In its Q1 2011 financial summary, Square Enix reported a $16 million (USD) loss, primarily due to the disappointing release of the much anticipated MMO Final Fantasy XIV in the fall of 2010 and the recent, nation-crippling Tohuku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Square Enix also released a revised earnings estimate in the Q1 report, indicating that the gaming giant will tighten its purse strings across-the-board on its digital content – restricting title releases and the cancellation of project development on new titles – in an effort to return to profitability. Check out the revised earnings here
For the Final Fantasy XIV faithful, this is disappointing, but not surprising, news. Final Fantasy XIV’s release in September 2010 was regarded as the next great leap from Square Enix’s 2003 MMO Final Fantasy XI. Signs pointed to a work-in-progress product, however – even in its beta testing phase – with many FFXIV testers citing lack of content, poor UI and game mechanics as key concerns. After 3 months of mediocre sales and quickly dwindling player base, Square Enix management restructured the team, bringing in producer Naoki Yoshida from Final Fantasy XI to breathe some fresh air into the game and reassure players that the company was committed to making radical changes to the game system.
However, progress on fixes to the game system and new content has been slow in 2011. With Square Enix projecting even less profitability for the remainder of the year, can Final Fantasy XIV fans really believe that changes will come soon enough to save Eorzea?
Article by: Sam Shaw