Former Square Enix America CEO advises Bethesda and Blizzard to learn from Final Fantasy XIV

    
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pls do a rescue

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.

Source: Venture Beat
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The Dallas Dapifer
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The Dallas Dapifer

I don’t think Square Enix is in a position to tell Blizzard how to make money…

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I would love for Bethesda to do with Fallout 76 what Square-Enix did with Final Fantasy XIV. But I won’t hold my breath.

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Bannex

WoW needs a change in leadership. I’m not sure blizzard has a Yoshi P or a hidetaka miyazaki in their ranks.

I think WoW can be fixed but I don’t think I’ll be around to see that happen. I’ve had enough of being told what I should enjoy.

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Akagi

No, WoW can’t be fixed. The only chance is for everyone in the lead to be fired and replaced by people who know what gamers want. The second thing is to shut down Retail WoW as it’s a piece of garbage. And replace it with Classic WoW.

And then they need to start working on adding content in Vanilla fashion – simplistic graphics, low texture resolution, few polygons, etc. And most importantly – keeping the game hardcore.

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Armsbend

I still think of Square Enix as a punchline.

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Axetwin .

The problem is, then they would have to admit THEY’RE the ones that messed up and are at fault. Instead of the gaming community who didn’t graciously accept these titles with open arms like many many media sites have been been suggesting.

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Rees Racer

I’d also like to contrast the recent failures of Bethesda and Blizzard with respect to Fallout 76 and Diablo…to not only the turnaround Square-Enix was able to accomplish with FFXIV, but also the perception of all-things Ubisoft.

It wasn’t so long ago that the company endured consistent anger and ridicule over business practises, games, and especially the “dreaded” Uplay launcher, with which I’ve never had issue that I can recall. It has, over the last several years, hired some of the more creative and talented people in the industry…most recently Mike Laidlaw.

Granted, apart from the setting(s) of the titles, and some altered mechanics, there is some similarity to be seen from many of their games (e.g. Far Cry, The Division, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider et al). But the most recent installments of every one have enjoyed success and positive reviews. I’m not too much a Ghost Recon player , but Rainbow Six Siege remains very popular 3 years later (even though it’s not my thing).

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has actually been criticised for being “too large” a game. Seriously, this is what it’s come to? People complain FO76 for lacking content and being a buggy shallow mess…and a Diablo mobile game. Pick one argument or the other.

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A Dad Supreme

I’ll just re-post what I did a week ago, since it’s particularly relevant given Mike Fischer’s comments:

Fallout 76 buffs the stash and nerfs endgame mob XP with today’s patch

“Yeah, they really should do a FFXIV Version1-2 reboot. They did almost everything Square Enix did wrong (except major fraud):

1) Release buggy, almost unplayable game during beta
2) Short, boring content, no communication/direction about endgame
3) Put things/did things core base fans did not want/ask for
4) Waste time/money trying to fix Version 1
5) Lies/obfuscation about game/direction

SE fired the head guy to make amends, or heavily insisted he ‘resign’, and brought someone not associated with the previous lies and bad PR to run the game. Bethesda probably needs to do that with Todd to show fans they are serious after everything he said during the reveal was ridiculously untrue.

Bethesda has the money to fully fund a reboot and (supposedly) the talent (?), and they have eroded almost all goodwill built up over the years like SE did.

But look at FFXIV (2.0) today and you see what admitting whole-scale mistakes, having a humble attitude and promising to fix things can do for your product in the long run.

They are only hurting the pre-order interest for a new game like Starfield down the line by continuing their present course.

I remember that everyone said that by the time SE re-did FFXIV, no one would care or no new people would join the game. That proved to be untrue obviously but if Bethesda continues to “fix” a game that really can’t be, that will happen.”

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thirtymil

At the risk of upsetting FFXIV fans, I don’t see how Blizzard can save Warcraft by turning it into…

…a version of Warcraft with a longer global cooldown and prettier avatars.

(Sorry, just balked at that “overwhelming success” line for FFXIV… I think it’s a bit rich to tell the market leader you modeled a lot of your redesign on that they should follow your example when you didn’t even come close to their sub numbers on your reboot)

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Greaterdivinity

Read the article then, because he’s literally saying none of that, specifically talking about WoW (he’s talking about the D:I reveal). And for what it is, FFXIV has been a pretty big success for Squeenix, especially in light of how fantastically the game bombed initially.

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thirtymil

Yep, sorry – my mistake. Having a rough day and misreading things.

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Greaterdivinity

Heh, been there and done that far, far too many times. Hope your day gets better!

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Max Sand

The focus isn’t on the rebuilding but rather community interaction, something Activision-Blizzard, Bethesda and EA have been sorely lacking in for quite some time, but particularly bad this last year or so. Who knows why its happened all at once, could be a number of factors but in the end, we are seeing consumer backlash that might not exist if the companies communicated with the customers in a less antagonistic relationship(and the fact some gamers are also antagonistic doesn’t excuse it.)

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agemyth 😩

Wow former Square Enix CEO, the company must have felt lucky to have your insight when you were around. Maybe Yoshida has been taking this guy’s credit all along.