FF14 “Failed Because Our Flowerpots Were Too Beautiful”

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Square Enix has explained why they think Final Fantasy XIV proved such a disaster and how they rescued it with A Realm Reborn – including the fascinating revelation that the game’s flowerpots had as many polygons as its player characters…

Famitsu were on hand to record their “Behind the Realm Reborn” presentation, made by producer Naoki Yoshida at the latest GDC, helpfully with English slides:

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Whether the lessons have been taken to heart at Square Enix – a company now seemingly devoted to rehashing old Final Fantasy games and churning out the world’s finest social games – remains to be seen, but A realm Reborn certainly seems to have been a surprising success.

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134 Comments

  • A 1k polygon flower isn’t that bad. A bit overkill, sure, but not something that should lag most computers.

    A 1k polygon PC on the other hand is seriously low. I play a lot of Sims (mainly recreating anime characters), and just my hairstyles are easily over 10k.

  • I think that free to play and subscription are both bad business models for mmorpgs, I think in general they should adopt a ‘pay per hour’ model, where you have a credit reserve and it deducts around 10 cents per hour that you play, this would work out cheaper than a subscription for the average player, but the monthly service would still be available for the hardcore players that are putting in more than 6 hours a day on average.

  • fuck 14 remake 6-9 with updated graphics. I never got to play 6 or 9 but hear both are good (and 9 looks cute) while 7 and 8 were good but could use updating to the look. Plus you bastards know we’ve wanted 7 updated since that ps3 shit you pulled, but no re-release 10, cause that game’s characters need to be seen again. Fuck Tidus.

  • They should have made ff14 a remake if ff11 with all of their BS excuses removed, 11 had an amazing battle system but their constant response of “we can’t cause the system” or “it would take to long to reprogram X in that way”. I played 11 for many years and it was amazing till they put your level on gear, also lack of total balance that they claimed the core programing that they couldn’t do anything with was at fault.
    The stories of 11 were amazing, 14 was a copy and paste of what SE says is the best of every other MMO out there, to bad they didn’t copy the idea of a good game.

  • I tried the PS4 beta, what a fucking joke. The game plays like an MMO from ten years ago and looks like it too. They obviously haven’t benchmarked it against any modern MMO, I played The Old Republic for a while and despite being older it fucking shits all over FFXIV. Go home Squeenix you’re drunk if you think anyone wants this mouldy junk.

  • “If a dev team is the governement, then players are the citizens.
    If citizens disapprove of your policies, they’ll move to canada”

    … As a Canadian, I’m not sure how to feel about this… Not sure if insulting or just stupid.

  • We f.ed up!
    (but not enough to outright say it)
    life is tough out there!
    shit happens!

    what did we learn ? :
    we should not take turns pooping on fan’s heads
    games are supposed to be fun, you know … fun ?, yeah i dont know what that word means either
    stop smelling your own farts and keep working on the game, ppl actually expect content that is not copied and pasted!
    dont forget that you are making final fantasy not generic chinesse mmo n°534543554

    now go release the birdhorses, MAKE IT SO!

  • FF14: ARR is one of the best MMORPGs I’ve ever played and I’ll never go back to a free to play MMO after this. The service is just too good.

    That said, they shouldn’t yell at those poor flower pots, because the reason I (and many others) started playing in the first place was because the game looks so good.

  • I been playing the new ff14 and honestly its pretty damn boring.. and u gotta pay to play.. i have more fun playing TERA and thats free to play! FF14 is just another TAB TARGET MMORPG.. and if blade & soul or any of the other MMORPG’S were released trust me FF14 WOULD GO DOWN FAST there are some amazing korean MMO’S being made but im pretty sure they won’t have an NA release =( like > ICARUS & BLESS both look great

    • Tera is boring quest grind, Even B&S is no different. Non of korean MMO ever notice this and made the same pattern over and over. You choice class, start at the same point, go from quest to quest linearly for best EXP and free equipment, Hard boss? get a party, No surprise, no freedom, Game progress just take a quest > Kill some mob or beat some dungeon > send quest > level up > move to next place and repeat. FFXIV never get bored, start at different city for different background story, Grind main story quest for EXP but it is an option but not necessary, you can go to dungeon for some spacial loot, side quest is also an option, maybe encounter some wild FATE and got a lot of EXP helping each other who just randomly pass by, or laid back crafting and get some money. There’s options every where.

