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Square Enix has sacked the team behind Final Fantasy XIV, announced the game will be free until they “can provide customers with quality service,” and indefinitely delayed the PS3 port of the game.

The announcement comes from none other than the man responsible for the mess in the first place, CEO Yoichi Wada:

While more than two months have passed since the official launch of FINAL FANTASY XIV service, we deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise, and for this we offer our sincerest of apologies.

After thorough deliberation on how to meet those expectations, it was decided that the most viable step was to approach improvements under new leadership and with a restructured team.

[Spiel about the replacement team (their leader even goes so far as to admit nobody has ever heard of him) redacted]

We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining FINAL FANTASY XIV’s new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.

Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011.

The FINAL FANTASY XIV team is working hard to bring our customers an unparalleled adventure, and we ask for your continued understanding and support as we march ever diligently towards that goal.

President and CEO, Yoichi Wada

Player numbers became so embarrassing that Square Enix had to hide them, so just what state server populations are in is no longer known – given the scope of the announcement it seems likely they have declined even further.

In light of Square Enix’s other comments it seems increasingly likely the game will end up being sidelined as permanently free to play with players being nickelled and dimed for items and extras – certainly recovering from the existing PR cataclysm seems unlikely.

With the game almost universally considered a lost cause, presumably the only thing forcing Square Enix to keep throwing good money after bad is the determination of Wada to avoid the humiliating resignation which seems likely to be the company’s only chance at salvation.


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    Avatar of PewPewPew!
    Comment by PewPewPew!
    17:51 10/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Guess someone or something finally gave them the slap to a rude awakening to reality...

    Avatar of KoollKat
    Comment by KoollKat
    18:14 10/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Finally sacked the lousy devs, as has been predicted..

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    19:14 10/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I'm going to say this very sincerely... do not blame the devs. Blame the management direction. I cannot stress enough how much of a personal experience I can relate to you that is so ungodly similar to what is happening to them that I can just promise you that the devs themselves are not the cause of this.

    Even here in America where we're told to share ideas, you wouldn't believe the fear involved in risking your job to express a creative opinion to people higher than you in those positions. The chances of hitting their ego just the wrong way with the wrong wording is extreme. Now consider how that would like be in Japan, and therein lays much of the problem.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:07 10/12/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    From what I've read of developer experiences and personally know about the gaming industry, HouseLife's statements are correct.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:59 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The ones who aren't familiar with Nintendo are the same millions of old people and normfags playing Zynga games on facebook.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    05:14 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @alidan

    Those conditions were true, and as far as I'm aware, EA has changed its ways due to its intense scrutiny. It buys up all the companies, but it's gotten so big that it must have responsibility for its methods.

    Several of my friends and I did exactly that for our company. We were there until midnight after having arrived at 9 AM for a good three-month stretch because the release date depended on our ability to get our work done. And honestly... it was kind of fun. I wasn't even paid for that time, and I still would have done it. I can't begin to express how fun it is to work in games when you are with an awesome team of great people. The game was still never released and I'm still owed money from the company I will never see.

    I still wouldn't have traded that time for anything. We are the types of people that whiny fools who blame 'devs' are lumping together with the stupid business men who have no concept of games as an art form and are the reason they fail. I won't say all devs are like me and my friends though, they can be just as bad, but no game artist does it to get rich.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:14 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wada should just jump off a bridge save the people under him some face. He's the main reason FF14 is bad because HE won't let it die. He forced them to make another horrible MMO styled game when after he basically said.

    "Fuck you fans, remaking FF7 is hard because I wasnt around. You fans will buy anything we make anyway so have some shit cake and shut up."

    I agree w/ houselife strongly the CEO's and the guys at the top basically do NOTHING. Their ego's is basically how the industry is ran these days since COD4 came out. Everybody wants to make another COD4 but they forget COD4 was a fluke in itself. They say money is "tight" these days but still somehow have millions to push bad IP's to death. They have the money but most of these publishers and CEO's are too chicken shit to really stand out with their products. I'm glad these Indie game makers and Atlus hasn't solded out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:45 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Agree. I thought the Captain was suppose to go down with the ship not the crew. WTF

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:27 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Creative ideas?
    Look at the current "most well-known" game company, Zynga.

    Eat shit - a billion flies can't be wrong.

    Avatar of TenguSan
    Comment by TenguSan
    08:15 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    honestly, i don't care who's fault it is. just fix it and learn from your mistake

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:16 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    People like playing shit like Farmville because it's aimed directly at a casual audience like old people and bored housewives. These people may not know "Zynga" the game company directly, but they know it's games, they likewise will have no idea who 'Mario' is, having never played any of Nintendo's games.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    06:23 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anonymous
    05:16

    damn near everyone no matter how old or young knows mario, and if they dont know his name they at least know what he looks like.

