|Final Fantasy XIV|
North American cover art, featuring artwork of a male Hyur.
|Release||September 30, 2010|
|Genre(s)||Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
Final Fantasy XIVis a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows personal computers, developed and published by Square Enix in 2010. It is the fourteenth entry in the main Final Fantasy series and the second MMORPG in the series after Final Fantasy XI . Set in the fantasy realm of Eorzea, players take control of a customized avatar as they explore the land and are caught up in both an invasion by the hostile Garlean Empire and the threat of the Primals, the deities of the land's Beastmen tribes. Eventually, they are embroiled in a plot by a Garlean Legatus to destroy the Primals by bringing one of the planet's moons down on Eorzea.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.
Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed, marketed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Microsoft Windows families include Windows NT and Windows IoT; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Server or Windows Embedded Compact. Defunct Microsoft Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.
A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician. Unlike large costly minicomputer and mainframes, time-sharing by many people at the same time is not used with personal computers.
The game had been in development since 2005 under the codename "Rapture", and was announced in 2009 for Windows and the PlayStation 3 video game console. It ran on Square Enix's Crystal Tools middleware engine, which was adjusted to suit the game's specifications. During development, the team carried over multiple aesthetic elements from Final Fantasy XI while attempting to create something that stood on its own. Due to several factors, the development was beset by problems that would later have drastic effects on the game. Attempts to bring the game to Xbox 360 consoles fell through due to disagreements with Microsoft about the use of Xbox Live.
The PlayStation 3 is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.
Crystal Tools is a game engine created and used internally by the Japanese company Square Enix. It combines standard libraries for elements such as graphics, sound and artificial intelligence while providing game developers with various authoring tools. The target systems of Crystal Tools are the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and the Wii. This was decided with the intention of making cross-platform production more feasible. The idea for the engine sprang from Square Enix's desire to have a unified game development environment in order to effectively share the technology and know-how of the company's individual teams.
After its alpha test and a delayed beta test, the game went live on September 30, 2010, remaining active until its servers were closed on November 11, 2012. At launch, the game was met with a negative response: while the graphics and music were praised, other aspects were unanimously panned, including the gameplay, interface, and the general impression of the game being unfinished. Critic and fan backlash caused Square Enix to suspend subscription fees, indefinitely postpone the PlayStation 3 version, and replace the development team leadership, with Naoki Yoshida as producer and director. Yoshida decided to make marginal improvements before shutting down servers in November 11, 2012, and replaced with a new version initially subtitled A Realm Reborn .
Naoki Yoshida, also known by the nickname Yoshi-P, is a Japanese video game producer, director and designer working for Square Enix. He is known primarily for his work on massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), as chief planner on Dragon Quest X, and as director and producer of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. He is credited with rescuing the original Final Fantasy XIV project from its disastrous launch. Yoshida is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 5 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. Directed and produced by Naoki Yoshida, it was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 in August 2013, with clients for PlayStation 4 and macOS following later. The game, known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, is a replacement for the 2010 version of Final Fantasy XIV, which was shut down after negative reception at its launch. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods' blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in which the player controls a customized Adventurer avatar from one of the five playable races. Each race has two tribes, and all but two allow for the selection of male or female characters. The avatar can have their eye and hair color, facial features, and skin tone customized, and features such as birthmarks and scars can be added. Their chosen tribe, along with their chosen patron deity, affect their stats and elemental attributes.The game's opening varies depending on which starting location is chosen. Two different types of quests are available for players: story quests, which are unlocked as characters accumulate experience points (EXP) and raise their experience level while unlocking new abilities; and Levequests (leves), side quests accessed through the Adventurers' Guilds. Leves are broken down into multiple types, focusing on gathering or combat. Levequests are associated with particular non-playable characters (NPCs). As the player completes leves, they gain favor with three different factions and unlock new abilities, with rewards only coming from the NPCs within the factions who issued the quest. Gaining favor also unlocks a new type of level called Faction leves, which deplete a character's favor when completed.
