Disastrous MMO launches are pretty much expected and par for the course more often than not. What really sets Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn apart from other poorly received launches is how they decided to go about fixing it. For one, Square Enix has been completely devoted to retooling and finishing the game properly with no compromises. That means it pulled the game offline and devoted the time to basically build the game from the ground up. They are more than willing to realize that lots of money and marketing would be needed to relaunch the brand and do so without hesitation. Next, which is something very commendable, Square Enix was adamant about their shortcomings (addressed them) and adopted a “release when it’s ready” stance. Clearly, The Final Fantasy brand is on the line as further damage can scare away even the most passionate of fans. But the care and commitment Square Enix has put into the game truly is exciting.
Comparing the two versions of the same game is a night and day difference. The graphical overhaul is amongst the most engaging features of the game. It would not be a stretch to surmise that it is one of the best looking MMO’s to come out as of late, alongside Guild Wars 2. Legacy issues such as general structure of gameplay, content zones and the class system have been received well so far during its testing phases. So far, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is well on track to fixing all of the previous mistakes as well as providing more than enough features to entice newcomers to the world of Eorzea.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the title that gamers and hardcore Final Fantasy fans wanted and expected in the first place. The problem with the title is that it is technically from 2010 and is now contending with an even bigger pool of ‘Free To Play’ MMO’s. It retains the traditional monthly payment plan, which is understandable given the enormous development costs to overhaul a game of this caliber, but it might not digest well with gamers given the current landscape. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may very well be a case to study for future MMO developers and game companies. It did a lot wrong but Square Enix is willingly taking a gamble to make it right. Come August, the world of Eorzea and the Final Fantasy series will be reborn.