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#1 Dec 13 2009 at 4:15 PM Rating: Good
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There's a new interview up with Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix and his view on what the future entails for FFXIV, there seems to be a lot of controversy about this interview at the moment, as it seems to suggest Wada is speaking of adding micro-transactions using real world money to the game, however I urge everyone to take it with a grain of salt. It could be everything from a miss translation of a point he was trying to get across, to him being confused about the development itself, to us simply not understanding exactly what he means. So please don't panic! I think at the very worst case he might just be talking about a few things like the tidal talisman in FFXI. "Fluff Items" that aren't critical to game play but just show you bought something. Is this right, is it wrong? I will leave that for you to decide and discuss.

Interview courtesy of MCV and Micheal French.

Source

Quote:
We catch up with the respected Square Enix boss...

How does one of the world’s oldest games publishers build its reputation on the global stage and prepare for the online tidal wave that will up-end the console business? Michael French speaks to the head of Square Enix to find out…

IT’S EASY BUT UNFAIR to paint publisher CEOs as ruthless, profit-hungry monsters. But on paper Yoichi Wada is cut from that very cloth.

The former chief financial officer of Square ascended to the role of CEO at the start of the decade to maneuver the firm through three audacious deals.

The first was a merger with RPG rival Enix in 2002, followed by the acquisition of Space Invaders firm Taito three years later. He completed the triumvirate this May by securing a strong Western operation via the acquisition of Eidos.
Square Enix is now one of the biggest publishers in Japan, and a global heavyweight.

So yes, on paper that reads like the work of a master strategist. And it is. But spend just a few minutes with Wada and he’s clearly more than an opportunist – he has a clear vision for the future of the industry.

One minute he remarks on the irony of a busy boss not having enough time to play his team’s creations, the next he’s passionately defending claims that the Japanese market is in a slump (he’s also the chairman of Japan’s ELSPA-equivalent CESA).

THE BIG VISION
Right now, Wada’s big preoccupation is keeping Square Enix relevant globally. Games have never been so popular to so many different audiences, and never been spread across so many platforms. Wada wants his firm to be there on every one, and courting every gamer.

“Games as a form of entertainment only have only 20 years of history, but it is something that will be penetrating all over the world in the years to come,” he tells MCV when asked about his decade spent expanding the publisher.

“It can penetrate into all sorts of demographics, so we have to base our corporate strategy on this. There are a lot of cultures to address, and we need to cater to the numerous platforms as well. We have to take in a lot of genres – that explains our regional spread.”

The biggest challenge for Square Enix is a commen theme: harnessing online. And, as we revealed last week, Wada believes that in the long term content delivered to TVs and computers by high-seed internet will grow so potent as to make consoles redundant.

“In 10 years time what we traditionally call ‘console games’ simply won’t exist,” he explains. “Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers’ strategy shifted. In the past the platform was hardware, but that switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed any more.”

He’s not just talking about the current fad of social games (even though he has charged a team in Japan with working on social games for that market), but the wider issue of delivering content to connected platforms.

“Depending on who we talk to the issues around social and browser games is risky,” he says, adding that even the term ‘social games’ is too specific.

“But it is a an important area to address because it isn’t related to any consoles and doesn’t need specific hardware to run it, just applications, on the client-side.

"I believe that these types of games are going to be spreading and growing dramatically – especially in areas like Asia which does not have as many penetration of consoles. Its penetration power and destruction capability mean it’s an area we must tap into.”
Destruction capability – Wada chooses his words carefully, but even then the answer is dramatic. He is convinced that a transformation is due.

CHANGE OF PACE
Emphasis has been placed on both growing the Square Enix business and spicing up its heartland property Final Fantasy. Hence on the one hand the Eidos buy, new social games development, and studio collaboration between its entrenched Tokyo and new Montreal teams – while pushing Final Fantasy XIII as a highly massmarket property and releasing new MMO Final Fantasy XIV.

“Final Fantasy is our flagship title – so there is no way we will relax our attitude to it,” Wada asserts when asked how such a traditional franchise vies with the new digital frontier.

He also baulks at the idea that Final Fantasy, which has been countlessly iterated, is getting tired.

“I have thought about this for a while and a when a game has a good backstory and game world it’s something we cannot exhaust,” he says. “On the surface it might seem exhausted, but it’s what behind it that counts – we create different, highly immersive stories with each game. Take Mickey Mouse, he doesn’t seem exhausted. There are a lot of stories associated with him.”