    • FF7 has a very interesting and rich story line. Also it has a large fan base. At the time it was release in Play Station, the characteristics are only like some “chibi” type models and the limited technology at the time didn’t push the game to it’s full potential. The later released FF7 related PSP games and movies are awesome. FF7 is a legend in the gaming history and it was done with limited tech. Think about what it can be with improved graphics and gameplay? I am not a hardcore gamer or a FF fan but I am pretty sure me and most of my friends/ colleagues will but it if they make it. I dont know about SE’s business logic but if your customer wants it, why not delivery it? They know they are gonna make money out of it.

    • FF 10 remake: “omg square rehashes all the time”.
      FF 13 remake: “omg square rehashes all the time”.
      FF Tactics remake: “omg square rehashes all the time”.
      FF 7 remake: “SEE? THEY LISTEN TO FANS AFTER ALL!”.

      Fanboy logic. Right there.

    • You ask for it, They re-sell FF7 on pc without any changes while there’s already many moded graphics version of old FF7 PC released already, You can get one on Steam. While make new clean sharp and smooth HD sprites on FF6 and release on mobile, hint: it looks crap. Get that crap on iTune and Play Store. Look like it’s only X and X-2 that get better treat of HD remastered on Vita and PS3.

  • 1k polygons is definitely not enough for a character!!

    To put in in perspective, Snake from the original MGS had 800 polygons. The FF14 characters probably had more like 8-10k polygons.

    • XII is fun to play, And I don’t think using X gameplay will meets any modern RPG standard. While XIV is good and have a feel of effort and reward like story and character customization gear without any limitation. Compare to famous F2P like Vindictus or CN Blade and Soul where there’s not much to get if you not pay. Ugly free costume and restricted market is not fun at all.

    • Try it yourself. Any faster than this and your brain explode. After some point of the game when it’s getting harder, There’s more and more things to consider at a time, In middle game about Lvl35 boss fight is handfull. You need to find a proper target and cast a skill, hitting wrong one can make you or your mate dead, Keep watch for enmity and enemy targeting, doge the deadly AoE, watch you and your party health and status while moving to trigger some action, Protecting pillars or rush kill some adds, If any thing wrong the healer must revive your collapse friend while dodging or tanker must stop any enemy going for your mate, DPS must stay alive while moving to good spot and prepare for next skill. 2.5 sec is not slow at all. Many confirm stuck on a boss fight for many days. Totally not recommend for a retard.

        • Basically what I mean is it isnt the model, it is the companies approuch as both can work. Sub games tend to go f2p within a year though. I mean look at KOTOR, Tera and so forth. The sub game really wasnt any better than the game you can play now unless you played with the initial level rush crowed as the caps went up. The only difference is it costed alot more to do it because of the sub.

        • actually it is meaning pay to win less and less. Often it is just cosmetics or pointless increase experience even though leveling to max is kind of easy with out me items. Usually there is a shortage of bank space as well but it can be rectified with one purchase so it isnt really a big issue.

          I do find the cosmetic items annoying because I feel like the game would benifit from having such items within the game world to be found in dungeons or rare bosses and so on but it could be worse. Ive also played sub games that still have cash shops and do all of the above things so I honestly dont have alot of respect for the sub model >>

    • Your money funds the continued development of patches, updates and expansions. It also keeps the company in business and creates a market for said product.

      Not to mention it’s how people keep their families alive and well.

      So in short, you’re a cheap piece of shit who doesn’t realize that society today MUST function on the money you pocket and spend.

    • Sucks to be you then, I would gladly pay 40~50 euro’s or 5~10 euro’s a month for a good MMORPG game.

      It’s at least better then the current free2pay or pay2win models they use nowadays, which end up being more expensive most of the time than a honest subscription model.

    • nowadays it is all pay 2 win so iffor 5-6bucks a month i can have a perfect game expansions included(no shitty side payement )then it could be worth it. gonnacwaitbl avl little more and give it a try

  • I think what they’re saying is that they should have stuck with their original vision of creating gardening simulator as opposed to trying to hash together the worlds shittiest MMO halfway through the development process.

    • the majority of Mistwalker’s games have been panned with the exception of Lost Odyssey and Last Story.

      Lost Odyssey’s reviews were still pretty mixed. and only Gooch fanboys think it was really that great.

