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Wada: Final Fantasy XIV a Serious WoW Rival

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 48 comments
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Square Enix wants to take on Blizzard with its upcoming MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV.

Square Enix president Yoichi Wada told Develop that the company is looking to take on Blizzard's monster MMORPG, World of Warcraft, with its own offering, the upcoming MMOG Final Fantasy XIV. That's a bold statement considering that Final Fantasy XI for the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360, its previous MMORPG that connected all three platforms together, failed to become a house-hold name.

But Wada and Square Enix seems determined to overpower the Blizzard giant. In fact, he questioned Blizzard's ability to successfully create a sequel to World of Warcraft, citing failures of other companies who had a great 1st MMOG but an unsuccessful sequel. But he did admit that Blizzard is a tough competitor, however talking about who can make a bigger sequel doesn't change the fact that World of Warcraft has over ten million subscribers. That's quite a mountain to conquer.

With that said, could Final Fantasy seriously be a threat to World of Warcraft's throne? Wada offered a earnest yes, but also said that both games will offer consumers a choice. "We believe there is a number of people that will stay attached to each title, but we are optimistic in that sense for Final Fantasy," he said.

Wada goes on to talk about the MMORPG itself, and how it will retain the monthly subscription fee structure. Square Enix also decided to change the gameplay to some extent, making it less party-specific and easier for solo gamers to embark on quests alone. Final Fantasy XIV is expected to launch sometime in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Games for Windows.

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  • 8 Hide
    logitic , December 16, 2009 7:09 PM
    A solo friendly MMO...

    AOC was a solo friendly MMO with no endgame content. It didn't do so well. I think Wada just wants free press. Nobody should come out and challenge WoW before they even make servers.

    Sounds like a lot of talk and no action.

    But hopefully I am wrong. Would love to see some fresh meat in the MMO pool.
  • 7 Hide
    sliem , December 16, 2009 7:36 PM
    Fresh meat? how about star trek online?
  • 6 Hide
    Honis , December 16, 2009 7:39 PM
    Quote:
    its current MMORPG that connected all three platforms together, failed to become a house-hold name.
    Parrot the news and facts, not your opinion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XI
  • 0 Hide
    logitic , December 16, 2009 7:46 PM
    sliemFresh meat? how about star trek online?


    I actually have a friend by the name of Kue that is doing Art work for Star Trek Online. Haven't gotten a beta key, so don't know how it will play. But I am pretty sure ST online is not going after WoW's Costumer base.

    Kotor online should also be coming out in 2010.
  • -2 Hide
    Manos , December 16, 2009 7:53 PM
    Yeah this is a failed attempt. As much as i love FF titles I have to say that not only they failed to get any close with FFXI which ofc means nothing, but if you know and have heard of the elemts of FFXIV, not only it wont get any close again, but also its already failed for me. Im a FF fun and WoW veteran who is sick of it hoping for a year or 2 now that a refreshing new MMO will be worth staying at. Have tried everything and have had guilds at everything. Meaning that I did way more than just try them. Well im sorry but FFXIV sounds like an MMO thats not worth to even try so far. I do hope they change a lot of the shit i heard from them so far cause it will suck if its as bad as they made it sound..

    P.S. I sure as hell hope they are right and surprise me though. Been waiting for something like that in the MMO field to happen.
  • -2 Hide
    Onus , December 16, 2009 7:58 PM
    Subscription model? (monthly fee > mag subscription) = FAIL.
  • 1 Hide
    shouyou , December 16, 2009 8:03 PM
    manosYeah this is a failed attempt. As much as i love FF titles I have to say that not only they failed to get any close with FFXI which ofc means nothing, but if you know and have heard of the elemts of FFXIV, not only it wont get any close again, but also its already failed for me. Im a FF fun and WoW veteran who is sick of it hoping for a year or 2 now that a refreshing new MMO will be worth staying at. Have tried everything and have had guilds at everything. Meaning that I did way more than just try them. Well im sorry but FFXIV sounds like an MMO thats not worth to even try so far. I do hope they change a lot of the shit i heard from them so far cause it will suck if its as bad as they made it sound..P.S. I sure as hell hope they are right and surprise me though. Been waiting for something like that in the MMO field to happen.


    Same here I love the FF RPGs but the MMO wasn't so appealing. I'm hoping the new Star Wars Old Republic is good.
  • 3 Hide
    spagunk , December 16, 2009 8:09 PM
    The biggest thing about a successful MMO is that it has to be accessible. Your average person, coming off the street, will NOT have any idea what the whole FF franchise is about. IMO Final Fantasy suffers from Aeon Flux syndrome: Too many non-converging plot points with little to no symmetry. I can tell you right off the bat that there is nothing inherently in common between the current Final Fantasy series and FF 1. This alone is a hurdle that needs to be overcome for the MMO to be accessible.

    WOW, on the other hand, has a rich story line that has an understandable progression (not perfect mind you) that follows a more western hemisphere story line. But foremost is that it is accessible. Anyone can pick the game up and play it without any prior experience with the story or the game.
  • 0 Hide
    astrotrain1000 , December 16, 2009 8:16 PM
    FFXI does a good job of capturing the essence of the Final Fantasy universe. FFXIV graphically looks awesome. I play FFXI now and they've made some good changes the last few years. I think they are using it as a test bed for 14.
  • 2 Hide
    maestintaolius , December 16, 2009 8:20 PM
    Well, if they go the grinderific model that was FFXI (where you not only have to level your toon once, but multiple times not to mention the horror that was crafting) I don't see this taking off. Grind crazy games like L2 and whatnot do well over the Pacific but not so much here. Also, it'd be nice to have more variation in mobs, at level 5 you're fighting rabbits, at level 55 you're fighting rabits, no change in powers (other than they hit harder), heck, not even a palette swap. At least in EQ1 the orcs changed colors at higher levels and learned some new spells.