Final Fantasy XIII is one of those big, epic stories – but now it has subtle tweaks such as a Leona Lewis soundtrack to give it more Western appeal.

MASSIVE AMBITIONS
Beyond that, though, comes PS3 MMO FFXIV. It’s not Square Enix’s first such game – it successfully run FFXI on PS2, Xbox 360 and PC over the last six years, but it was outshone by World of Warcraft, the genre’s posterboy.

Yet come next year Square Enix will be having to fight not just Blizzard, but also EA, LucasArts, Atari and others claiming to have the next big MMO.

Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.
“The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons.

“In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”

As the industry gears up for that new wave of MMOs, Wada sees an opportunity: He reckons that when WoW players look to switch, it won’t necessarily be to another Blizzard MMO.

“WoW is a tough competitor – they are very good. But whether you are talking about EverQuest, Ultima or Lineage there has never been a company that has continuously had the successful number one and two MMOs,” he says.

DESTRUCTIVE CAPABILITY
That leads back to his view that nothing can be taken for granted in the online space. But does he really think consoles will die out? Isn’t that a problem for the ecosystem of format-holders, developers and publishers the industry has cultivated?

“First of all the distributors and sales firms will see a big negative impact,” he concedes. “But since 2000 the format holders have known this shift was coming. Instead of relying on the hardware layer, the network becomes the operating system. That move away from clients to the network is something Microsoft has done – moving from clients to the server is something Sony has done.

“That is an over-simplified explanation, but philosophically it is how we distinguish what is happening in those companies.”

Press him on a larger timescale, however, and then he plays it safe.

“It’s tough to say at this moment,” he says, referring to the looser ten year timescale – but makes it clear the transition’s inevitability appeals to his hunger for expansion.

“The exact timing at which [consoles] will go away is hard to determine – but it will happen. With that you can see that any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform in which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential growth of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”


Edited, Dec 14th 2009 8:54am by EndlessJourney
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#2 Dec 13 2009 at 4:33 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.


So we buy in-game items and SE makes more money? Am I reading this wrong? =[ This is indeed very very sad news...
#3 Dec 13 2009 at 4:52 PM Rating: Default
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Empyy wrote:
Quote:
We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.


So we buy in-game items and SE makes more money? Am I reading this wrong? =[ This is indeed very very sad news...


No, it's talking about the transactions in game I believe.
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#4 Dec 13 2009 at 5:05 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.


This sounds like RMT; if so, I refuse to play a game that has both a subscription fee and RMT.
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#5 Dec 13 2009 at 5:08 PM Rating: Good
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Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.
“The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons.

“In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”



Sounds like an ingame 'real cash' item shop to me.

I really hope not though. T_T
#6 Dec 13 2009 at 5:10 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.
“The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons.

“In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


I would like to introduce my foot to Wada's ***! I don't see any changes for the better. They are doing a **** of a good job scaring the player base away.
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#7 Dec 13 2009 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
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I despise Wada and whathe's done.

What's funny is that despite wanting to have higher sales, FFVII still holds the crown for highest sales of a console RPG ever.
#8 Dec 13 2009 at 5:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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If SE introduces this into FFXIV then players will lose interest in the game much faster than if they simply had a monthly subscription based system without micro-transactions.

For example, let's say you pay thirty dollars for the the best in-game gear that paper money can buy. Odds are, the player would lose interest and quit playing, because there's nothing else for you to gain in the game.

On the other hand, with a monthly subscription and no micro-transactions, a player may spend months trying to obtain that same set of gear and overall ends up paying MORE money to SE, due to the monthly fees.

It's a selfish lose-lose business move by SE that might not only scare away a part of their player base for FFXIV but ruin the experience for those of us who still chose to play it.

Dear SE: Please don't do this!
#9 Dec 13 2009 at 5:40 PM Rating: Default
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This make for an interesting topic as far as RMT goes. The reality is this, RMT is going to be part of MMO's no matter how the company tries to curve it.

The question is this, do you want 3rd party companies to sell gold/items or Square-Enix themselves?
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#10 Dec 13 2009 at 5:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:

“In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


Quote:

Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.
“The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons.



On the optimistic hand, Micro-transactions acting hand-in-hand with Subscriptions isn't traditional. The now-traditional is subscription-based games having clerical-based Micro-transactions (such as moving servers) and Free-to-play games having Micro-transactions of the in-game-item variety (like sword of bludgeoning+1). What's being experimented with in subscription-based models are fluff items that have no effect on gameplay (see: WoW's cashshop pets).