A statistic in role-playing games is a piece of data that represents a particular aspect of a fictional character. That piece of data is usually a (unitless) integer or, in some cases, a set of dice.
An experience point is a unit of measurement used in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) and role-playing video games to quantify a player character's progression through the game. Experience points are generally awarded for the completion of missions, overcoming obstacles and opponents, and for successful role-playing.
Compared to Final Fantasy XI , where party-based gameplay is forefront at all times, the gameplay in XIV is adjusted so that players can go for longer periods without joining a party.There is no auto-attack option, with each action needing a manual input while an enemy is targeted. Each action uses up a stamina bar. Through defeating monsters, crafting items, and completing quests, players accumulate EXP which, when a certain threshold is reached, automatically increments the player's level. The player's level affects attributes such as HP (health/hit points), MP (magic/mana points), and the number of abilities available to them.
Health or vitality is an attribute assigned to entities such as characters or objects within role-playing games and video games, that indicates their continued ability to function. Health is usually measured in hit points or health points, shortened to HP which lowers by set amounts when the entity is attacked or injured. When the HP of a player character or non-player character reaches zero, that character is incapacitated and barred from taking further action. In some games, such as those with cooperative multiplayer and party based role playing games, it may be possible for an ally to revive a character who has reached 0 hit points and let them return to action. In single player games, running out of health usually equates to "dying" and losing a life or receiving a Game Over.
Magic or mana is an attribute assigned to characters within a role-playing or video game that indicates their power to use special abilities or "spells". Magic is usually measured in magic points or mana points, shortened as MP. Different abilities will use up different amounts of MP. When the MP of a character reaches zero, the character won't be able to use special abilities until some of their MP is recovered.
Under the Armory System, a character's equipped weapon or crafting tool, determines the player's character class, allowing them to switch roles at will.Some classes are associated with a particular starting point. Classes are divided into four disciplines: Disciples of War, masters of physical combat; Disciples of Magic, practitioners of the magical arts; Disciples of the Hand, crafters and handymen who synthesize and repair items; and Disciples of the Land, gatherers who collect resources from the environment. Certain abilities learned under one class may be equipped and used by other classes. The Job System (a post-launch addition) builds upon the Armoury System for Disciples of War and Magic. In exchange for restricting the range of equippable abilities from other classes, players gain access to powerful skills, magic, weapons, and armor exclusive to the Job corresponding to that class. These Jobs, based on classic Final Fantasy character jobs, are more suited to party-based combat.
In role-playing games (RPG), a character class is a job or profession commonly used to differentiate the abilities of different game characters. A character class aggregates several abilities and aptitudes, and may also detail aspects of background and social standing, or impose behavior restrictions. Classes may be considered to represent archetypes, or specific careers. RPG systems that employ character classes often subdivide them into levels of accomplishment, to be attained by players during the course of the game. It is common for a character to remain in the same class for its lifetime; although some games allow characters to change class, or attain multiple classes. Some systems eschew the use of classes and levels entirely; others hybridise them with skill-based systems or emulate them with character templates.
Final Fantasy XIV takes place in a high fantasy setting. The main location is Eorzea, a continent on the larger planet Hydaelyn: this contrasts Final Fantasy XI which uses one name to refer to the entire world and its regions.Eorzea is broken up among three main powers: the forest nation of Gridania; the desert-based Ul'dah sultanate; and the thalassocracy of Limsa Lominsa, Eorzea's dominant maritime power. Other important locations include the scholarly city-state of Sharlayan and the Garlean Empire, a hostile northern power with highly developed technology. Five years prior to the start of the game, the Garlean Empire invaded the land of Ala Migho, but were prevented from conquering Eorzea by the attacks of the ancient dragon Midgardsomr and his dragon hordes. In response to the Empire's threat, the three nations of Eorzea reform the Grand Companies, comprehensive centers of command which combine the cities' military and economic assets. The Grand Companies attracted people from all walks of life, who take up the mantle of Adventurers.