    HouseLife
    05:14

    ill give it to you there, when you have a passion for something you can do shit like that, and not care, and that probably how the gt team was, that and rent in japan is fucking ludicrys for what you get, that cubical size room may have cost 1 grand depending on the area.

    but this is square and ea, when was the last non paint by numbers square game made? and this is also japan, so they are payed significantly less than the american counterpart for the most part. i believe they have a seniority system for there pay, no matter how skilled the newer talent is. being that burnt out, under payed, and with horrific working conditions (i know corporate japan has unpayed overtime that is "optional" but if you don't do it they will find someone who will) i don't know if that applys to square but i wouldn't doubt it.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    18:20 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they never learn, never

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    02:53 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i believe they are farmvil crap

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:46 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The hell is "Zynga"? Nintendo (EAD) would be the most well known. You don't have to like them, but they are the creators of the world's most prominent IPs...

    I mean, just how many gamers wouldn't recognize Mario? He's like the Mickey Mouse of vidja games.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    01:06 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    HouseLife
    19:14

    you hit most of the points. but you also have to factor in working conditions for them. if i remember right grand trismo dev it was either before 3 or before 4, but they basically lived in the studio, working and than sleeping under there desk, and this was common.

    i believe ea america a while back had people working 80 hour weeks and wasnt paying the overtime.

    you can only imagine what a combination a square ran dev team must have gone through.

    Anonymous
    23:14

    cod4 wasn't really a fluke. if i remember right, it was a damn solid game from cod1-3 and at the time the only moder day fps games were tactical games like rainbow 6, swat, or was fear (i believe that came out before cod4)

    than cod4 came out, was a solid game, modern, and had next to no competition in the market, and lastly wasn't set in ww2, something that at its release was done to fuckin death. cod was going to be a hit, but they had no idea how big of a hit it would be. a fluke it wasn't, a game that came out at the right time, marketed at the right people, and had the right setting, made all the difference.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:52 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The team was restructured (not sacked), and (only) the leader was sacked. The devs are not to blame. They developed what was asked of them. If anyone's to blame, it's whoever came up with the gameplay, the map designers, and interaction designers.

    From experience, the only way to salvage the title is to involve the players. Use an incremental development approach, so players get new features frequently.

    On the other hand, game development is a craft, and should be treated as such. From what I've gathered, FF14 feels like it was "engineered": well written software without a soul.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:47 10/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Actually I don't think it's all the developer's fault. I mean, this CEO is the problem. IMHO games like FF should never be outsourced... They should be developed by highly paid professionals and masters of the art!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:43 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FF is great series of games. Up to a point. 7 changed them. I didn't like 8,9,12,13. So...whatever they did before they went this new direction they need to do again. Fast. I'm not sure Square Enix grabbing up Tomb Raider and Dungeon Seige will help but they should have known better with FF14 by juts looking at the MMOs that are large and in charge.

    Comment by Anonymous

    FF and professional is an oxymoron.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:46 13/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh how nice, I write some neat graphics to some lousy plot and then I'm guilty for it's failure? No, devs are not entirely guilty except maybe for not telling their superiors that their ideas were a piece of cr@p. Just remake it already and ask the small guys in your company, they probably have better ideas.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:32 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ask anyone who played FF11 for long time, it is known that Tanaka always refuses to listen to the playerbase and changes the game according to what he thinks better, which most of the time is a bad addition to the game. After he moved entirely to FF14 development, FF11 updates that came after were unbelievably good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:24 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The man responsible for the mess in the first place is Hiromichi Tanaka (Producer/Director) who got replaced by Naoki Yoshida.

    The game sucks right now. After playing it you will feel that the goal of the game is to piss you off.

    As a game it is not a "lost cause". They can still fix it and make a good game out of it, but then they will have to deal with customer trust issue.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:28 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There are many QUALITY issues that can't be fixed, like the overuse of tiled cut and paste locations.

    Avatar of Renzo
    Comment by Renzo
    03:56 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's perhaps better to make it 'free to play' rather than forcing to 'pay to play', it has lost its charm anyway right now

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:22 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is f2p atm... as it has been for the last 3 months.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:14 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Granted it has been free if you bought the game before a certain cutoff date...

    New management sounds great, as long as it doesn't repeat what has been happening since the game's premature release. i.e. what they called a "fix"

    Oh well, more free time to run with.

