Final Fantasy XIV leadership ejected, PS3 version delayed

Management of every area changed as Square Enix offers "sincerest of apologies," promises changes, extends free-play period indefinitely.

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When the latest Final Fantasy massively multiplayer online game came out, it met a volley of criticism from players and critics alike. Today, Square Enix apologized to players, promised a further extension of Final Fantasy XIV's free trial period, announced a complete management restructuring, and confirmed the PlayStation 3 version would miss its March 2011 ship date.

No one will be taking up arms in Eorzea on the PS3 any time soon.
No one will be taking up arms in Eorzea on the PS3 any time soon.

The most high-profile departure is producer/director Hiromichi Tanaka, who has stepped down and been replaced by Naoki Yoshida. In a statement accompanying the news, Tanaka apologized for the current state of Final Fantasy XIV, taking full responsibility for the game's shortcomings. While Tanaka is stepping down from his current roles, he will "be continuing to support the development team in other capacities."

As well as a new director, the project now has a new assistant director, lead game designer, lead combat system designer, lead programmer, and lead artist, among others. The new team will be producing game updates more regularly, according to Square Enix. There are two scheduled before the end of the year, with more details on their content to follow.

Confirming the PS3 version delay, Square Enix "humbly" asked for a player's "continued patience and understanding." The firm said the game would not hit Sony's platform until it was "confident that the game has reached the level of enjoyability and service befitting the Final Fantasy name."

Square Enix president and CEO Yoichi Wada apologized to fans for the state of game and pledged to extend the game's free trial period "until we are able to confidently present [players] with a concrete plan outlining Final Fantasy XIV's new direction."

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