The player character is a customizable Adventurer avatar taken from the five main races of Eorzea. The playable races are the human-like Hyur(ヒューランHyūran), the elf-like Elezen(エレゼンErezen), the physically-imposing Roegadyn(ルガディンRugadin), the diminutive Lalafell(ララフェルRaraferu), and the feline Miqo'te(ミコッテMikotte). Playable Roegadyn and Miqo'te are gender-locked to male and female respectively. Aside from these races are the Beastmen, tribes who worship ancient gods called the Primals, which require aether-rich crystals and whose presence damages the planet.
Beginning in one of Eorzea's three main states, the player character awakes to the Echo, a power granting them the ability to see the past.The Adventurers are initially involved in both conflicts within the nations provoked by the Garlean presence, led by the Garlean Legatus Gaius Van Baelsar, and the Beastmen's attempts to hoard crystals and summon their Primals. Eventually, a greater threat is brought to the attention of the nations by the Sharlayan scholar Louisoix Leveilleur: another Garlean Legatus named Nael Van Darnus is using arcane magic and technology to summon Dalamud, the planet's second moon, down on Eorzea to purge the Beastmen and Primals whom the Garleans hate as violent pagans. With the aid of Garlean defector Cid nan Garlond, the Adventurers discover that Nael has set up a beacon for summoning Dalamud in the new fortress of Castrum Novum. While each nation makes individual attempts to storm the fortress, they are repelled. Faced with this, their leaders form a pact and unite the nations under the banner of the Eorzean Alliance.
Now united, the nations, aided by Adventurers, successfully storm Castrum Novum and destroy the beacon. Nael, insanely committed to his plan, makes himself into a second beacon. Though he is defeated by the Adventurers, Dalamud has descended too far for it to return into orbit, so Louisoix proposes a final desperate plan: to summon the Twelve, Eorzea's guardian deities, and return Dalamud into orbit. The Adventurers pray to altars dedicated to the Twelve across the land, then rally with the armies of the Eorzean Alliance to fight Nael's legion on the Carteneau Flats, the predicted impact site of Dalamud. In the midst of the battle, Dalamud disintegrates and reveals itself to have been a prison for the Elder Primal Bahamut. Enraged after its imprisonment, Bahamut begins laying waste to Eorzea. After the attempt to summon the Twelve fails, Louisoix uses the last of his power to send the Adventurers into a time rift, separating them from the flow of time so they can return when Eorzea has recovered.
Planning for Final Fantasy XIV began in 2005, four years prior to its official announcement. At the time, it was codenamed "Rapture"(ラプチャーRapuchā). While it had been decided within the company that MMORPGs would be mainline entries rather than spin-offs, the team was worried that the final product would be too radical for the main numbered series. The main staff included multiple developers who had worked on previous entries in the Final Fantasy series: producer Hiromichi Tanaka had acted as the original producer for Final Fantasy XI and been involved in multiple early Final Fantasy games, director Nobuaki Komoto was a director for XI and had been among the staff of Final Fantasy IX , writer Yeako Sato had been the main scenario writer for XI, and Akihiko Yoshida had previously also been art director for Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII . The game's logo and some other artwork was designed by Yoshitaka Amano.
The game's story, primarily written by Sato, was based around a central narrative complemented by side-stories. The setting and gameplay were decided upon before Sato was brought on board, with the result that she needed to consult the rest of the team when she wished to use one of Eorzea's main locations in a certain way. The story's main conflict was to be among the five main races of Eorzea and the Beastmen, with the Garlean Empire acting as a third force. The placement of the Garlean Empire to the northeast of Eorzea was not meant to simulate a real-world location, but naturally ended up there as the map of Hydaelyn was being created.The game's logo, designed by Amano, was designed around the importance of weapons and the concept of a wheel: the "wheel" in question was a wheel of adventurers, arranged so their backs were exposed and they needed to rely on their comrades and friends for support.