    Comment by Anonymous

    "-we deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise"

    Bold statement when expectations were low to begin with.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only the naive had high expectations for this piece of crap. Failnal Failtasy... The fantasy is over!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:44 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "expectations were low to begin with."? Are you stupid? People were hyped as hell to get their hands on it. Until some fo the obvious wtf things started coming out. square boned themselves on this one by not knowing the crowd they should have been aiming for.

    Avatar of illshouyu
    Comment by illshouyu
    02:38 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's nice of you to comment on the matter when you have absolutely no knowledge of it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I can't imagine why anyone would be foolish enough to get excited for a squeenix game after so many failures in the past. It's their fault for being foolish enough to let the same company burn them repeatedly and keep coming back for more.

    Avatar of Ray
    Comment by Ray
    07:08 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's Wada what do you expect? if it were Nomura he'd probably just deny it's existence altogether.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    19:16 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    at this rate it is only a matter of time 'til Wada himself resigns (and life goes on as usual)....

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:43 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    mebe - or find him dangling from a rope in his office closet.
    ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:03 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    One can always dream.

    Avatar of araradude
    Comment by araradude
    19:02 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seems to me that it's now all up to this Naoki Yoshida fellow, not just the fate of FFXIV, but whether the FF series will continue to exist or not...

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    23:45 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only it wasn't a slap. It was a donkey punch.

    Wada should resign immediately.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    18:14 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (-0.1)

    We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service.

    A wee bit too late there, but keep trying (to fail), SE.
    I'll be here (to laugh my ass off) while you struggle once more.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:17 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In another ten years, a comment like this will have a rating of +0.8 or beyond if SE can manage to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that they've nothing to offer.

    At the very least that's my fear. The past has been nothing but a lineup of disappointments for me unfortunately with what consoles I had access to as far as the FF lineup is concerned. Then again I can live without an FF MMO tbh...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:03 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't think many people will be dumb enough to stick it out with squeenix for much longer, certainly not 10 years. Although then again, I tend to give people too much credit.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    18:29 10/12/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    TL Note: Meow means Meow.

    21:02 10/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thanks for the info nya. :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 11/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Hold on here.

    Shouldn't people be happy that SE is pulling all of this crap?

    I mean really. Look at when a company releases a game that is pure shit or full of bugs or whatever. What do those companies do? They might release a hastily thrown together patch or more often than not cut their losses accept the failure and move on to the next game.

    SE is actually making the effort to go out and say "We made a piece of shit, someone should have been watching this thing, we're going to make this right."

    Of all the things SE could have done with how poorly FFXIV has turned out they've actually been doing the upstanding things here. I don't see why anyone should be complaining about a company that is attempting to do the right thing for once.

    Avatar of MikuMiku
    Comment by MikuMiku
    02:21 11/12/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I alpha & beta tested this game and it was a sack of shit. All the feedback us testers gave to Squeenix was ignored. As soon as I heard about the 'fatigue' system I canceled my pre-order straight away. Fuck Square Enix, they're dead to me now. Can't do anything right.

    I'm ashamed to have wasted my time on it tbh.

    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    16:16 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    just release Parasite Eve Archives and Xenogears for the west and this will be forgotten.

    can't believe how much square wasted money on this. hope you learn your lesson now square.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:03 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    SquareEnix only alienates their fans more with westernization. It's time they stop and produce games with Plans and Effort without excessive Western influence.

    Avatar of illshouyu
    Comment by illshouyu
    03:37 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    _Every_ Final Fantasy game has western influence. It has nothing to do with how bug free and contentless a game is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:04 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What westernization? Unless you think Western audiences enjoy XP caps and 36 hour refresh rates on 8 quests.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:55 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "e deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise"

    No...no I pretty much expected this from the FF franchise nowadays.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:37 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Square needs Tetsuo Mizuno. He's the REAL talent behind Squaresoft. Square wasn't triple AAA material before Tetsuo Mizuno became their president. Under his reign we got FF5, FF6, FF7, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Mario RPG, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy Tactics. He's the reason why Square was more popular than Enix outside of Japan(non-japanese people's 1st impression of Squaresoft came from the Tetsuo Mizuno era of games)

    The games before never held a candle to the above, and the games that came after were 'meh' at best.

    Even on a shoestring budget with new devs and few resources, Tetsuo Mizuno still manages to create the impressive Mario&Luigi series for the Nintendo DS.

    Hironobu Sakaguchi is an overrated and talentless hack. And Xenogears would've been one giant "Disc 2" if Tetsuya Takahashi had his way with it(Xenogears running out of budget is a MYTH, a myth that was broken the moment Xenosaga came out[Xenosaga was one giant "Disc 2").

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:58 11/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FF4 was great!






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