Online role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV's launch was an enormous disappointment. Not only did Square Enix president Yoichi Wada apologize for the game and boot the original team from the project, he also said FFXIV had damaged the Final Fantasy brand. That may change, because today, Square Enix is relaunching the game as with a Version 2.0.
"In the ten months since the Final Fantasy XIV team's restructuring, we have put forth the utmost effort into not only improving the game's existing features, but also creating a concrete plan to outline the game's new direction," Yoichi Wada wrote on the game's homepage. "Today, I am pleased to announce we can confidently present that plan to our customers."
First up? Billing! For over the past year, Square Enix has been skipping bill periods for the game, meaning that the game, broken as it was, didn't have subscription fees. Square Enix waived those while it worked on the game.
"We are prepared to advance to the next stage of FINAL FANTASY XIV's life, confident that we can provide a service worthy of the FINAL FANTASY name."
"The ideal that we have for Final Fantasy XIV, however, is extremely high, and we are aware that all of the following changes are still required to achieve the desired quality of service-redesign and restructuring of server layout and operation, overhaul of the user interface, reworking the design and specs of in-game areas, and vast upgrades to the player community systems," notes the game's official site. "As we move closer towards this ideal, and as the operation of the game, the regular updates, and the development of the new Final Fantasy XIV continues, we will introduce our subscription-based billing system."
Square Enix is planning to integrate the PS3 version into the PC's FFXIV base sometime between Oct. and Dec. of 2012, allowing players to preserve their PC avatars. This process involves switching client servers and transferring large amounts of data. After this is completed, a Version 2.0 free trial is available for PC gamers.
The exact day that the new FFXIV will be available for download will be revealed at a later date. According to Square Enix's road map, it looks like it will hit after late Sept. 2012 and be out by the time October's finish. The "reboot phase" begins in Nov. 2012 and could end as late as Feb. 2013.
The PS3 version starts its beta test sometime after Nov. 2012. The game will be out sometime after Jan. 2013.
"We are prepared to advance to the next stage of FINAL FANTASY XIV's life, confident that we can provide a service worthy of the FINAL FANTASY name—a service that includes both content-rich updates and the renovation of existing features—and take full responsibility for all that entails," wrote Naoki Yoshida.
"I promise that we will continue to give all Final Fantasy XIV players our full attention as we do everything in our power to provide a high-quality service, and as such, would like ask for your continued encouragement and support."
While Square Enix is buckling down on FFXIV, this isn't the only MMORPG it's currently developing. Square Enix is working on another unannounced title.
Version 2.0 [The Lodestone]