For his work as art director, Yoshida needed to adjust from working on a single static project to creating artwork assets for a game which would be updated and expanded. While the game world was created around a high fantasy aesthetic, it was meant to be realistic and encourage exploration.At the beginning of development, the team created a detailed profile of Hydaelyn, including its relation with other planets, ecosystems, climate, and geography. This was done to promote a sense of realism. Alongside creating a seamless travel experience for players, careful work was put into the topography and varied lighting of environments so they would not seem repetitive. After the environment was created, the architectural, cultural and religious elements of the world were incorporated into the environment. City and machine designs mixed metallic and natural materials to create a combined sense of wonder and familiarity for players. The game's five playable races were directly based on the five initial races from Final Fantasy XI, with design adjustments to reflect the new setting. The developers also created two different tribes, as opposed to the single tribe set-up present in XI. Characters' movements were primarily developed using motion capture, though the recorded movements were then adjusted so they would be sharp and distinctive. Much work was invested in creating emotes, character movements chosen by the player to represent a specific mood or emotion previously used in XI. To create realistic expressions, a character artist manually adjusted the faces for each expression. For the monsters, advances in hardware enabled the team to create more realistic and detailed character models, including detailed skin textures and carefully placed hair follicles.
The game's cutscenes were first drafted using a storyboard, then when the sequence of events had been finalized, motion capture was used to create the scene in a digitized format. Lighting and environmental effects were then put in place.One of the most challenging sequences to create was the opening real-time cutscene for the Limsa Lominsa story route: the giant sea serpent's fins were each individually animated. The game's opening cinematic was produced by Visual Works, Square Enix's in-house CGI development company. All the in-game models were first created in high-resolution form using a 3D sculpturing program, then readjusted so they could appear in the game with a lower polygon count but equivalent graphical quality. Another large part of creating the characters was their accessories: to help with this, the team developed a multi-layered development system. A technique dubbed "polygon shaving" was used so two sets of equipment could be designed to look different while using the same model data. Another function dubbed "reshaping" was used to adjust the shapes of equipment and accessories. The third element, dubbed "SSD-file", enabled the adjustment of the "materials" equipment was made off, so its color and texture could be changed. Rather than relying on a single design image, which would have been impractical for the hardware, the team took basic art and used Photoshop to add subtle changes to each. It was then passed down to the modeling team, who used the same sculpting process as was used for the game's monsters to create high-detail models while keeping the polygon count low.
The game's engine was Crystal Tools, a specially-created middleware engine that was also used in Final Fantasy XIII . So that it would be compatible with the game's specifications, the team customized the engine to suit their needs.In the end, the game's chosen engine proved unsuitable to the needs of the game, rendering its internal structure "broken". The game's development ended up being beset with multiple problems. According to a later postmortem, the team developing the game had an unhealthy obsession of graphical quality over gameplay content that led to other parts of the game being neglected, reinforced by the company's then-outdated development methods. A cited example of the focus on graphics was a flowerpot, which had as many polygons and lines of shader code as a player character. This high graphical quality meant that compromises needed to be made; for example, the number of players present on-screen at any one time needed to be limited to twenty, undermining the large-scale communal appeal of MMORPGs. This issue also impacted the game's environments; to save on memory space while preserving seamless travel, the team needed to reuse environmental features and textures on a regular basis. Another problem was that the team lacked experience in developing MMORPGs, a problem that had also beset Final Fantasy XI, but had been successfully overcome. With this in mind, the team were still using the development mindset used during the sixth console generation, which could not hold up under the increased staff and resource needs for seventh generation development. A third major reason was the company's belief that the game's problems could be patched after the initial launch, compounded by the lack of an overall plan for how to deal with them.
