The new director of Final Fantasy XIV Naoki Yoshida has recently made some interesting statements regarding Square Enix’s behavior before and after the redevelopment of Final Fantasy XIV. As Yoshida walked into the redevelopment of the MMO, he noticed that Square Enix was too much into its own comfort zone, and according to him this was a huge factor as to why FFXIV failed to impress audiences and critics alike. “What I found were two things,” he continued. “The first one was us as a company being too comfortable in the Final Fantasy franchise. We took it for granted. We thought, ‘Whatever game we make, players will play it.’ I think that was a very big mistake we made.”
Yoshida’s also classified Square Enix as not knowing much about MMORPGs and how to thrive in such a competitive market. “The second was lack of knowledge of the current MMO. We really should have studied more about the competitors in order to make a game that could win the competition in the MMO market.” Despite his well insightful assessments, he reiterates that Final Fantasy XIV will continue to have a monthly-fee subscription.
When asked about going free-to-play, Yoshida firmly states “I don’t think there’s a right or wrong for having a monthly subscription model or free-to-play model. Games like The Old Republic and The Secret World, I don’t say those games would’ve been more successful if they had been free-to-play, for example.” He continues, “The subscription model was unrelated to the success of the game.”
Yoshida considers himself an MMO veteran as he cites EverQuest and Ultima Online as major inspirations. Yoshida doesn’t see the value of following the free-to-play business mechanic, perhaps because they weren’t implemented in those titles. However, the video game industry is young and brash, and as result undergoes several changes quite rapidly to fit its consumer base. Turning an MMO into free-to-play is what some companies believe the norm will be from here on out, and that it’s otherwise a risk not to do so. Let’s hope that Yoshida’s vision holds true and Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t flop like it initially did. Since that was the main reason why it’s being remade in the first place.
Source: Penny Arcade