    The other issue I had with the game (I played for about a year after it came out) is how hard it was to get on the same server as your friends, I don't know if this is still the case. Also, since the game was out for a year in Japan before here there was a huge power disparity between the US and Jap players. And the final thing I disliked was WHM were less desirable than RDM and you were even less desirable unless you were one of those ugly taru taru things. Which made getting on a team, which was pretty much required to do anything, kind of difficult.

    That said, I would love for a FF MMO to come out that's a little more solo friendly. Currently the only MMO I enjoy is the CoX franchise because of how friendly it is to casual play and the fact you don't need the Holy MMO Trinity to do anything.
  • 6 Hide
    sliem , December 16, 2009 8:21 PM
    HonisParrot the news and facts, not your opinion.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XI


    Hey be nice to him on his personal blog site.
    Please don't mind spelling errors either.
  • 9 Hide
    _Cubase_ , December 16, 2009 8:27 PM
    The day South Park base an entire eipsode on the Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG is the day they can begin considering themselves a contender in the competition against the WoW phenomenon.
  • 4 Hide
    ct1615 , December 16, 2009 8:33 PM
    1. isn't there already a FF MMO out there?
    2. good luck taking on WoW...maybe try something more reasonable like not sucking as much as AoC?
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2009 8:48 PM
    Wada questioning blizzard's "ability to make a sequel" is silly. they don't NEED to make a sequel, this game is still a cash cow. If they start losing subscribers then they'll think about it.

    I played ffxi for a long time. The first thing they need to fix is the control scheme. Its utterly atrocious. If they can mimic a wow control scheme (close to perfection) then that would help things. And don't make everything so tedious. Heck, just traveling in ffxi is tedious. Give us some mounts or something...

    Sorry, I'm bitter. I have friends who will not break free from the chains that are ffxi and play wow with me... >_
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2009 8:52 PM
    The only thing that'll kill WoW is WoW, or more accurately Blizzard.

    Aside from all the western MMOs that ended up failures, at least compared to WoW, the eastern ones tend to not attract a major following in the US/EU. Cue Aion, which had a lot of things going for it but people deserted the game just as quickly.
  • 3 Hide
    majora28 , December 16, 2009 9:20 PM
    Im pretty sure blizzard is like,"Oh really?"
  • -2 Hide
    Raidur , December 16, 2009 9:23 PM
    WoW is the most overrated MMORPG ever. The PvE content is weak and easy as hell. The PvP could be much better. Not to mention the graphics are HORRIBLE and cartoony. Oh yeah, and the community is even worse than the graphics... I don't even remember a day that I played WoW and didn't hear a chuck norris joke... come on. (I played for a week and got a char to lvl 45 and got way too bored with the easy-as-hell PvE)

    I know how to beat wow, take Vanguard:SOH's PvE and graphics and combine that with Warhammer's RvR/PvP. Would be an easy takeover.
  • 0 Hide
    Platypus , December 16, 2009 9:40 PM
    I'm hoping they learned the error of their ways in their previous MMO and will make the next one flawless. I enjoy the FF series of games, but FFXI left a lot to be desired.
  • 0 Hide
    invlem , December 16, 2009 9:55 PM
    "Square Enix also decided to change the gameplay to some extent, making it less party-specific and easier for solo gamers to embark on quests alone"

    While I agree they have to make it a bit easier than the original, I hope they won't go overboard.

    One of the main reasons I quit WoW was the complete lack of challenge in the game, you could glide through all the content without any real difficultly.

    The true challenge of WoW is playing all the content in its original form before Blizzard caves to the forums and nerfs the content down to a point where a 2 year old can go in and get their pretty purple items, but of course this is how Blizzard retains the players, dumb it down enough and millions will wallow in a false sense of achievement.

    At least that was never a problem in FFXI, if you were incompetent you certainly didn't have the epic gear.
  • 5 Hide
    bystander , December 16, 2009 10:00 PM
    RaidurWoW is the most overrated MMORPG ever. The PvE content is weak and easy as hell. The PvP could be much better. Not to mention the graphics are HORRIBLE and cartoony. Oh yeah, and the community is even worse than the graphics... I don't even remember a day that I played WoW and didn't hear a chuck norris joke... come on. (I played for a week and got a char to lvl 45 and got way too bored with the easy-as-hell PvE)I know how to beat wow, take Vanguard:SOH's PvE and graphics and combine that with Warhammer's RvR/PvP. Would be an easy takeover.


    Blizard's move to use cartoony graphics is not a flaw, but probably the biggest reason it's still such a success. (btw, I used to play WoW, and a few other MMORPG's).

    The cartoony graphics has a couple advantages:
    1) Cartoon models don't age as fast. The game is still appealing today, even though most realistic looking games written at the time WoW was look horribly outdated. Cartoons don't age so poorly.

    2) Low end machines work on WoW. It makes the game far more accessable.


    And while the game is rather easy, it also scales to become quite difficult at the high end with heroic content, 10 man raids, 25 man raids and up as well as a PvP environment (I'm not completely up todate, as it's been a couple years for me).

    It has something for most crowds.


    The part that caught my eye with this interview, as how they said it would be less party-centric. If they give soloability and good reasons to continue the party system, then that's a good move, but MMORPG's that don't reward a party system fail. It's the social aspects of MMO's that make them appealing.
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