The music for Final Fantasy XIV was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, a regular contributor to the music of the Final Fantasy series. 's theme song to be composed by Masashi Hamauzu. Having only contributed a few tunes to Final Fantasy XI, XIV was Uematsu's first full-time work on an MMORPG. Despite this, he treated as any other project, and had considerable creative freedom as the team's vision for the game had not been finalized. For the battle themes, he used a mix of orchestral and rock pieces. He worked on XIV at the same time as working on The Last Story , a video game from original Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. During the time XIV was active after the initial release, other composers including Masayoshi Soken, Naoshi Mizuta, Tsuyoshi Sekito and Ryo Yamazaki contributed to the score. Soken acted as the game's sound director, and would take over as the main composer for its relaunch. The game's theme song, "Answers", was composed by Uematsu and sung by Susan Calloway, who was specially chosen by Uematsu after hearing her rendition of previous Final Fantasy theme songs.Originally contracted to create the ending theme for XIII, Uematsu accepted the request by the XIV team to work on the game, leaving XIII
Multiple albums featuring music from XIV have been released. Two mini-albums, Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV: Field Tracks, were released on September 29, 2010.A full album, Final Fantasy XIV - Eorzean Frontiers, was released on September 1, 2012 as both a single album and three mini-albums. A Blu-ray album featuring all music from the original version of XIV, Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack, was released on August 14, 2013, two weeks prior to its relaunch.
XIV was first hinted at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) when Square Enix announced that they were developing a new MMORPG, showing it off using a tech demo. The demo included aesthetic elements similar to XI, such as races from Vana'diel.In 2006, rumors emerged that Square Enix was developing a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XI, but further details remained unknown. During the next few years, contradictory reports were issued as to what platforms the game was being developed for: the platforms listed varied from the game being an Xbox 360 exclusive, to being for PlayStation platforms, to being for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Windows platforms. XIV was officially announced at E3 2009 for PS3, then for Windows. After its official announcement for those platforms, it was stated that a port to Microsoft hardware was under consideration. Despite negotiation with Microsoft concerning an Xbox 360 version of the game, the two companies were unable to agree upon the use of Xbox Live, as Square Enix wanted a shared server across all platforms and Microsoft would not give them the full access necessary to implement this. Because of this disagreement and the consequent extra manpower needed to develop a version separate from the other two platforms, development on the Xbox 360 version was stopped.
According to Yoichi Wada, then-CEO of Square Enix, XIV was being planned as a serious rival to successful western MMORPG World of Warcraft .The game was developed primarily for Windows, and was then ported across to PS3. XIV was originally scheduled for simultaneous release on Windows and PS3 in 2010, but the PS3 version was delayed into 2011. This was explained as due to it taking longer than expected to make the adjustments needed so the game could fit within the console's limited memory. The game did not use the PlayOnline service used for XI. This was explained as being due to the marked decrease of content on the service. Instead, they would migrate to a new service that still allowed cross-platform gameplay, including the use of a universal Square Enix ID that would allow players to play from wherever they left off. In October 2009, the game's Beta release was announced as being only for Windows. First print runs of the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIII contained a bonus code for the PS3 version of XIV for a special in-game item.
Due to earlier recurring issues with mistranslations related to news updates, the team decided not to implement forums in the original release, instead hearing player feedback through fan sites and unofficial forums. Also because of mistranslation fears, dedicated teams in each of the game's release regions would gather feedback and transmit it to the development team.The game's first closed Alpha test began on March 11, 2010. It was available only to veteran players from XI. During alpha testing, the team used player feedback to find out key problems with the game, such as limitations on graphical adjustments making the game run at a slow frame rate. The open Beta test was originally scheduled to begin on August 31, but was indefinitely postponed due to the discovery of critical bugs in the game. The Beta test eventually went live on September 2, running until the game's release later that month. It was later stated that more time should have been given to fixing bugs during the Beta period. The game released on September 30, 2010, six months prior to the PS3 version's projected release date of March 2011. A Collector's Edition was released on September 22, allowing owners to log into the game from that date. The Collector's Edition, which was decorated by artwork from Amano and Yoshida, came with bonus items including a DVD featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary, a security token, a case for the game's box, and a decorated tumbler. The game was released with text in Japanese, English, French and German, while the spoken dialogue in cutscenes was English in all versions.
