Final Fantasy XIV launched with problems, and a lot of them. Square Enix has acknowledged this - multiple times - and said they're on the case. Something has finally snapped at the house that Final Fantasy built, though, and now Square Enix have delayed the PS3 version of the game, extended the free trial period indefinitely and issued a public apology to users.
As well as all that, several key members of the Final Fantasy XIV staff have been replaced, presumably in a hope that shifting around the development resources dedicated to the game will make a difference in how long it takes to fix.
Square Enix President Yoichi Wada has issued an apology on the official Final Fantasy XIV website regarding both the quality of the game and the PS3 delay. "Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned," he said in the statement.
Final Fantasy XIV's PS3 version was originally slated to hit in March 2011 - but it's unlikely to arrive in that month now, or even in that quarter. Meanwhile, the PC version will remain free-to-play until Square Enix can "provide a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment that will satisfy both us and our customers."
The game's development team has also been restructured, bringing in fresh blood and new leadership in the hope that it will breathe new life into the project. Naoki Yoshida will take over as Director and Producer, while a plethora of other changes pulls in skilled talent that have worked on titles like Final Fantasy IX, X, XI and XII, Vagrant Story, and Front Mission.
Previous Producer Hiromichi Tanaka, who we interviewed about the game twice before, appears to have gotten the boot, though he says in the official statement that he will continue to "support the development team in other capacities".
It's a bloody day at Square Enix, especially considering Final Fantasy XIV's key rival World of Warcraft has just released a new expansion which has, unsurprisingly, sold gangbusters. You can read the full statement over on the official Final Fantasy XIV website, and we'll keep you posted with all the latest developments as and when they happen.