This is one of those successful stories where the protagonist initially is tossed around, inexperienced and incapable of doing anything worthwhile and slowly everyone stops paying attention to the protagonist and he hits way low goes to have drinking problem with only his girl on his side to take care of him and eventually dies leaving the girl all alone. But when times change and the girl is taken by mysterious dark forces, the protagonist is revived, raised from the dead, risen like a phoenix, deemed the only one who can save the girl and the world. The newly revived protagonist is nothing like he was before and continues to triumph.
Same is the case with Final Fantasy XIV. Final Fantasy XIV Online, when it was launched, received widespread negative criticism regarding the game’s quality and Square Enix was under heavy fire. The original release received feedback such as the game is unfinished if not totally unplayable, received many awards like “The Most Disappointing Game of the Year” and “Worst Sequel”. This led to official apologies by Square Enix admitting that the game was of poor quality and offered free trial extensions and also asked for patience. Square Enix’s CEO, Yoichi Wada, also admitted that Final Fantasy XIV has greatly damaged the “Final Fantasy” brand as a result of the game’s shortcomings.
Following the negativity, Square Enix quickly saw fit to reshuffle the development team and the game design. Which would later lead to the rebirth of Final Fantasy XIV as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This new title launched on PC, PlayStation 3 and will also launch on PlayStation 4. The original release only saw a PC release. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was everything the original release was not. Building upon a new game engine and addressing all the previous issues faced with the original release, A Realm Reborn features a new story, improved server structures, revamped interface and gameplay.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was met with positive response. People citing that with the new engine and gameplay elements, it gave the traditional Final Fantasy feel and was a farcry from the original disaster of a game. Not only that but the game was so successful for Square Enix that they released their profit figures. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn broke the record of the previous MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, which had a strong userbase of 500,000 subscribers. A Realm Reborn has broken through that and has more than 600,000 subscribers. Not only that but as of September 30, Square Enix has shipped 1.45million copies of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. You can check out the slides released by Square Enix here, here and here. Do note that all these figures are for September 30.
Things are finally looking up for Square Enix regarding the Final Fantasy brand. What do you think about Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn? Are you a subscriber too? Let us know in the comments below.