CEO Yoichi Wada says that Square Enix must move quickly to fix Final Fantasy XIV, or risk losing players forever.
You could make the case that MMOs can never really be considered “finished”, because they’re always evolving, as things get tweaked and rebalanced and the developers add more content. But there’s a heck of difference between “constantly evolving” and “broken,” and Final Fantasy XIV was so broken when it came out that Square Enix extended its free trial period for a month.
Knowing that the game is a precarious position at the moment, Wada said he wants to devote as many resources as possible to regaining player’s trust and getting Final Fantasy XIV up to scratch. He thought that if Square Enix could move quickly enough in getting the problems fixed, then the players would stay, but if it took too long, then players would find other ways to spend their time and money. Wada also thought that at least some of the perceived problems were because people’s expectations for the game were too high, making it the finished product seem lackluster.
One bright point for Square Enix is that shipment levels for Final Fantasy XIV have been fairly strong. Around 630,000 units have been shipped in the first month and a half, with 190,000 shipped to Japan, 210,000 to North America and 230,000 to Europe. It’s not clear exactly how many copies have actually been sold, however, and the biggest challenge for Square Enix will be maintaining those numbers in the face of a less-than-stellar game.