Final Fantasy XIV has had a rough start since it launched in September. Due to a large volume of complaints, Square Enix has announced that it will once again extend the free trial period, though this time until the company is confident the issues that have hindered enjoyment have been addressed. There are two version updates scheduled before the end of the year with the next one due in mid-December.
Along with this, the PlayStation 3 version planned for March 2011 has been delayed. Square Enix states, "until we are confident that the game has reached the level of enjoyability and service befitting the Final Fantasy name for users on all supported platforms," they will not release the console version. This means that there is no current time frame for the PlayStation 3 version.
Amidst offering apologies, Square Enix has brought about a lot of staffing changes for Final Fantasy XIV. The biggest of these is the removal of producer Hiromichi Tanaka. Tanaka falls on the sword taking full responsibility for the game's failings. While he will no longer be in charge, he states that he will continue to support the new team.
The top development change is that Naoki Yoshida will be taking over as producer and director. Yoshida states that though he's "never been in the fore on any of the titles I have worked on in the past," he's ready to take over as he's been involved with R&D at Square Enix recently as well as working on the arcade series Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road. Nobuaki Komoto, who also spent time as director of Final Fantasy XI, has shifted from being the game's director to the role of lead game designer.
Among some of the other team adjustments include the people taking the following positions:
- Assistant Director, Shintaro Tamai (director of Front Mission 5 and battle motion director for Final Fantasy X)
- Lead Combat System Designer, Akihiko Matsui (director of Final Fantasy XI and co-director of Chrono Trigger)
- Technical Advisor, Yoshihisa Hashimoto (director of various Sonic games)
- Lead Programmer, Hideyuki Kasuga (programmer for Final Fantasy XI and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII)
- Senior Concept Artist, Akihiko Yoshida (character designer for Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Final Fantasy XII)
- Lead Artist, Hiroshi Takai (director of The Last Remnant and battle designer for the Romancing SaGa series)
- Lead UI Designer, Hiroshi Minagawa (director of new PSP Tactics Ogre and co-director and visual designer of Final Fantasy XII)