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The Games that Defined the Decade: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

December 06, 2019 2 min read

Back before we were able to connect consoles to the internet, if a developer released a broken game, something overrun with bugs or controls that didn't work just right, there was nothing to be done about. That was it. The game printed on that cartridge or CD would be the only version ever made. So if a fighting game character was OP, it stayed OP until the next iteration of the game saw release.

With the introduction of updates to game development, this problem could be avoided. Bugs missed in the testing phase could be squashed after a game had released, meaning the game you bought at launch would theoretically only get better as developers continued to work on them. But the promise of post-release updates led to a troubling trend in the industry: more and more, developers and publishers would push out products that had no business being on store shelves. Games like Assassin's Creed Unity, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Fallout 76, Anthem, and SimCity are among the most notable titles of the past 10 years to buckle at launch.

And then there is Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix's MMO follow-up to the massively popular Final Fantasy XI. When it released in 2010, it was met with universal disdain as players and reviewers labeled it an unfinished, jumbled mess of a product. Less than three months after it launched, Square Enix removed original producer Hiromichi Tanaka from the project and replaced him with Naoki Yoshida, who had the near-impossible task of turning this turd of an RPG into something players would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for.

Less than three years after Final Fantasy XIV crashed and burned, A Realm Rebornemerged from its ashes and established itself as the definitive MMO of the decade.

The Games that Defined the Decade: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn screenshot