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.