During its debut week in Japan, the Collector's Edition reached #2 in the PC games charts behind Civilization 5 and ahead of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty .In the UK charts, the game debuted at #10 behind multiple other games including F1 2010 (#1), Halo: Reach (#2), Civilization 5 (#4) and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (#7). By November 2010, the game had sold 603,000 copies worldwide.
The game received generally negative reviews at release, garnering scores of 50% and 49/100 by aggregate sites GameRankings and Metacritic respectively.Computer and Video Games said "Eorzea is a beautiful world with huge potential for vast adventures, but it's just a shame that this first voyage into it is such a mis-step". 1UP.com said that "playing [Final Fantasy XIV] is like playing with a toy stuck in a plastic bag: it can be fun for a while and you can get the general idea, but you can't appreciate the full experience", stating that future updates would likely rectify this issue. IGN said that "Much of the promise of the combat system and depth of the crafting mechanics are drowned, unfortunately, under a sea of interface and performance issues that hinder the experience at nearly every step", further stating that while patches might improve the experience, its state at the time of the review made it "not a world worth visiting". GameSpot, in addition to warning players away from the game, said that "Final Fantasy XIV is a notable entry to the genre but only for what it lacks".
GameTrailers was particularly critical, saying that it had been "released before it was finished", calling it "[a] broken, incomplete mess".PC Gamer called the game "a shallow, slow, grind-heavy MMO crippled by a horrible interface and nonsensical player limitations". GameSpy was again highly critical, saying that "barring a complete overhaul of the user interface, the combat, the player interaction mechanics, the progress system, and of the layout of the world itself, [Final Fantasy XIV] is unlikely to ever be fun." Eurogamer said that while the game would appeal to some players, they advised them to "wait another six months before even thinking about Final Fantasy XIV, because Square Enix hasn't yet got its head around its own players".
Critics agreed that the game's graphics were good, enjoyed Uematsu's score, and several praised the concepts behind the Job and leveling systems. Alongside this, unanimous criticism was laid against the gameplay pace, its convoluted interface, bugs and glitches, and the slow pace of the story. It was generally seen as a great disappointment both as an MMORPG and a mainline entry in the Final Fantasy series.Later, as part of an interview concerning the game's later development, 1UP.com commented that subsequent patches and overhauls had turned the game into something more playable.
The release of the game sparked immediate player backlash in addition to its negative critical reception. Some of the controversy was produced by the use of gameplay features unusual for the genre. The main complaint by players was the user interface, followed by problems with the performance and aspects of gameplay.The initial 30-day free trial was extended twice in order to allow players to experience the new development team's updates before committing to the game. In December 2010, it was announced that Tanaka and Komoto had been removed from their posts as producer and director, with Tanaka taking full responsibility for the game's problems. The PS3 version was indefinitely delayed from its original March 2011 release date, with Square Enix saying that it would not release the game for that platform until it fully met the quality standards suitable for the Final Fantasy series. Subscriptions for the Windows version were also suspended indefinitely.
The position of producer and director was taken over by Naoki Yoshida, a staff member at Square Enix who had previously worked on the Dragon Quest series.Among these were other staff changes: Komoto was reassigned to become lead game designer, Akihiko Yoshida became lead scenario concept artist, Hiroshi Takai was appointed as lead artist, and Akihiko Matsui became lead combat system designer. Yoshida's main priority was to make the game a playable experience after the poor launch and subsequent reaction. Through subsequent patches to the game, multiple graphical and gameplay improvements were made: among the most notable were the addition of a job system, personal chocobos, a revamped battle system, greater customization options for gear, and multiple new dungeons and bosses. Yoshida also introduced the official Final Fantasy XIV forums in order to obtain player feedback and suggestions, and stated that interacting with and growing closer to the community would be a high priority. During this period, XIV and XI were taken offline to help with energy conservation in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. They went back online one week later as other means were found to reduce their energy usage that did not involve their online services. Due to the earthquake, a planned and partially-developed boss battle with the Primal Titan was cut and replaced by another Primal: the team felt that players might be offended by the Primal and associate beastribe's links with the power of earth in this context.
