were responded too. And the few times we managed to talk to somebody, they would say that they "weren't going to change it because it's our (Square Enix's) vision for the game (FFXIV)". In other words, eff you testers, go look for bugs to whack. We warned them. We told them EVERYTHING that was wrong. We practically handed them a AAA game, and they snubbed us. So yes, FFXIV did greatly damage both Square Enix and Final Fantasy's reputation with many of us. Testing for Square Enix was absolutely painful, and to have them completely ignore the people attempting help them, and to ignore their customers after the launch? Square Enix has a lot to repent for before I (and many others I'm sure) will bother testing for them again.
  • GrandmasterB-Funk - September 29, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    the problem is that they gave it a number should have just called it FINAL FANTASY ONLINE, then it wouldn't have got as much crap, but because they wasted a number on this crappy game, it will foreer go down as a proper game in the series....
  • Greegs0800 - September 29, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    I can't understand why people point to X as the turning point for things going wrong. It's one of the best games for the PS2, and still my favourite today after hunting down and playing all the main titles excepts III, XI and XIV. X was the first major overhaul/re-think since VI > VII. They did their big farewell, fan-based send-off to the older style with IX, and then kept on going forward. IMO the MMO entries and unnecessary spin-off titles have completely diluted the quality of the franchise - X, XII and XIII are good, strong and different entries. Tl;dr you want old Final Fantasy? Boot up your SNES or Playstation.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - September 29, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    Every FF since X or so has been a major overhaul. X had straight up turnbased gameplay. XII had MMO style realtime combat (that worked, and worked damn well). XIII had the fast-paced ATB paradigm shift system. The MMO games arent even real entries IMO, I wish they would take those games and make them into real FF games.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - September 29, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    I hope they realize this didn't start with FF14. Ever since they started whoring out the FF7 name the series name has been damaged. Dirge of Cerberus being one of the best/worst examples. Advent Children was an incomprehensible mess and a perfect example of their move towards style over substance. It became clear that they didn't understand what made the story and characters of 7 so appealing, other than they looked cool. FF13 also didn't do them many favors.
  • PhantomDave - September 29, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Well if you ask me, and I'm going to pretend someone did, this game didn't damage the franchise....western RPGs did. I think it's becoming more and more clear that when people play an RPG anymore they want CHOICES and BRANCHING STORY ARCS. Not a $60 cut scene. And that general consensus is leaking over into their MMO line. I mean look at what Bioware is attempting in their Star Wars MMO.... The last Final Fantasy game I played I couldn't handle it. I'd play for five minutes and then sit through a ten minute cut scene, rinse wash repeat.... But maybe that's just me. They should consider FTP and see if that remedies anything.
  • RonnyLive19881 - September 29, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    Final Fantasy X is still the best in the franchise imo, hell it's the best game on the PS2!
  • Kirol - September 29, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    I rather fancy FFVI as the best...
  • RonnyLive19881 - September 29, 2011 6:39 a.m.

    I really like VI too but X is the first game to ever get an emotional response from me. I also find the sphere grid very addictive and really loved the music! I can't wait to play the remake for the Vita! All the same I really hope they remake FF V-VII ON THE 3DS.... I was pissed to see X wasn't coming to 3DS :( only reason I'm getting a Vita...
  • ShortFuse - September 29, 2011 5:12 a.m.

    So many people bash XIII... I can understand why, but I can honestly say I really enjoyed it (even the first 20 hours or so). Even then I didn't get to finish it as my housemates PS3 died...So got to do it all again. Anyway, another thing I never understood was why Square Enix is bothering with an FF MMO in the first place. Or...at least, if they're going to do it, do it properly rather than half-baked and lacking in nearly everything. That's the thing with most MMOs these days, full of potential but never quite hit the nail on the head. Even the supposedly 'great' ones are flawed. Square Enix should just cut their losses and back out the FFMMO market, not because it's damaging their brand as such, but more because it's just another series pointlessly engaging with the MMO bandwagon that died circa 2006
  • Mezolitik - September 29, 2011 4:15 a.m.

    It's fashionable to hate FFXIV. I've played the game on-and-off since release, and it is an interesting game with a lot of potential. I had a great time fishing, etc. But, if I'm honest, that was basically all I did. Fish. For hours. There is not a part of me that believes that this game will ever be finished; there was simply too much missing in the original release. It took a YEAR for Squenix to implement chocobos, weapon mods, auto-attack; there is still no centralised market. And there is hardly any new content - in a year. Also, the engine desperately needs optimising. Every action, from combat moves to browsing the interface, has a delay. And the further your PC is from the optimum specs, the worse it gets. It's like wading through mud, but without the obvious joy of being covered in mud. As a fan of FFXIV, I say 'kill it'. Kill it, and build something else. They're keeping it alive because they don't want to admit that they were wrong in releasing it broken, IMHO. It's just a massive waste of money.
  • Sjoeki - September 29, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    I say cancel it and put those people on versus xiii
  • Kirol - September 29, 2011 3:40 a.m.

    Huh. Well, what d'ya know. This really annoyed me this morning. Citing from a third party isn't the most academic way of sourcing things. Still, I've played FFXIV from Alpha, through to beta, and finally for the release. I'm still playing it every day, too. Sure, there are still problems, but in the next patch alone we're getting an Ifrit battle, Airships, Chocobos, and a myriad of fixes and issue rebalances. The game at release was almost as bad as the Alpha, however Yoshi-p has so far done a bang-up job of fixing the game on an almost inconceivable timeframe. I challenge you to start playing, GR, after the next patch. Let us know what you think now changes have started taking place.
  • Tranquilbez34 - September 29, 2011 3:17 a.m.

    Here's an idea,re-release the Game and NOT have the MMO features! We don't want them!
  • Robx - September 29, 2011 1:19 a.m.

    yo Square Enix, I herd dem F2P games are doing really good atm...
  • pr0tostar - September 29, 2011 12:27 a.m.

    Consider the following: -Final Fantasy XI is still going (relatively) strong -FF fans never wanted another MMO FF, still don't -This game as a released product drove its reputation into the ground -A port of it to a console (FF's primary platform) was cancelled -Spuare Enix is in poor financial health -Other pending projects are already behind or gone into dev hell -Diablo III says hello -Warcraft says fontsize72LOL -The Old Replubic says I AM YOUR FATHER, or some such StarWarsy retort -Pantasy Star O2 is about to redominate the Japanese MO scene I can't bring myself to wonder how Yoichi Wada plans to rebuild a game that people have shunned, or never cared about to begin with. Or how it's going to attract sales when an already crowded MMO market is about to get crammed in with big titles from experienced names. There's no answer to it in my mind other than he's delirious, or just ignorant. Apologizing for tarnishing a title isn't gonna give that title magical powers again. It's done, Final Fantasy needs to go back to what it's good for, or at least maybe make it similar to White Knight if the absolutely must "revolutionize" the series with online play. This guy really could benefit from a little common sense...
  • Elitepwnsface - September 28, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    They could also refund my money. Played it for a week, not even a week. The graphics was basically all it had going.
  • hester2 - September 28, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    @CUFCfan616 More linear with every entry? Have you played FFXII? You've fallen into the trap of comparing JRPG's to WRPG's. JRPG's will always be somewhat linear because they have a specific story to tell. The only problem with FFXIII was that it held your hand for 20 freaking hours before finally opening up.
  • tayls - September 28, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    Agreed. Stop making MMO's which simply derails the brand that we, the fans, built t what it is today.
  • tayls - September 28, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    Agreed. Stop making MMO's.

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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