      Last Story got good reviews but sold so poorly in JP, that it took a fan campaign to convince Nintendo to bring it to EU. only to do so poorly there that Nintendo refused to take the financial risk of bringing it to NA (thus it getting licensed to XSeed. but don’t tell Gooch fanboys that. they think this was some act of brilliance on Nintendo’s part, versus basically Nintendo blatantly dumping the title and saying “it doesn’t make money”). and once again only Gooch fanboys think that LS exceeding XSeed’s financial forecasts (a publisher that usually counts its sales in the sub-100k) actually means anything.

      in short, Sakaguchi hasn’t done anything for Sakaguchi’s studio.
      so why do Gooch fans still blindly believe his “divine hand” would mean a thing for S-E at this point?

      if any of you would bother look up full coverage of what Yoshida talked about at GDC, it was that S-E is TOO STUCK IN THE PAST.
      that they spend TOO LITTLE TIME GETTING TO KNOW WHATS GOING ON IN THE INDUSTRY OUTSIDE S-E WALLS.

      so how is moronically worshipping the name of an old developer who has proven time and time again he doesn’t have a much firmer grasp of modern video games than the current S-E staff supposed to be the grand solution?

    • which he asknowledged…

      he actually made a point that the original team spent too much time on the graphics and not enough on actual content thinking they could just patch it in later.

      some of you should seriously take the time to go read better coverage of what Yoshida actually said at GDC versus just reading Sankaku’s usual intentional flamebait coverage if you’re so interested in adding to the conversation.

      some of you are doing the equivalent of trying to talk politics after knowing only what the most partisan radical radio political commentator tells you, and the sad part is i don’t think a lot of you even realize that thats what you are doing.

  • It failed because there wasn’t enough Lightning, amirite guiz?

    Because we all KNOW that a game is made 50,000,000 times better when Lightning is involved. HOW CAN YOU DENY THE SUCCESS OF FF13-9001? The market SCREAMS for MORE LIGHTNING.

    But no really, Square, get your shit together you dipfucks.

    • i wonder how much $$ it took to make that presentation. and how much $$ + time they lose before they realized how badly they fucked up.

      i see that they lack creativity, are slow learners, and lack the humbleness to admit they fucked up the moment they actually do.

      the company needs help. they need to take their head out of their asses.

    • ALmost looks like a complete bashing of “the old team” that made 14 to me.

      Sure they’re admitting fault finally that their graphics no matter how pretty aren’t gonna sell a game if it plays feels and IS 120% grade-a refried donkey shit.

      But the name on the outside of the building still says “SquareEnix” to me… so until they give us 15 and a fucking conclusion to KH and no more of this unnecessary spin off/side story, interquel, not-quite-a-sequel bullshit then maybe they’ll have my respect once again, and more importantly (to them) my wallet.

    • they didnt actually said “we fucked up” they were more like “we kind of got distracted, all that shit that happened on the side ended up affecting us, while we were high and we didnt notice, sorry!”

      the only things they accepted were that they ignored fans and users screaming their lungs off and that they got afflicted by tunnel vision

    • We always do. Devs behind the curtain of the marketing team are always thinking this way, our babies (games) are the biggest target of criticism in an ironic parental opposite day. Marketing is meant to take the positives and present them in appealing ways, which is sometimes easier with certain games compared to others. Many times marketing should stay out of it and let the passionate gamers who are making it do the marketing, which we did as well when we saw the marketing push and said ‘you people are idiots’ and the devs did their own video and pics of the games.

      At the end of life of the MMO I worked on the main question of all meetings was ‘how can we make this fun?’ which is how we knew it had failed, so the company fell soon after. Well… mainly due to investment issues back during the crash, but it would have failed pretty hardcore if released.

      • As a consumer, I feel that honest to heart communication between Game Developers and Consumers is the best thing for a game to succeed.

        Also the publishing of games should not be in the hands of corporate suits who have little love for videogames and only see them as a source of revenue.
        Videogames should only be published when and if they are ready, without tight release deadlines.

        • We made a desperate attempt to save the company with a small arena shooter, that to this day is more fun and challenging in a fun way than most others I have ever seen. We literally played our own game on our breaks because we built it with that very concept in mind because we knew it was the last thing we could do to save ourselves. It was released but because we were dead we had no marketing ability except for one day on steams front of site store and a free to play weekend. We couldn’t let people know we existed so I was fired when I completed all animations and everyone else was shortly after that. You will not find a player who played for more than 30 minutes and got used to the controls who disliked the game. The problem is you will probably not find a player very easily, there were only a few thousand.

