New FFXIV Director Explains What Went Wrong With Original
Naoki Yoshida intends to transform Final Fantasy XIV from a failure into a success and believes he has pinpointed what went wrong with the original game.
Speaking with Kotaku, Yoshida explained that after the game was negatively received by players during Beta testing, he was concerned. “When I heard that it was going to go on sale as planned, I thought, that will probably be a big mistake,” he said.
Yoshida was not part of the original team that worked on FFXIV, but he believes the biggest problems with the game arose from how the game itself was envisioned and developed. The concept behind the first FF MMO, Final Fantasy XI, was “Final Fantasy meets EverQuest,” which was the top MMORPG of the day. The dev team had spent extensive time with EverQuest, learning what made it so appealing. “I think it would’ve been good to do the same thing [for the original FFXIV],” Yoshida said.
In Yoshida’s opinion, the reason FFXI was a success is that it was based on an EverQuest-inspired framework infused with the strongest elements of Final Fantasy: cutscenes, dramatic scenarios, and story-driven content.
When the original FFXIV was in development, the goal of the project was simply to make a game that was different from FFXI, and the creators didn’t recognize that the global standard of MMOs had been significantly raised in recent years. Yoshida said, “I think it would’ve been good if they tried seeing what happened if they turned World of Warcraft into Final Fantasy. So, because they tried only to make something that was ‘different from FFXI,’ they ended up with not much of anything.”
“They should have said, ‘Hey you, go play WoW for a year [for inspiration].’”
Yoshida believes the team is on the right track with FFXIV, A Realm Reborn. “We won’t make a mistake like FFXIV again—if we did, it would be like at the level of destroying the company.”
That’s all well and good, but isn’t the biggest complaint leveled against SWTOR the fact that it is simply World of Warcraft in the Star Wars universe?