The team could not fully mend the game in its existing form as its engine and server structure were already critically flawed. This meant that, in order to save XIV, the entire game needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. The decision to launch a new version as a reboot instead of a whole new title was driven by the need to regain player trust, which was felt would not be done by just scrapping XIV.The original story planned for XIV was changed to build up towards the end of the original game's life, with new boss battles being introduced leading up to the final storyline. The "Seventh Umbral Era" storyline was used as a story-based reason for the radical changes coming to the game and its landscape. In the run-up to this, reduced subscription fees were reintroduced with special bonuses included for the eventual reboot of the game, and major server merges were carried out to ease the transition between versions of the game, a move which initially provoked a negative reaction for players. The final revision of the game was put out on November 1, 2012. After a final in-game battle where all XIV players were invited, the servers were closed down on November 11.
The flawed release and poor reception of the game had a heavy impact on Square Enix: citing XIV among other reasons, the company reduced its projected income for the year by 90%.At the 2011 Tokyo Game Show, Wada issued an official apology for the quality of the game, saying that "the Final Fantasy brand [had] been greatly damaged". The company and development team eventually decided to scrap the current version of XIV, rebuilding it from the ground up. This rebooted version, initially titled Final Fantasy XIV 2.0, began development in April 2011. The rebooted version was released in 2013 with the subtitle A Realm Reborn , and has been positively received by critics and players. Yoshida, commenting in a later interview, stated that A Realm Reborn was just the first part of regaining player trust after the release of XIV, predicting that the process would take a long time.
PlayOnline is an online gaming service created by Square on January 28, 2000, and has been the launcher application and Internet service for many of the online PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 games the company publishes. Games hosted included Front Mission Online, Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion, Tetra Master, and the Japanese releases of EverQuest II, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and JongHoLo. As of 2018, the PC version of Final Fantasy XI is the only remaining game supported by the service.
Naoshi Mizuta is a Japanese video game composer and musician. He is best known for his work on Final Fantasy XI, but has also composed music for Mega Man & Bass, Street Fighter Alpha, and Parasite Eve II. He started his career at Capcom before moving to Square in 1998.
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. Released in 1997, the game sparked the release of a collection of media centered on the game entitled the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The music of the Final Fantasy VII series includes not only the soundtrack to the original game and its associated albums, but also the soundtracks and music albums released for the other titles in the collection. The first album produced was Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all the music in the game. It was released as a soundtrack album on four CDs by DigiCube in 1997. A selection of tracks from the album was released in the single-disc Reunion Tracks by DigiCube the same year. Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII, an album featuring piano arrangements of pieces from the soundtrack, was released in 2003 by DigiCube, and Square Enix began reprinting all three albums in 2004. To date, these are the only released albums based on the original game's soundtrack, and were solely composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu; his role for the majority of subsequent albums has been filled by Masashi Hamauzu and Takeharu Ishimoto.
The music of the video games Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu, who would go on to be the exclusive composer for the next seven Final Fantasy games. Although they were composed separately, music from the two games has only been released together. All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II, a compilation of almost all of the music in the games, was released by DataM/Polystar in 1989, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing in 1994. Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy, an arranged album of music from the two games by Katsuhisa Hattori and his son Takayuki Hattori was released by DataM in 1989, and re-released by NTT Publishing/Polystar in 1994. Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack, another arranged album, this time by Nobuo Uematsu and Tsuyoshi Sekito, was released in 2002 by DigiCube and again in 2004 by Square Enix.
Hiromichi Tanaka is a Japanese video game developer, game producer, game director and game designer. He was Senior Vice President of Software Development at Square Enix and the head of the company's Product Development Division-3. He is best known as the former lead developer of Final Fantasy XI, Square's first massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). He oversaw ongoing development of that title and Final Fantasy XIV until late 2010. He also worked in a prominent role for earlier single-player games including Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Xenogears, Threads of Fate, Chrono Cross, and the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy III..