    • Uh, wait… How can recognizing their own failures and mistakes be “arrogant”..? Should it not be the other way around..? You did not seem to think your choice of words carefully.

      You got upvotes just because you gratuitely, randomly bashed FFXIII in this site’s most bandwagon way (hardly related to the article, by the way), sir.

      • The arrogance is in the fact they acknowledged it without providing evidence of their acknowledgement. Anyone can say, “I’m sorry” – we do it every day, but to prove one is sorry – Square Enix ain’t got anything substantial to apologize with, and an unproven apology always is arrogant.

  • jamesownsall says:

    The good points contained in these slideshows kinda make the whole thing ironic and being nothing more than a paper parade, because they aren’t written by someone who is sitting in SE’s boardroom having the most shares in the company.

    Those top execs don’t give a single FUCK about players. In a world where execs who know jackshit about creative design get to make a creative decision on development, more money is being spent on clever marketing than actual development.

  • Now if only they can apply this to the single player Final Fantasy games and truly take to heart their core roots such as bring back the games that made Squaresoft great. Such as a sequel to Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross, Romancing Saga, Mana series, etc.

  • Wow, Squeenix are already ridiculing themselves.
    “Hey, look. This is why our products fail.”
    Well, the problem with the mobile game focus was already issued by Squeenix, yet they started to focus even more on social games lol

    Just a quick thought: how about a certain LN author writes a novel series “My little flowerpot can’t be this beautiful”?
    The story is about a game programmer in high school, who gets help in programming from a girl that was formerly just a virtual flowerpot. She turned magically into a real girl and poses as his imouto now… or, for certain reasons, she is just a transfer student living with his family. They hold sessions to improve his skills, but run into trouble all the time. Each new volume adds at least 1 girl to his harem… several are also virtual-object-turned-3D-girls… others include the non-blood related imouto, a bigtits blond ojou transfer student, the student coucil president, the tsundere childhood friend, etc.
    Hey, Squeenix just got an awesome story for a LN… they could adapt it into a social game!

  • FF XIV got dull after a month for me. It’s same old, same old, grind, fetch pointless quests, “Hello hero, can you please go dust my beautiful paintings?” At least i spent only 15$ thanks to Russian key website.

  • That last slide just shows that atleast someone at square-enix still has a brain, they need to put that guy in charge

    The current square-enix doesn’t follow 1) Never Forget The Fans or 4) Don’t Forget Your Roots, they could do with someone printing that slide out and plastering the walls of ever office with it IMO

    • They’ve actually made countless changes based on player feedback, so they’re obviously listening to them. As for forgetting their roots, FFXIV: ARR has dozens of winks and nods to older game mechanics, spells and skills.

      There are even in-jokes for people who have played earlier games in the Final Fantasy series.

      It’s not a perfect MMO, but they’re obviously taking criticisms seriously and refining the game with each update. There’s not a single game on the market which appeals to everyone but they seem to be doing the brand justice at last.

  • SO they’re saying that, in hindsight, FF14’s original launch went poorly due to mismanagement, improper focus, and too much groupthink during development.

    That makes sense. Hope that the relaunch goes well for them.

    • I also remember when they first announced the thing… supposedly, the preview was enough to hype people, only to immediately disappoint them when it was revealed to be another online title. Honestly, did they really need to make TWO titles in the numbered Final Fantasy series an MMO? Well, I never play them, but do they still charge up the ass for FFXI subscriptions?

      • Thought so at first too but…if you consider a single char can level upall classes (combat and crafting), I figure they were aiming at avoiding it being a korean grindfest.

        I still find it quite enjoyable to run dungeons and ests to level up my classes

  • mmos arent really about fun. Aspects can be fun but really its about allowing for a good community and having something to work towards, perferably with this community eg. levels or better equips.

    To many mmos go for the solo quest level grind then at max level equip grind dungeons. Now a days it can usually be done solo to with dungeon matching systems so there is really not alot of substance and the progression is entirely linear. It also seperates the community into end game and those still leveling.
    Pvp also generally just becomes who has played pve the most to get the best equips.

    Yawn. Wish mmos would take more design risks. I would love a tripple a game with a set up like Mabinogi that actually encourages a strong community.

  • Exasperated gasp! Actual truth and insight from someone at SquareEnix?! Maybe he could go and tell that to the XII/XV dev teams? Or any other person at the company?
    In the end, this presentation sounds like a walkthrough of SimMMOPRG.