On the pessimistic hand, he says "item transactions" specifically. Furthermore it's a part of a sentence in which the other two examples mentioned are descriptions of customer payments to the company (Purchasing the game, and subscriptions). It would seem odd to mention an in-game mechanic in the middle of that sentence, especially because this is under the umbrella of "business model".

Frankly, I'm not willing to be raked over the coals twice. The fact the insanely lucrative subscription-based model would hitting up the same beggar angle free-to-plays use justifiably makes me angry. But trying to play it off as though it's not only something that should've been taken for granted but that it was something we requested makes me furious. Augh, better stop there, I'm making myself angry over a hypothetical.

One the mystical third compromise hand, we could zero in on that "pay-as-you-use" moniker, and hope we're talking about fluff items. Maybe you have a hearthstone with a fixed amount of transportation per day, but don't feel like hoofing it, so you can clunk down an extra 50 cents to get more charges? That's something I could live with. I'd never use, but I could live with.

I'm not sure what to think.


Edited, Dec 13th 2009 7:36pm by Zemzelette
#11 Dec 13 2009 at 6:08 PM Rating: Good
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dyvidd wrote:
This make for an interesting topic as far as RMT goes. The reality is this, RMT is going to be part of MMO's no matter how the company tries to curve it.

The question is this, do you want 3rd party companies to sell gold/items or Square-Enix themselves?



I think the problem is that even if SE goes the RMT ingame shop option they wont be selling gil or looted items, and so you still have the gold sellers doing what they've always done.
Instead we'll have SE wasting development time on Chocobo skins and special item dyes/ whatnot. Which if they are going to make these fluff items anyway, why not include them with the game as something extra for our £15/m? It bothers me. :/

On the otherhand, if they meant services such as server transfer, pay per time ingame top up system and character gender switch/change look then I have no problem.

Quote:
"We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model"


I read this as a plan to milk the user base and it disheartens me.
#12 Dec 13 2009 at 7:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kulito wrote:

Instead we'll have SE wasting development time on Chocobo skins and special item dyes/ whatnot. Which if they are going to make these fluff items anyway, why not include them with the game as something extra for our £15/m? It bothers me. :/

On the otherhand, if they meant services such as server transfer, pay per time ingame top up system and character gender switch/change look then I have no problem.


That pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole thing. I really won't even be happy if the pay-for items are fluff. To me, it's all material that should perfectly well be covered by my initial monthly fee, and then some.

Kulito wrote:
Quote:
"We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model"


I read this as a plan to milk the user base and it disheartens me.


Same. That's a shameful, dishonest, and fallacious statement.

They're doing an excellent job of reducing my confidence in the game, which I didn't think was possible.
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#13 Dec 13 2009 at 8:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wow, that is upsetting...this is the first bit of news that has actually caused me to consider not purchasing the game.
#14 Dec 13 2009 at 8:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dammit, I can't locate the original source (the real interview, not the interpretated version). If the interpretation/translation is correct though (very often it isn't), SE just made a very, very bad decision. Milking the same cow twice in a row just doesn't make the cow happy. And even the cows that refuse to get milked twice will be very ****** because of all the hardcore twice-milked cows that got that magical belt of twice-milking in return for their twice-milkedness.
#15 Dec 13 2009 at 8:45 PM Rating: Excellent
When FFXIV was announced I was optimistic. That optimism hinged around the hope that SE had learned something from FFXI.

What SE is showing me is that they don't belong on the global market because they haven't the foggiest idea of what the global market wants.

Wada is approaching this from a business angle, and that's important. What he doesn't seem to be understanding is that if he approaches it from the point of view of making the best MMO they can possibly make, the $$$ angle will look after itself.

To my way of thinking, he's got it in his head that if he can retain the half million zombies players still letting themselves get ************ by SE's atrocious business practices with another couple hundred thousand hapless converts and then milk them for a little extra here and there, he'll have met his goal of earning the money he wants to make from the title.

What he appears to have overlooked is that his company's reputation as an MMO developer and service provider is very much in question, and he can't afford to be alienating anyone else.
#16 Dec 13 2009 at 8:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Wow, that is upsetting...this is the first bit of news that has actually caused me to consider not purchasing the game.


likewise, ive been anticipating this game since they first showed that tech demo back in 2005, ive been beyond excited.

but if these transactions add up to anything more than fun items that have no real impact on gameplay, theres a good chance that i will not even give it a try.

stupid idea.
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#17 Dec 13 2009 at 8:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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Unless they confirm that this will be 100% subscription based, you can count me out.

