As Final Fantasy’s producer Square Enix posts the news story regarding their latest video of Gridania, the excitement is building for the relaunch of A Realm Reborn. Recent reports have included information on the refusal of free-to-play, which was part of a promise made by the producers, but may have been a surprise for some fans. Given Guild Wars 2’s subscription model, where an initial purchase allows unlimited playtime, and the F2P move of SWTOR, FFXIV is only joined by Rift: Storm Legion and World of Warcraft and a few others in the big subscription-based MMO territory. It’s a bold move to demand subscriptions for a redeeming re-release, given the competition, and the temporary free-to-play in the past.

And given the earlier problems, which no FFXIV fan will be unfamiliar with, a well-known gaming site’s recent coverage of senior Square Enix employees’ negative comments about the company adds concerns for the latest iteration of this historically popular MMO. Square Enix posted losses in a recent earnings report, and former boss Hisashi Suzuki posted a highly critical tweet, asserting that the merged company had “no vision for the future”. While listening to an ex-boss’ complaints about a corporate merger is about as unbiased as hearing someone review their ex’s new girlfriend or boyfriend, it is concerning.

Kotaku recently reported on Square Enix employees “venting” on community employment sites about the company, quoting one employee:

“For each project, each position is then turned into a clique, and without a big time creator’s recommendation, it’s impossible to get ahead. One’s practical worth isn’t really looked at, but rather, personal friendship is how merit is assessed.”

“You’re given so much work, and the atmosphere is that if you cannot keep up, they’ll axe you,” wrote a 24 year-old employee. “There’s a tendency to ask workers to do more physical labor than mental labor.”

But does any of this admittedly negative coverage of the company behind the title mean that the game will have problems? Is a culture of “it’s not what you know but who you know” really a big deal in large corporations? Destructoid awarded FFXIV: A Realm Reborn the ‘Gamescom community choice award’ after the pre-release version was showcased in August, 2012, stating, “we’ve seen the considerable changes made to the engine, HUD and combat system, transforming it into a far cry from the game that disappointed so many.”

The video above definitely looks stunning, but it could be argued that it’s easy to showcase the best parts, and that the original FFXIV looked great before it was played. What are your thoughts? Do the problems reported at Square Enix mean that the new launch will be problematic, or are they normal, or irrelevant? Will Final Fantasy fail again?

  • Filip Buhov

    nothing can fail more than TORTANIC’s f2p model

    • matraque

      swtor is fine… Don’t be a hater… it’s unhealthy :)

      • Jason Hightower

        So is living in denial.

        • matraque

          Don’t worry…. the state and fate of swtor is not on my mind.

          • John R White

             hes not mad hes just sad. swtor is a failboat and hes going to go down with the ship apparently

  • Stefan Gospodinov

    It looks stunning and it has jump – already better then before! :D I have faith in Square Enix, they’re a good company, every company has slip-ups…

    I honestly think they’ve released (and are yet to release) one of the best titles this year – Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and the new Tomb Raider…

    I have faith in them. :)

  • SJ Eaton

    The thing is, the people that would be playing this are still play FFXI. I mean they are releasing a new expansion for FFXI next year aswell. I did try 14, laptop could not run it when i got into beta but my brother did play and while he said it was ok, it lacked players and just general atmosphere he said. Basically, he rejoined FFXI lol

  • Jonathan Hornsby

    We’ll see, but I don’t expect much. This is an industry that doesn’t give second chances. Especially at full price or with a subscription fee. 

  • matraque

    It will fail.  Look above, it’s written in the sky.

  • Shane Cominotto

    I really hope they do well on this one because Final fantasy has always been amazing aside from a few hiccups but those are in the past. I wish em luck ^^

  • Hoigwai

    It is my hope that they can make it work, I have many fond memories of Square games. Let’s hope they can do it.

  • Marcelo Linhares

    Final Fantasy series died a long time ago.
    One can only hope that we’ll see a game with such great quality as FFVI or even FFVII.
    (I’d give FFIX a good rating though)

  • Jason Hightower

    Hasn’t been a single Square Enix Final Fantasy that I’ve enjoyed. Series died a long time ago in my eyes.

  • Ravenstorm

    The catlady jumped, and to the sound of the backgroundmusic and scenery, she seemed to visited the Shire, fizly tweeting sounds and lush waving trees an’ all that nice stuff.
    Bold to be asking a fee, although FF has a long standing reputation and history, wouldn’t be surprised ppl paying for it. It’s from Square, afterall.
    Suzuki trolling about cliques is a childish joke. Ofcourse they do. It’s everywhere ffs. Yes it sucks. But an ex-boss should not humiliate himself like that on twitter. Wouldn’t wanna be an employee there though.
    Let’s wait till MikeB goes roaming in the reborn, his view of things is mostly loudmouthly expertly skilled to do so. BOOOOM !! Aaaawyeee.

  • Dularr

    Other than WoW, there are no longer any large subscription based MMOs.   While Rift is a really good MMO, it’s just not have the player base to be called a big MMO. With SWTOR going with it’s bizarre f2p model, it’s clearly much smaller than launch.

    I did a quick review of the sales reports for the last week and only Guild Wars 2 is in the top 10 of MMO RPG sales.  Lol, did see The Secret World and WoW game cards on the list, but no Rift.   

