Final Fantasy XIV and Square Enix: A Company Reborn!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn appears to have done more than save the Realm of Eorzea, it may have just saved Square Enix!
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After a worrying earnings report last year, Square Enix has righted the ship and is back on the positive side of the ledger. The past 9 months have been strong for Square Enix, mostly due to the relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV being a huge success and holding a healthy subscriber base.

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A welcome change

After the failure of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 and the somewhat failure of Final Fantasy XIII,(let’s face it, the last two single player classic Final Fantasy games just didn’t grip us like the first 10 did) times were fairly dire for Square Enix. Talks of the company going bankrupt and the path of large but now defunct developers such as THQ seemed less like a fantasy and more like a final, grim reality for Square Enix. The Operating income of Square went from a loss of 4.9B Japanese Yen (roughly -$48.3M)  to a profit of 7.8bn yen (roughly +$76.9M) from 2012 to 2013. In non-accountant terms, that is a huge swing of cash flow that will allow the company to stay afloat instead of capsizing.

If you’re currently playing FFXIV, hopefully Levithan won’t succeed in capsizing you when Patch 2.2 hits sometime in March!

Money is always good for companies, but has Square Enix sold out to remain in the business?

FFXIV 1.0 was a great, story driven game to many people which simply lacked a decent combat system and thought-out endgame. To the “purists” of FFXIV 1.0, A Realm Reborn is a large departure from the FFXI formula and heads more towards the casual MMO World of Warcraft market. For some points, I do feel that FFXIV is an MMO with Final Fantasy aspects to it instead of being an MMO set in a FF universe, but to call it completely departed from the previous games of the series is a harsh criticism. As long as the game is successful, I don’t see Square Enix changing too much with the game, for better or for worse.

Things are looking up

it would appear that reports of Square Enix’s demise were greatly exaggerated

With the long overdue Kingdom Hearts III finally slated to appear this year along with more content for FFXIV and a few other franchises getting new games such as Deus Ex and Thief, it would appear that reports of Square Enix’s demise were greatly exaggerated. I believe that this is due in no small part to the realm of Eorzea and FFXIV 2.0, but it also due to SE’s ability to listen and address community concerns.

It’s a great thing to see Square Enix still can understand that they messed something up and can address with the community’s concerns in mind. Above making money, that is the true formula for success in the Video Game Industry. Square Enix has been around long enough to realize that it seems.

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