Final Fantasy brand 'greatly damaged' - Square Enix CEO

Yoichi Wada acknowledges state of Final Fantasy XIV Online has hurt the company's flagship franchise, pledges to continue rebuilding all aspects of the game.

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When Final Fantasy XIV Online launched on the PC last year, it did so to heaping critical scorn, so much so that within months Square Enix ousted the game's management team and delayed the planned PlayStation 3 version. At the time, the publisher publicly apologized for the state of the game, but it still hasn't managed to put the fiasco behind it.

Final Fantasy XIV hit the brand's weak spot for massive damage.

According to an Andriasang translation of a Sponichi report, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada provided an update on the game at a Tokyo press conference today. Wada reportedly discussed ongoing problems with the game, acknowledging, "The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged." He went on to say that Square Enix is continuing to work on Final Fantasy XIV, "which basically amounts to fully redoing the game."

Last December, when Square Enix implemented the management changes and delayed the PS3 edition, it said Final Fantasy XIV game would not hit Sony's platform until the company was "confident that the game has reached the level of enjoyability and service befitting the Final Fantasy name." The game has not yet been released for the PS3 and has no current release window.

Discussion

493 comments
X-Raze
X-Raze

FF14 hit the franchises low point. Definately. NIntendo hit their low point this year too finishing in the red for the first time since 1981. I'm sure its no big deal SE just needs to take it back a notch to what Final Fantasy is all about. I wish they would just kill FF14 off and start FF15 or 16 Online. This was a waste of time and resources. They need to just go back to their FF11 roots and improve upon what was already an amazing game. FF14 is what happens when you hire idiots to do a genius' job.

Chrono_Shift
Chrono_Shift

A thought, leave XIV as it is, and a lesson to any developers in the future who want to change the entire genre of their loooong existing franchise. That being said, i actually enjoyed FFXIII. I accepted they did things differently and took in what new and good they brought along. That being said, you've been repeatedly quoted as to saying you're trying to appeal to the mainstream audience. You were at your best with the first 10, back when RPGs weren't quite that popular. So maybe you should just ignore the mainstream, ignore the graphics(which are quite clearly where a vast amount of your efforts are going), and give all your money to your writing teams. I almost feel as though a lot of franchises these days could benefit from working with weaker software. Old games are so memorable and good because they had to rely on invention and creativity and quality of perfection since they had next to nothing to work with. It worked for Mario, Mega Man, Pokemon, etc. looking to work for Sonic, Halo, etc. So why not Final Fantasy? If this were to be done, I'd prefer either FFVI style or FFVII style(I know FFIX has the best graphics and hardware but I think that provides VII quite a bit of charm, specially with it's soundtrack)

dw9872
dw9872

Wow, SE somehow managed to top The Spirits Within when it comes to embarrassing the FF franchise.

MacBeth96
MacBeth96

To Square Enix : one way to bring the Final Fantasy brand back on tracks would be to do an HD remake of FF7... I'm sure all FF Fans would be happy with that.

Atheno
Atheno

Square..I am a forgiving over lord. Return to your ancient ways and I can still have you in the clouds where all great beings should be. It's not too late! (Or something a long those lines)

AlexFili
AlexFili

When will it be the Final one? :)

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@decoy1978 & @Hirasugi: I totally agree. I feel like that ever since after Final Fantasy X has ended, that the Final Fantasy series has gone down the gutter. I bought both FF X-2 & FF XII, & came out so disappointed that I didn't even bother to finish them. Not even FF XIII turned out to be so spectacular, & FFXI & FFXIV, don't even get me started on those. I don't even have high hopes for both FFXIII versus & FFXIII-2. Square definitely needs to go back to their roots & to find out what made FF great from FF 1 to FFX (except for FF 2, ugh).

Gov1
Gov1

Oh and HD REMAKE OF FINAL FANTASY 7 PLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I would fund it if I could :(

Gov1
Gov1

@Chainer323 and akirakorn Don't get me wrong the music in most of the Final Fantasy series is fantastic, the light hearted girly sequel just made me want to rip my eyes out though.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Of course the Final Fantasy brand has greatly being damage, you turn it into a freaking MMO. No Final Fantasy fan wants their main Final Fantasy game as an MMO. The last good FF game Square Enix made was Final Fantasy X and now it looks like the next good Final Fantasy game would be just that, a remake of Final Fantasy X. It's sad that they would even try to ruin Dragon Quest as well by making Dragon Quest X an MMO. Square Enix get your ass out of your head, your MMO sucks, stop making them and let your main franchises be what they intend to be... good RPGs.

