Square-Enix Unveils Upcoming Final Fantasy MMO Gameplay

In September of 2010, Square-Enix launched its worst selling Final Fantasy title to date, Final Fantasy XIV. The highly anticipated MMORPG was met with instant criticism. Just three months after its launch, the company sold less than 700,000 copies worldwide and dropped to approximately 32,000 active subscribers.

In the following year, the company decided to cut its losses and shuffled the development team around with plans to overhaul and relaunch the game under a new title, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. After taking its players' opinions closely into consideration, Square-Enix is finally ready to unveil gameplay from the revamped title.

After releasing a teaser trailer, concept art and some screenshots, the team finally took the stage at this year's Gamescom to reveal some highly anticipated gameplay. If you don't mind some shaky camera phone work, check out the leaked gameplay video above from Jpgames.de.

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Tuan Mai
Tuan Mai is a Los Angeles based writer and marketing manager working within the PC Hardware industry. He has written for Tom's Guide since 2010, with a special interest in the weird and quirky.
  • Who cares?
  • aqualipt
    Enough with Final Fantasy.... that title should be nuke.
  • malice81
    Who would dare invest themselves into a refurbished MMO? *Hearty Lol*
  • s3anister
    I have enjoyed many Final Fantasy titles, however, there are way too many MMOGs and nearly all are equally boring.
  • bystander
    After playing FF XIII, I realized they were going in a very bad direction. I have no interest in FF anymore.
  • Bloob
    I hear Realm Reborn is actually pretty good, but I doubt it's going to go anywhere, as it's reputation is already bad, and the whole game is "yesterdays news".
  • malice81
    s3anisterI have enjoyed many Final Fantasy titles, however, there are way too many MMOGs and nearly all are equally boring.
    Meh, I disagree on that point. Sure there are a ton of MMOs, but there are a ton of most genres. I played every FF up to FFX, and I love them still. However, being a gamer that enjoys games of all types, MMOs offer so much more than a standard game. With a persistant community, a world that lives and breathes, and the progression of a character that takes so much more of an investment and dedication than a standard casual game.

    Sad thing is however, many MMOs are straying away from offering the difficulty and reward for the dedicated few who can grind it out and tweak their character to some sense of perfection, both in build and skilled execution. Anyone who blanket-statement says "All MMOs are equally boring" isn't really a player with an opinion worth considering on the topic.
  • tomfreak
    lol I stop Final Fantasy @ 9.
  • palladin9479
    Wow ... ok where to begin.

    First off I'm a long time player of Final Fantasy XI aka FF11, SE's first MMO. I also play Turbines Dungeons and Dragons Online, along with this I've experimented and played many other MMO's out there.

    To understand whats going on with FFXIV you must first understand some of the management behind FFXI and SE in general. First is that SE is a Japanese corporation, seniority and boss worship are how things get done. The man primarily responsible for the development of both Final Fantasy XI and XIV is Hiromichi Tanaka. This guy also is responsible for many of their console games dating all the way back to the 1987 Final Fantasy game. Tanaka has unquestionable ability to produce story driven plots and beautiful gaming environments and immensely epic adventures. He's a good guy for single player console RPG's. He also worships the status-quot and believes that games should not change from their original designs / vision. Anyone here who's played MMO's should immediately be able to tell that's a big issue.

    FF11 had huge issues for many years yet retained a faithful fan base due to the forced social grouping required to actually play the game (soloing was nigh nearly impossible). The jobs system allows one character to switch between all available jobs while in the citys, this allowed for every player to experience every job style and lead to deep character development. You didn't max one "character" out, you could max twenty out with overlapping gear and skill sets. Over time newer and more popular MMO's have since been created which introduced new concepts, namely in that the game shouldn't be about long term multi-month grinds and instead about smaller bite sized accomplishments. Tanaka, for the most part refused to allow FFXI to change with the times and resulted in a deep stagnation between 2007 and 2010.

    Something happened near the end of 2009 / early 2010 though, there seemed to be a new unnamed head of development. Tanaka was primary involved with the creation (and failure) of FFXIV, during this time a different man was put in charge of FFXI development. That man was Akihiko Matsui, he was the director of FFXI during the time Tanaka was screwing up FFXIV. Matsui implemented many changes including an expansion pack broken into three miniature sections released over a years worth of time. It changed the game from long grind accomplishments into short term micro achievements more in line with modern MMOs. Subscriptions went up and it was believed FFXI had turned a corner and was being developed on again, the status-quot has been violated. Near the end of 2010 it was revealed that FFXIV had failed completely and that SE would be required to redevelop it. Matsui was chosen to lead the re-development of the game and Tanaka was redirected to head FFXI again (technically he was always the *producer*). Tanaka had gone on record claiming that he didn't like the direction Matsui had taken the game and wanted to re-implement the previous status-quot. From fall 2011 to summer 2012 there was a great lagging in the content developed by SE for FFXI. Everything seemed to be designed to take an arbitrary long period of time, reward acquisition rates were slashed and the depth of content released was mostly just rehashes of things that already existed. Nearly no new development was made on the game itself. During this time FFXIV under Matsui had been exhaustively redeveloped, you could see the sheer number of changes and the extremely rapid pace he was having updates released. It had become clear to anyone keeping up with the two games that Matsui intended to do to FFXIV what he did to FFXI, rejuvenate the game by making it more similar to other modern MMO's while keeping the unique jobs system that Final Fantasy is known for.

    Then recently (summer 2012) something incredibly big happened. It was announced that Tanaka would be retiring from Square Enix due to "health issues" (Japanese culture word for forced retirement from big company) and that Matsui would replace him as "producer" for both FFXI and FFXIV. Since then Matsui has come onto the official forums for the game and requested direct input from the players on what we wanted to see changed in FFXI. He has indicated that he intends to ramp up development for the older title while continuing development and release of the newer one.

    Sorry for the large amount of text, it's required to understand the utter difference from FFXIV 2.0 (our name for it) and the original FFXIV. Two completely different leaders with radically different visions of how to build a MMO. It's also a demonstration on how just because someone has the skills to successfully make one type of game, they may not have the skills to make a different flavor of that game.
  • tanjo
    I wish they didn't count the FF MMOs together with the original series. Just call it FF Online I/II or whatnot.