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Why Final Fantasy 14 Was Such A Huge Flop When It Launched

Final Fantasy 14 is one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world. The online game has a total player base that is over 23 million, and approximately 1.5 million users play actively. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, the current iteration, is the second overall version of the title, and the developer, Square Enix, is now reaping the fruits of its labor. But it wasn't always this way.

The first iteration of Final Fantasy 14 was a huge flop. No, really, the game was a huge disappointment to fans everywhere. It was first released in 2010 for the PC, and the game tanked with a Metascore of 49. It had wonderful graphics, but to some, that was about all it had to offer. Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada stated, "The Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged." The developer would soon do everything in its power to correct the game's wrongs. Final Fantasy 14 was overhauled and refined into a successful MMORPG.

But what made the game so terrible to begin with?

Flowerpots and inexperience

Final Fantasy 14 had amazing graphics. No one could deny that the graphics were absolutely stunning, but maybe they were too stunning. The flowerpots in the game had about 1,000 polygons and required the same rendering power as the actual characters themselves. The graphics put a strain on computer hardware and made the MMO experience less of an MMO experience. To combat the rendering strain, Square Enix reduced the amount of visible players in a single given area to 20.

Final Fantasy 14 was developed by a team that wasn't familiar with MMORPGs. Sure, the game was littered with bugs and a tacky user interface, but the largest issue was the lack of quality content. In fact, most players will tell you that the game lacked any real substance. The combat and questing were extremely tedious. According to director Naoki Yoshida, there was a lack of MMO knowledge and experience among the game's developers. Apparently, Japan hadn't really delved much into the field of MMOs at the time.

Final Fantasy 14 lacked enjoyable content and wasn't beginner-friendly. Fortunately, the game was able to bounce back from its inauspicious beginning.