deustchin
deustchin

Very true video,and the end is so natural.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

I was a FF fanboy...up until FF12. FF12 had a lackluster story and incredibly long super battles (60 - 90 minutes for one battle should be enough). I loved the stories of FF6, 7, 8, and 10. Once FF13 came along, that was my last FF. I never play MMO's, so I won't comment about them specifically. However, the FF brand has been damaged over and over since FFX (and some would say that damaged it too, though not me). I won't play FF again until the old crew FFX crew gets back on the job (including Nobuo Uematsu - it wouldn't be FF without his music).

loopy_101
loopy_101

The World Ends With You could do with a sequel, what do you say Square Enix?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@drakefs I apologize for presenting my opinion of FFXI and FFXIV in a way that may be confused for objective fact. FFXI may very well be considered a success. Nevertheless, I have always considered FF the preeminent RPG series in gaming, regardless of platform (though I like Chrono Trigger, Mass Effect and Fallout a bit more), but FFXI has not left the same footprint on MMORPG. It could be due to the subsequent release of WoW and then Guild Wars (which I personally play). It could be due to the staggered release of the FFXI in different parts of the world. To me, FFXI is at best a good MMORPG, but certainly not a leader or icon in the way I feel the broader FF franchise is. FFXIV, well, its reception speaks for itself. I confess I am prejudiced against FFXI and XIV from the start in the sense that I am prejudiced against all games that require a significant amount of grind. I even avoid the grind in the other FF games and play mainly for the story and the artistic presentation. That bias may have caused to develop an overly negative opinion of the two games, especially to other players like yourself who may enjoy that aspect.

MamaLukuBuku
MamaLukuBuku

FF XIV could have been a great game, but it came up pretty short, I stopped playing it after 3 weeks, such a waste of money.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

@Hurvl The fanboys and "other people"? ..... dude, the only people that are left playing FF ARE fanboys... there is nothing more unappealing to a regular US gamer now than turn based games... sales don't lie. The only ones buying the few that do come out in the states are like 1% of the FF fanboys.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"Oh no, our more than 20-year-old flagship has hit a shallow. It is terrible that a franchise is getting a setback after 23 years. FF is too young to die!" I don't think this will affect FF in the long run, it's actually good to make mistakes (if you can learn from them). The fanboys and other people who *just* like playing FF won't abandon it. This is like crying apocalypse after stubbing your toe.

drakefs
drakefs

@Unfallen_Satan: you do know that FFXI is considered a success right? It was a good game in its own right and compared to other MMORPGs. Honestly, I think SE is going about FFXIV the wrong way. They have one of the best, of all time, crafting systems for a MMO. The one thing they are missing is simple, Content. I get they are trying to change everything to attract more users but honestly, it only needs more content. A lot more content. Currently there just is not enough to do in the game. A grind is fine as long as I am entertained while grinding.

banana23man
banana23man

i dont mind playing another 20 FF games if they stick to their pre-FF13 route, because you dont change what works (ie, great stories, massive world to explore, engaging battle systems...etc). im actually forcing myself to complete FF13 so that i can look forward to FF13-2 which was promised to undo the inexplicable changes made to the FF series.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

It's good that SE recognizes the shortcomings of FFXIV, but I hope they move beyond it. I think they've been doing well since FFIX, barring XI and XIV. They haven't really appealed to the global MMORPG audience, but that's no reason to lose confidence of their single-player FF games.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

Square Enix gave up caring for Final Fantasy and I think it should just hand it over to a company that focuses on making RPG games. Square Enix has done a great job with the upcoming tomb Raider and did an even excellent job with Deus Ex I think signs point out that their thing might be games like those tittles but not RPG's which they're doing horrible with lately.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

I want towns and npcs with character back in my FF game. I want a populated world that exists outside of the cutscene. Too much to ask?

dybbuk
dybbuk

You can say your sorry by giving us versus already, a new Valkyrie profile game wouldn't hurt either......and what about Vagrant Story 2? there was a gem of a game. Hmmm, thinking up games that your fan base would love doesn't seem so hard to me square.

Oldgun
Oldgun

Final Fantasy brand 'greatly damaged', Thank you for waking up and smelling the Ashes. Now get to work and give us Final Fantasy Versus 13 already !!

fester420
fester420

For FFXIII, I probably could have made it more than 2 hours into the game if the battle system wasn't so horrible. Even the linearity doesn't bother me as much as not being able to control my characters, it's like i'm just watching them fight, barely having any control. I hope for the next game they bring back the battle system that made 1-9 so great.

krelmmaster
krelmmaster

If Square-Enix truly believe that it was FF14 that damaged the FF brand name then i have truly lost all hope for them and the FF series. Farewell.

m4a5
m4a5

Currently playing FFXIII and all I can say is that I almost stopped playing within the first few hours. Then I looked through the book and saw that there was some cool stuff to do. Now I can barely put it down because it got good after the beginning... All I can say is that I don't really like the combat system because, as smart as the AI can be, they still do not do what I want them to do sometimes...

voldalin
voldalin

just goes to show you how serious a business MMO's have become.

