By Spencer . December 10, 2010 . 12:39am
The publisher plans on giving their online game a new direction starting with a new leadership team. Hiromichi Tanaka, producer of Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV, stepped down from his role as a producer. Newcomer Naoki Yoshida will replace Tanaka as the new producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV. Shintaro Tamai who worked on Front Mission 4 and 5 is the assistant director.
Meanwhile, players won’t have to pay any fees while the new team figures out what to do with Final Fantasy XIV. The free trial period will be extended until Square Enix outlines a plan to "satisfy" customers. The PlayStation 3 version, previously slated for March 2011, has also been delayed and won’t be released until Final Fantasy XIV’s issues are fixed.
Hiromichi Tanaka wrote this message to Final Fantasy XIV players.
First of all, I would like to apologize for our inability to fully satisfy our users with the initial release of Final Fantasy XIV. I take full responsibility for the game’s current situation, and have therefore made the decision to step down from my role as producer. A number of concerns that have been voiced by users, such as the design of the user interface, availability of tutorials and game content, and battle system functionality, represent key issues that must be addressed. While improvements are already well underway in many areas, we were unfortunately not able to incorporate player feedback as quickly as we would have liked. We are aware, however, that in many cases, addressing these issues will call for a reworking of game elements. As these changes are our first priority, they will be commanding our full attention and efforts. It is to that end that we have put a new organizational structure into place for the development team. Under this new system, Final Fantasy XIV will see changes and additions in line with the desires and expectations of players. Though no longer producer, I will be continuing to support the development team in other capacities, and personally hope that you will continue your adventures in the realm of Eorzea.
And this is what Naoki Yoshida, the current producer and director, wrote about his new role.
I would like to take this opportunity to greet all of you—those currently playing Final Fantasy XIV, those who have taken a respite from playing, and those awaiting the PlayStation 3 release—and offer a brief word by way of an introduction.
No doubt there are very few, if any, among you who have ever heard the name Naoki Yoshida. To be sure, I have never been in the fore on any of the titles I have worked on in the past. I am, however, honored and privileged to work alongside many talented and inspiring colleagues, and with their support have enjoyed making games for a number of years. I am aware that a great many people will think the responsibility of leading Final Fantasy XIV is far too large a task for someone so unknown. After all, even my very best may seem no more than a drop in the bucket when considering the sheer scope of Final Fantasy XIV. But working together with me are the very talented and very capable development and management teams, whose dedication and motivation are unwavering. I would like to ask you to please put to rest uncertainties that you may have.
Now, more than ever, myself, the development team, and Square Enix as a whole, are committed to furthering our efforts to provide a quality service.
Everything we do will be for our players and customers.