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gdc 2014

FFXIV: Realm Reborn Director Blames Troublesome Initial Launch On Franchise Success, Graphical Focus

by Kimberley Wallace on Mar 19, 2014 at 01:38 PM

Today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn producer and director Naoki Yoshida shared some insight into why Final Fantasy XIV's original launch was such a failure.

Yoshida noted how much success Square Enix had from Final Fantasy XI, making Square Enix a great proft. But according to Yoshida, great success can breed greater failure. The studio succumbed to the pressure and stubbornly adhered to outdated policies. 

Yoshida also discussed how when FFXI launched in 2002, it was still in MMORPGs' early days, but eight years passed before Final Fantasy XIV, and much had changed. Unfortunately, Square Enix wasn’t up with the times, and instead felt that focusing on graphics was the best way to make a mark in the new MMO landscape. Square spent so much time on graphics that it overlooked the player’s experience. For instance, Square put around 1K polygons and used 150 lines of shader code on a single flower pot. To put that in perspective, that’s the same process load of one playable character. Yoshida noted the perfectionism and fixation on small elements were problematic; developers’ time could have been better spent elsewhere. 

He's proud of how A Realm Reborn was able to take a step back and fix these issues and persevered to provide a higher quality experience. 

Have you played A Realm Reborn? If so, what did you think of it?