Square Enix Replaces FFXIV Leadership, PS3 Version Delayed
Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) has had its share of issues since launch ranging a confusing billing system to a less than thrilled player base due to several game issues. Square Enix even provided players with two additional free months of playtime while they tried to whip the game into shape. Unfortunately, FFXIV is still not where the company or many players would like to see it. So in an effort to meet expectations, Square Enix has replaced several members of the FFXIV leadership team. The announcement also explains that the free trial period will again be extended until a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment satisfactory to the team and players can be created.
Taking over as the new Producer/Director is Naoki Yoshida, a relatively obscure industry individual by his own words. Joining Yoshida is the new Assistant Director Shintaro Tamai (FFX, Front Mission 5: Scars of the War), Nobuaki Komoto (FFIX, FFXI) moves into the position of Lead Game Designer, Lead Combat System Designer Akihiko Matsui (FFXI) and a number of others. Square Enix hopes that the move will get FFXIV back on track and help meet player expectations.
In addition to the changes, Square Enix has also delayed the release of the Playstation 3 version of FFXIV until they feel confident that the game has reached an enjoyable level. This puts FFXIV on a growing list of MMOGs that have hoped to make console releases but fell short. Will FFXIV make its PS3 launch or join others that have fallen short of a console release like Age of Conan and Champions Online? The track record for MMORPG and console delays is a virtual graveyard of titles. The delay is certainly another notch on a growing list of setbacks for FFXIV.
You can read all the FFXIV team changes in the official announcement along with a message from the new Director/Producer Naoki Yoshida.
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of FINAL FANTASY XIV.
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.
To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company's top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. Not only is he one of our Group's most accomplished and experienced members, Naoki Yoshida is also a charismatic leader possessing the skill to bring together and effectively helm a team which encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on FINAL FANTASY XIV.
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