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Final Fantasy XIV: The Audience Is Running Away


Final Fantasy XIV: The Audience Is Running AwayI think, maybe, Square Enix is starting to suspect something. According to Japanese statistics for October, FFXIV’s audience is decreasing rapidly, dropping from 44,000 players to 36,000. That’s a whole 18%! If someone thought they can release a crappy, unplayable game with a horrible interface and make people pay for it, obviously they were wrong. If someone had thought, that after releasing a crappy game they can start remaking it into something a little more playable and make people wait for it, there were wrong again. And by the looks of it, Square Enix is doing exactly this: trying to fix things post-release, thing, that they shouldn’t even had done to their game in the first place.

You may tell me something like: “oh, hey, wait! FFXIV is a cool game, it has this, it has that and a little more of something else, and i had been playing a previous Final Fantasy online installment, so i totally understand FFXIV and why it has an interface like this. It’s an Japanese console game interface, you PC owner doesn’t know a thing about console games!”. This is what i had got in conversation with a Russian online games blogger of authority. And i stopped reading that guy’s journal, because saying that FFXIV interface is made for consoles and that’s why every PC user out there hates it, it’s like saying that walking on arms is made for handicapped, and that’s why everyone else is using their legs instead.

Japanese report on FFXIV for October, 2010.

Console users aren’t handicapped (and now, that i think of it, i am sorry for using them in example that also contains “Final Fantasy XIV” in the same phrase), and FFXIV interface is as much horrible on a PS3 as on PC. And I’m not even speaking of anything else than the interface here – not speaking on purpose, mind you, or this post will be as long as first book of “War and Peace”.

I had been testing its PC version for some time, and the first thing i saw when i downloaded it, the horrible dumb installed. It wanted to install the client on drive C:\ and not anywhere else. When was the last time i saw an installer that didn’t allowed me to even choose a place where i want to install the application? I don’t know, back in 1990’s, maybe? Not in a 21st century, not a chance. So, after the installer i wasn’t surprised even a bit by what i saw. I was only surprised by those people who preordered FFXIV, but looking at the numbers, they begin to see their mistake. Well, better later than never.

And this would be a good example to other developers: we gamers can play bad games, we can even pay for them, and you guys can get away with that, but only up to some point. You can’t sell a piece of guano for a candy – even if you are Square Enix.

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