If you ask any RPG fan when the Final Fantasy series started to falter, many will say it was at 8, some will say 10, a large amount will say 12 or 13, but Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada has said outright that the poor reception of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has greatly damaged the name. Few will deny that FF14 is poor, even after Square has made an attempt to fix and save it it’s still poor. Launched September of last year, there was a series of bugs and problems with the game that needed fixing.
Wada said “We’ll continue with our reform work, which basically amounts to fully redoing the game, and hope to revive the FFXIV that should have been released.”, refusing to give up on the game. Some criticisms of FFXIV is in its complexity, and simple things like not being able to keybind the inventory at first (which was later fixed). FFXIV is likely on-average the lowest-rated entry in the Final Fantasy series which has been successful and loved since the NES era, with critics saying that it’s poorly designed, overly complicated, terrible interface, and the retainer system being a good idea but executed in a terrible fashion.
Square is honestly beating a dead horse with Final Fantasy XIV, they might as well just shoot it one last time and focus on a project we’re actually looking forward to than a cookie-cutter MMO that plays the same way as every other MMO released since World of Warcraft.
Even if they have plans to completely overhaul FFXIV, the game just flat-out sucks and no amount of tweaking is going to change that without rebuilding the entire thing from scratch. A real reason for the damage to the Final Fantasy brand however is the absence of a large amount of the previous teams. Changing the team of any project or franchise (with the exception of My Little Pony when Lauren Faust took over and made it awesome) will very quickly ruin it to an extreme level as none of the new guys have the touch that the old guys have. There are a few examples of this in gaming, with Phantasy Star 3 and Devil May Cry 2 being the most citable examples of why you don’t give it to another team.