Akihiko Matsui is a Japanese video game developer and battle designer working for Square Enix. He was one of the directors for Chrono Trigger and worked on several battle systems for the Final Fantasy series.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy VIII was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan, and by Square EA in North America. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game—arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi—was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII, and a collection of piano arrangements—performed by Shinko Ogata—was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII.
The music of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI was composed by Naoshi Mizuta along with regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu and Kumi Tanioka. The Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by DigiCube in 2002, and subsequently re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack was released by DigiCube in 2003 after the release of the Rise of the Zilart expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack was produced by Square Enix in 2004 after the release of the Chains of Promathia expansion, and in 2005 Square Enix published Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel, a collection of arranged tracks from the game performed by The Star Onions, a group composed of Square Enix composers including Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka and Hidenori Iwasaki. Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack was released by Square Enix in 2006 for the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion.
Dragon Quest X is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. It is the tenth mainline entry in the Dragon Quest series. It was originally released for the Wii in 2012, and was later ported for Wii U, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS, all of which support cross-platform play. Outside of a Windows version in Chinese, the game was not localized outside of Japan.
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The original Final Fantasy video game, published in 1987, is a role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The primary composer of music for the main series was Nobuo Uematsu, who single-handedly composed the soundtracks for the first nine games, as well as directing the production of many of the soundtrack albums. Music for the spin-off series and main series games beginning with Final Fantasy X was created by a variety of composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Kumi Tanioka, as well as many others.
The music for the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, a regular contributor to the music of the Final Fantasy series. Several other composers including Masayoshi Soken and Naoshi Mizuta contributed music for updates to the game. The music for the game's reboot, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was primarily composed by Soken, who was the sound director for both releases of the game. Music from both releases of the game has been released in several albums, though no album contains music from both XIV and A Realm Reborn. A pair of mini-albums containing a handful of selected tracks from XIV, Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV: Field Tracks, were released by Square Enix in 2010 when XIV first launched. A soundtrack album titled Final Fantasy XIV - Eorzean Frontiers, containing most of the music that had been released by that point for XIV, was digitally released in 2012. A final soundtrack album for the original release of the game, Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack, was released in 2013 just before the launch of A Realm Reborn, and contains all of the music that was composed for XIV throughout its lifetime. The latest soundtrack album, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Original Soundtrack, was released in 2014, and contains all of the music for A Realm Reborn released up to that point.
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is the first expansion pack to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. It was released on June 23, 2015, nearly two years after the debut of A Realm Reborn. Naoki Yoshida served as director and producer and Nobuo Uematsu, who had not worked on the title since the ill-fated 2010 launch of the original Final Fantasy XIV, returned to collaborate with Masayoshi Soken on the soundtrack. The expansion pack was released as a standalone product for current players, as well as an "all-in-one" bundle containing A Realm Reborn and Heavensward. The latter was the only way to access the OS X version of the game, which premiered on the same day as the expansion pack's launch.
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs). The eponymous first game in the series, published in 1987, was conceived by Sakaguchi as his last-ditch effort in the game industry; the title was a success and spawned sequels. While most entries in the series are separate from each other, they have recurring elements carrying over between entries: these include plot themes and motifs, gameplay mechanics such as the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, and signature character designs from the likes of Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is the second expansion pack to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and PlayStation 4. It was released on June 20, 2017, just under two years after Heavensward, the previous expansion. Like its predecessor, Naoki Yoshida served as director and producer and Masayoshi Soken composed the soundtrack, with Nobuo Uematsu contributing the theme song. The expansion pack was released as a standalone product for current players; for new players, the "Complete Edition" that originally launched with Heavensward was updated to include both expansions. In order to make necessary engine improvements, service for the PlayStation 3 game client was terminated with the expansion's early access period. A special upgrade campaign allowed affected players to obtain the PlayStation 4 version for free.