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

i never played final fantasy although i heard great things about many of the games in the series. i tried 13 and really didn't care for it at all. I know it's largely because I'm a "real time action" type of guy, i don't like turn-based and strategic battling systems. But ive played enjoyable turned based games..i love the golden sun series on GBA, and one RPG thats often overlooked as an RPG or turnbased game is the pokemon portable series...hmm...maybe i only really enjoy turned based games on portable platforms? I dunno. But it just sounds like final fantasy is dying, and thats a shame being that there are many a gamers who have never even played any of the series, and it would be great to have great games continuing to come out to bring in old fans and new ones alike on current systems. Not everyone has the patience to go back to old systems to play classic games. I do, but it's also because I'm a little older but missed a few gems. I'm currently going back through the gamecube catalog to play what i missed, already did that with xbox and N64...

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

Just put it out of its misery. By which I mean the whole series. It was great but now its like they're beating a dead horse or something.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

well 13 damaged it too... yet they don't seem to be removing the problems from the sequel >.> lol

somberfox
somberfox

They shouldn't have said that. Now we will never never hear the end of this from the nostalgia brigade who won't move on from pre-7 games.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

I think the major problems started when original FF creator left (around ffxi without any expensions). Up to then, the games were still all pretty darn interesting and good. ffxiv is kind of garbage and it damaged the brand because SE and the dev. acted very arrogant and didn't listen to anything the players said during the beta. Plus it still has many poor and broken concepts. I think this game may be dead forever. But the FF brand? Maybe not.

robertico7
robertico7

square enix is all about FF sequels now and i'm tired of them. I want something fresh something new.A new RPG.and stop making ff games

Chainer323
Chainer323

@Sendmn23 you do know they did make a sequel X

txgamerwavg
txgamerwavg

Redone FF13, that way they make the fans happy again.

Raven-002
Raven-002

My biggest gripe with SE is that instead of making breath taking experiences, they are focused on money and bringing in a ton of new fans. Good games bring in people....they are doing different things that are ruining the formula that worked so well for SquareSoft. Making sequels? FF was epic when each story was different and unique....it's what set FF apart from every other series! I don't think they'll ever make grand epics such as 7/8/9, because I don't think they are focused on that. It seems like they care more about pulling in profit, at the sake of exchanging mediocrity for it. So sad, FF was legendary. But the farther it goes, the worse it gets. Gamers aren't stupid, they know a great game when they see one. Sure, you can't please everybody, but this is just sad.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

In my opinion the Final Fantasy series is just lacking in creativity at the moment and hearing Final Fantasy Versus XIII (note the number and spinoff subtitle) doesn't help newcomers to the series. What they need is to just make a few games each generation with different themes like they made the FF's with a crystal theme recently. If they just picked a new theme (as FF is meant to change up) now and again and try and make a few, solid and cool titles during the series of each theme they could attract new fans every time a new series comes out without sounding like it's final fantasy 45 HD versus crystalis online. I mean seriously we acknowledge Square isn't able to pump them out quickly when they're constantly trying new things so having a strict theme for 2 or 3 games could keep them focused.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

u know the drill if is not broke fix it, now it is damaged, and we hope it is fix by then.

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

And I thought Final Fantasy XIII damaged it already.

Xtatic324
Xtatic324

It's a shame. Final Fantasy XI Online was a good, addicting online game. I had high hopes for the one after but after reading all the reviews, I'm glad I didn't buy it.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Damaged? Gasping for air hoping for a few precious breaths before death is more like it. The Final Fantasy franchise has been embarrassing for years. They should kill the franchise all together, just to save face. The greatest moments in the series are in the past, and I really don't think there is any hope for the future. Square Enix has ruined Final Fantasy. It makes me so mad one of the greatest series of all time has been reduced to trash. Turn it around, Square Enix. Make a believer out of me again. The problem is, if you keep going down the path you're on, you never will.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

FinalKloud
FinalKloud

Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts 3 Final Fantasy Tactics II, Final Fantasy 7,8,9,12, HD Remix.. ok go.

stankops
stankops

 @MacBeth96 If they fail however, they destroy the memory of the best game they ever made...