Square Enix’s tumultuous MMO will relaunch with a whole new paradigm.

OK, folks, if you have any jokes to make about Final Fantasy XIV, you’d better make them soon or let them forever languish in the deepest recesses of your mind. While the game was something akin to a disaster at launch, Square Enix has been promising to fix the game’s manifold issues for a while now, and that day is drawing nearer. Before the end of the year, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will grace the PC and PS3, heralding in a new era for the ailing MMO – hopefully one without game-breaking bugs and an aimless questing system.

Square Enix has been promising Version 2.0 of Final Fantasy XIV for quite some time now, and believes that this update will provide a substantially different gameplay experience from its current incarnation. “[This] title has been rebuilt from the ground up, and centers on the core concept of rebirth, featuring a new world to explore and storyline to experience,” Square Enix promises in a press release. While specifics on the redesigned gameplay and story have yet to emerge, A Realm Reborn is doing its level best to distance itself from its predecessor.

A Realm Reborn may not just mark a change for Final Fantasy XIV, but for the entire venerated Final Fantasy series. “This new title not only becomes a symbol of a completely new Final Fantasy XIV, but also marks the beginning of a new stage as the latest title in the Final Fantasy series,” says Naoki Yoshida, the game’s producer and director. Yoshida does not explain how FFXIV‘s redesign might affect future Final Fantasy titles, but remains optimistic that fans will embrace it. “I hope you’re looking forward to it!” he exclaims.

Final Fantasy XIV has made its share of missteps, and its redesign has been a long time coming. Still, between waiving its subscription fees for a time and working to relaunch the game essentially from scratch, Square Enix has shown its commitment to at least one more honest go at making a second viable Final Fantasy MMO. If it works, great; if not, FFXIV could shut down while its predecessor FFXI is still going strong. That would be awkward for all involved.

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