  • sheduur

    They can showcase gfx and ui changes all they want, and also show trailers. If the game feels as barren and empty, almost soulless, then it will of course fail again. The main problems, next to the obvious ui desaster, were all those empty landscapes with NOTHING happening and no details or signs of people or wildlife actually living there.

    I played the old game for a month or so and really tried to like it so I gave it a good run, but there were just too many things that completely ruined the gameplay experience. And my biggest fear right now is that there was too much wrong with the game and they are not capable of actually fixing it. The pace in which they fixed the simplest things was really slow, about as slow as the SWTOR guys, and that should give you a good picture of how slow I am talking about ;)

    • Picoman

      Lucky for you they are not just fixing but reworking from the ground up. Those 5 barren zones have been replaced with 40 smaller but more unique zones. These vids are just old-fashioned walkthroughs, no need to panic all.

  • TacoBaal

    Square lost its way with Final Fantasy beginning with 13. They need to just move on and work on newer IPs. Then they can be all radical, innovative or whatever buzzword you’d like with their games.

  • saxophone15

    The thing this game has going for it is that it’s Japanese. People who want to experience the aesthetics of an asian game just won’t find it in western games. If this game has at least a decent relaunch, I could see myself playing this alongside GW2. Both games would fill certain needs. Overall I think people are being to negative.

  • Nathiest

    So far it looks very promising. 

  • Thaguf

    I will give it another try after what ive seen with the huge changes.

  • Luke Malcolm

    I wanna try Final Fantasy 14 2.0 

  • Stone LX9

    I won’t try it unless they give me a free month –  I was a sucker buying that broken piece of garbage they had the audacity to call a game, I won’t be fooled twice.

    • saxophone15

      I think they said they will have a free month/trial, but I don’t feel like trying to dig up the quote right now.

    • Derrick Sturgill

      They’re giving everyone that bought 1.0 a free month of 2.0.

  • Stradus Woods

    Answer yes.  Of coarse it can.  Will it: no idea I just know I won’t be playing it.

    • Miguel Crespo

      and why not? give it a chance.. take the stick out of ur ass

  • Enderle

    So we get to see some pretty trees and lakes ..
    Yeah … THAT was the problem with FF XIV -.-”

  • Jason YuChen Huang

    Well it really depends on when they release it. The game will however sell in Japan regardless, but because they are going subscription and how subscription game are becoming less popular in the west. They would have to have to worry about when they are releasing it to avoid competition. If it is close to Blade and Soul or Phantasy Star Online 2 they would have some competition.

  • Miguel Crespo

    This is going to be a awesome MMO, friend of mine is in the alpha and he says he loves it. People need to give it a try and stop QQing about shit, like a sub fee..

    • Monstercloud

      Yeah, because no one said the exact same thing about FFXIV…

  • Matthew Jackson

    I bought FFXIV and practically wasted over $100 on a broken game… the question is this: Will I have to shell out a minimum $60 to get the essentially fixed version or will I just have to download an update. I ask this because I hardly want to spend $60 and be burned again, FFXIV’s massive failure put a black mark on the franchise that will always leave some doubt in my heart.

    • jon Tang

      From what i have read, no all you have to do is download the new game. It will not patch from your old install either as its complete different game.

      However you will have to subscribe.

  • John Gerry

    First because I hear this all the time.  Yes if you bought the original you’ll get a free month to try the game.  Sure it can fail.. but then.. maybe not.  I’m personally excited for this game but I’m pretty certain that the game won’t be flawless at release but the current ffxiv team’s a good group judging from the updates ver 1.0 got.  Still, if the core is there and it resounds to me like it looks to.  One thing to remember is that FFXI released at less than 60k subs and now it’s the most profitable ff franchise in history. You don’t need millions to be successful so as long devs manage their own expectations. 

  • Ivan Noa

    I’ll try it for sure. I put so much time into FFXI that I would feel bad about not giving this a second chance. I hope they get it right this time!

  • Miguel Crespo

     Square Enix has my respect, they are the only company that will  say “sorry but we failed” and re-start from the ground up. all other companies going the easy route and going F2P. So I will be getting this even if i have to re buy the CD! go go SE!

  • Izumi

    This looks amazing. :o

  • Jado Cast

    If they had made it B2P like the GW2 business model, I would of tried it but I’m not going to touch a game that failed once with a sub fee.   

  • Derrick Sturgill

    Played XI for 3 years and went back to it until XIV 2.0 comes. Played XIV the entire time it was released alongside XI most of the time, but quit XI for XIV exclusively for the last few months of 1.0 XIV’s life. 

    SE makes a niche MMO that is slower paced, group focused and lacks a lot of hand holding other MMO’s have (no being lead to quest hubs, crafting being more in depth). But I’d play them over most games out today, so I hope it doesn’t fail to attract a large audience again.

    And I can’t see them making XIV F2P/B2P. FFXI has been running on a sub model for over 10 years now with no microtransactions, and I hope they keep XIV the same way.

  • Bradford Bernard

    the issue here IS an issue of improper management, no idle timeout checker and no queue management is improper planning period and pretty much going to destroy the game from within before it ever even gets off the ground