Square Enix today made a major announcement regarding Final Fantasy XIV. "We deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise, and for this we offer our sincerest of apologies," the update said. They also provided details on what looks to be a fairly substantial restructuring of the Final Fantasy XIV development team -- especially at the top -- with new key members, many of which have worked on successful Square Enix products.
The new Producer / Director is Naoki Yoshida, whom is rather mysterious with a fairly slim track record, though apparently he has been with Square Enix since 2004. He replaces Nobuaki Komoto as Director, as well as Hiromichi Tanaka as Producer. According to sources, Tanaka has decided to step down from his roles on the title.
Komoto is staying on the team, however, and has shifted to a new role as Lead Game Designer. Other team members who are either new or are now under new roles include Shintaro Tamai as Assistant Director, Akihiko Matsui as Lead Combat System Designer, Yoshihisa Hashimoto as Technical Advisor, Akihiko Yoshida as Senior Concept Artist and Hiroshi Takai as Lead Artist.
The new team seems to have heavy experience working on Final Fantasy XI, Square Enix's previous foray into the MMORPG market. Hopefully that experience will pay off, as the game is in a pretty bad state at the moment, with Square Enix deciding to extend the free trial period multiple times so far. They've yet to charge a subscription fee for the MMO, even though it's been live since September.
To coincide with this announcement, they've also extended the aforementioned free trial period once again, this time indefinitely. They're going to let the new team get settled in before deciding when the free trial ends.
In addition to everything mentioned so far, Square Enix has also chosen to delay the PlayStation 3 release of Final Fantasy XIV "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 said. This means that the game will not be coming to consoles in March 2011 like originally planned. In fact, Square Enix isn't even confident enough yet to say when it's coming.
Stay tuned to Curse and Final Fantasy XIV Core over the coming weeks and months. We'll be sure to provide updates as soon as new information is revealed regarding future patches, the free trial, and the PlayStation 3 launch of the game.