Nexon and Square canceled the Final Fantasy XI R mobile MMO, citing an insufficient ‘level of creative differentiation’

    
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Ahem.

Last fall, we poked around trying to figure out what happened to the Final Fantasy XI Remake, the mobile game that was originally announced in 2015 as a Square and Nexon project. As Eliot noted at the time, there wasn’t a whole lot to report, as the companies had been pretty quiet about it, apart from mentions in Nexon’s investor reports that suggested it was still on deck, plus some accidental art uploads.

Now it appears it’s over before it got anywhere, as Japanese games site Social Game Info (via Kotaku) noticed that Nexon canceled the project entirely. It was rumored back at the end of the year, and you might have noticed that the game had vanished from Nexon’s “pipeline” slides in the February reports. During the actual investor call itself (the transcripts of which are now online), the company admitted the game was canceled because it hadn’t met quality standards for the franchise. Here’s Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney:

“NEXON and Square Enix have made the mutual decision that our work on Final Fantasy was not showing the level of creative differentiation that we think our players expect from the Final Fantasy franchise. So, rather than releasing a game that did not break new creative ground, we have agreed to halt the project and redeploy our creative teams on the other projects. We think this reflects us taking a very hard look at every project we do and focusing on the things that we believe in, which includes in large part NEXON’s own intellectual property, which we think is very powerful. When you go through the creative process, sometimes you can get the core of the fun, and sometimes you are not able to get there. I would classify our relationship with Square Enix as enormously respectful. I have huge respect for their creative teams. We worked very closely together, but we made the decision to protect the value of their IP and to focus our resources on what we think were higher and better uses.”

Source: Nexon via Social Game Info via Kotaku
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Veldara
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Veldara

Too greedy or not greedy enough? Guess we’ll never know who’s the badguy in this.🤷‍♀️

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William_Hououin

Nexon have quite the expertise cancelling and/or shutting down games

It’s quite a garbage company, and one I won’t spend a dime on

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Danny Smith

I don’t think any XI fan was still expecting this to release at this point. Honestly if they just gave the existing game a texture upscale, rolled it into the XIV sub and at best threw it on the switch i would take that as a doover.

Jokerchyld
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Jokerchyld

NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

vgees
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vgees

I think the creative issues were likely around monetization. Nexon probably wanted the full blown loot box and cash shop treatment and the Square creative leads refused. Adding the usual gacha mechanics would have ruined the FFXI esthetic. It being obviously a game that was not designed with F2P in mind.

A free mobile client for subscribers to the PC game could still be great, but there I don’t think Nexon would be interested in something that would not be profitable and SE doesn’t want to carry that weight either I guess.

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Krzysztof Czajka

Is the SE implying that their money grabbing mobile “games” are what fans are asking for and it’s the peak of their creativity? Lmao

I’ll translate their PR bullshit for you:
“We tried to milk you with that game but it didn’t work so we cancelled it”

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Louie

Square has a really weird relationship with mobile games. FFXV: A New Empire is demonstrably terrible and exists purely to suck as much money as it can out of its repetitive gameplay (and it made gangbusters still), yet Dissidia FF Opera Omnia is one of the most generous and F2P-friendly gacha games ever made.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Think it might depend on assessments on how much things might help/hurt the brand? That people’ll ignore New Empire as if its some weird thing to the side, but get hugely outraged at bigger problems with Omnia Opera?

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SwordBreaker35

Good riddance. No need to make a Mobil game out of every damn thing. Want to make a remake of FF11 well take your collective lazy cheap ass make a proper remake on PC with better control and user interface. Square got the damn money but they just don´t want to waste them becuse why make a remake of 11 when you already got 14.

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wratts

Honestly I think that’s the best reason to cancel an entertainment project, and wish more studios/publishers had the position and will to do that. Too many of the releases that come out every year are very samey, chasing trends with very minor tweaks to a formula.

Of course, this makes me wonder why SE is still publishing “Outriders”, a game which even in demo makes me wonder in a world where Destiny and The Division exist why Outriders needs to

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Louie

As hopeful as I was, it probably would have been a mess with small market appeal (that even excludes a lot of XI fans) anyway being locked on mobile. That being said, I really hope those gorgeous assets that got leaked somehow get rolled into a remaster of some kind. A streamlined, co-op version of the game with them would be just amazing.

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Vanquesse V

“creative differentiation” is something he made up on the spot, and nobody can convince me otherwise.