If you somehow managed to miss the news (perhaps due to extended undersea exploration missions or an archaeological adventure in the jungles of South America), Diablo Immortal and Fallout 76 are currently engaged in a foot race to see which one can engender more ill-will among devoted long-term fanbases. So how are Bethesda and Blizzard going to get themselves out of this hole they created? Well, former CEO of Square-Enix America Mike Fischer notes that these companies already have a template to follow thanks to Final Fantasy XIV.
Fischer explains that the turnaround of FFXIV from “industry punchline” to “overwhelming success” happened for a reason, and one of the first steps is admitting that the problem isn’t a PR problem but one of shattered trust. He also puts forth that the studios need to take time to listen to the devoted fans, internalize the negative feedback, and develop a comprehensive plan for fixing things – something that took Square-Enix two months to do, but the result was a thorough plan with a clear roadmap that mended fences. The whole piece is worth a read, whether or not you think it’s likely either studio is likely to heed its wisdom.