When thinking about the MMORPGs, it's hard not to consider World of Warcraft as synonymous with the genre. Its latest expansion pack Cataclysm just launched this week to millions of hungry gamers around the world, but be careful not to forget about other contenders in the MMO space. Square Enix launched their highly anticipated MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 back in September, and since then the game's life hasn't been that smooth of a ride. Despite the rocky roads, Square continues their efforts and has announced they are restructuring the FF14 team completely, and will further delay the PlayStation 3 version.
Square Enix President and CEO Yoichi Wada recently created a blog post on the company's official Final Fantasy 14 website, in which he had an honest and open message to gamers. Citing his company's regret to meet expectations with FF14, Wada apologizes to the players who've purchased the game and had a less than favorable experience. Mr. Wada also lets fans of the series know that they will not abandon the title and will continue to work on the MMO, this time by restructuring the development team. Wada has now assigned Naoki Yoshida with the role of director and producer for Final Fantasy 14, and mentions that customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Yoshida.
Because Wada and Yoshida are assembling a new team to get FF14 back in the right direction, they have decided to continue the free trial period until Square Enix is satisfied with the product's direction. A projected time-frame is unknown, but Wada has promised that his company is aware that "time is of the essence" and they are determined to give their customers "quality service".
Perhaps unsurprisingly, after several delays, the PlayStation 3 version of Final Fantasy 14 is officially delayed again beyond the scheduled March 2011 release. The news, while disappointing, shouldn't come as a shock given Wada's announcements. Wada and Square Enix are not intent on simply porting the PC version of the game to console. Instead, they want the PS3 edition to be an update of the game containing all the improvements Square has made to the title.
News of game delays and restructuring of teams is almost always a bummer, but there is a silver lining to this black cloud of news. Square Enix clearly realizes the blunders they've made with the title, and their restructuring of the development team is evidence of that. What's more, the President and CEO of Square has publicly apologized to their customers, and vowed to create a quality experience by eschewing the monthly fee associated with MMORPGS. At the very least, Square is making an honest effort to right their wrongdoings - and that's a good thing.
Ranters, have you checked out Final Fantasy 14? What do you want to see Square Enix change? Ideally, what has your Final Fantasy MMO experience been like? If and when the console version is released, will you give it a fair chance? Drop a line in the comments section, and your voice will be heard!
Source: The Lodestone