While Square Enix is experiencing "extraordinary losses," development of Final Fantasy XIV is still supercharged.
Bad news continues for Square Enix employees as it announced today that it will further restructure by cutting jobs in their new studios they obtained when Square purchased Eidos Interactive. In a financial forecast for FY2013, former president Yoichi Wada stated that, "The European market was generally soft, however what affected us the most was the huge slump in North American sales." The European development studios, formerly known as Eidos Interactive, delivered some of Square Enix's most successful console video games last year. Despite not meeting their sales goals, Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Sleeping Dogs were all moderate successes. While all of this bad news is going on right now in Europe, Square Enix is hosting an event with Microsoft discussing the future of Final Fantasy XIV which many would point to as the first sign that Square Enix had strayed away from its design focus. Aside from a brief delay in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn's last beta phase, development remains unaffected.
Throughout all of Square Enix's tumultuous March and April Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV were both mysteriously absent in both future plans and current generation of capital. In a statement from Wada in Febuary of 2012, Wada noted that Final Fantasy XI was, "the highest level of contribution to our profits." Sadly, Final Fantasy XIV, Wada added that the failed launch of Final Fantasy XIV damaged the Final Fantasy brand as a whole, "but [also] the Company's profit planning was undermined, and deployment of development staff was also affected."
FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that invites you to explore the realm of Eorzea with friends from around the world.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn lets you party up and adventure with a multitude of players from across the globe. Forge friendships, mount chocobos, and board airships as you and your companions create your own unique stories in Eorzea. All the classic elements from the series that you have come to know and love are waiting!
Set out alone or enlist the aid of friends as you undertake epic quests, battle familiar FINAL FANTASY monsters, and acquire unique abilities and equipment. Embark on the adventure of a lifetime to help reforge the fate of Eorzea!
When Wada resigned in late march, Naoki Yoshida, director of the reboot of Final Fantasy XIV, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn stated that absolutely nothing has changed for their development team. And while this may be true, the Nico Nico Chokaigi 2 event in Tokyo this week revealed that the 3rd phase of the FFXIV beta has been delayed until June 2013 with release still set for this summer on PC and PS3 and pre-orders starting sometime in May.
So, while Final Fantasy XIV has had a very extended and rocky development, Wada's statement about MMOs in this same 2012 report may still hold true and this may be what is causing the delay. Wada stated that:
"If successful, MMO is a genre where we can achieve very high profitability. Also, the MMO game market itself has been growing at a regular pace. At the same time, development of MMOs is challenging, requiring large initial investments and deployment of sizable support teams. MMOs have an extremely high barrier to entry. Thus, our strategy is to win the fierce battle among a small number of competitors, creating a supporting rock for the Company's profit."
It remains to be seen if Square Enix will recover but it seems the company is putting everything they can muster into ensuring the success of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.