In fact, if they do implement a dual system, I hope the game bombs miserably.

Edited, Dec 13th 2009 9:59pm by Mykha
#18 Dec 13 2009 at 9:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Agreeing with everybody else here, if SE decides to make this game include RMT between SE and the user then I won't be playing it. I've known for a while that SE has no clue what they're doing when it comes to advertising and business, but I didn't think it was this bad.

I'm hoping allakhazam will be able to get in contact with these people in the near future and let them know that going that direction would be a HUGE mistake.
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#19 Dec 13 2009 at 11:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why does Wada's Vision seemingly contradict Tanaka and Sundi's Vision?


4gamers.net interview:
Quote:
As always, the developers oppose the use of micro-transactions to make items sellable. They feel by allowing players to purchase everything they want, they would rack up larger bills, but quit the game faster for lack of anything to strive for. The developers would rather players find lasting enjoyment in the game itself, instead of make a mad dash for treasure and quit soon after.

http://ffxiv.zam.com/story.html?story=19378


Playstation Dengeki interview:
Quote:
Tanaka isn’t saying anything about future expansions at the moment but he wants people to know that they aren’t planning on using microtransactions for things like new jobs. Some MMOs use microtransactions for jobs, items, and abilities, but there has been a lot of negative feedback floating around the Japanese community about having to pay for something to get an in-game item like the Tidal Talisman or even those who feel like ACP was really just paying about $10 to get a customizable body piece. It is likely Tanaka is trying to reassure those people that that is not the direction FFXI is going to take.

http://www.eorzeapedia.com/2009/06/26/magazines-2/


Gamescon Interview:
Quote:

Whilst talking about whether or not there would be a subscription based model for the title we discovered some interesting facts with regards not only to FFXIV, but also Final Fantasy XI. Originally, the team had considered using a microtransaction-based model with no subscription fees, but they came to the conclusion that most players would end up spending more over time in microtransactions than they would on a subscription.

http://www.onelastcontinue.com/10553/producers-hiromichi-tanaka-and-sage-sundi-talk-final-fantasy-xiv/


E3 press conference:
Quote:

As for being able to purchase in-game items with real money, the developers indicate they are not considering the option at this time.

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/story.html?story=18309



Edited, Dec 14th 2009 12:09am by Zemzelette
#20 Dec 13 2009 at 11:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Well I'm sorry if this comes as bad news to you all, I guess I didn't read it as closely as I should have. However as always I'm just trying to bring forth whatever information I can pertaining to FFXIV.

On what seems to be the subject at hand, if they are talking about real money trade for in game items, perhaps it is just things like the tidal talisman or something like the nexus cape? Nothing big or useful, but just some little fluff item to provide some entertainment and some small use out of it. As long as they didn't go overboard with it I don't see it as being a problem.

However if they set up things like Cash shops, or even go the way that the 3 mini expansions went, I'm going to be very upset, and a cheap MMO that will make. I think something was either interpreted wrong, or we are reading into it wrong. At first I thought it had something to do with the in game economy or some such. One way or another I think you guys might be panicking a bit too soon about this. I'm sure whatever they do, square enix will not make a mistake as big as the RMT thing people are worrying about.
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#21 Dec 14 2009 at 12:23 AM Rating: Good
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EndlessJourney,
sorry, I completely disagree on that point. The Tidal Talisman for example, while being only of "some" real use in-game has definitely crossed the critical line of RMT. It provides a (slight) real advantage, and you have to pay real money to get it. Last time I checked it was around 40$). This is... no, not Sparta, but plain *********

And Zemzelette, I fear there is a possible interpretation that reconciles both Sundi's and Wada's statements. While Sundi (seems to) refer to actual permanent items (like the Tidal Talisman) being not purchaseable, Wada might think about (quote) "pay-as-you-use items" that provide transient bonuses to, lets say, EXP, health regeneration, MP etc. Technically speaking, that is not an "item", and it's a thing that has been done in other microtransaction MMORPGs before. If anybode could locate the (likely Japanese) transcript of the interview, we'd know more. I am also surprised that none of the Japanese pages/magazines (I know about) mentions this truly important news.

Dammit, if there is one thing I've learned to hate during the short time I worked for an internet-centered company, it's that ****, dirty, dishonest underhandedness. If that's the way SE is heading, they are one of the first japanese companies to value short-term profits over long-term benefits. No doubt Wada will succed in driving up the gross turnover during the next 2-3 years. But I certainly wouldn't like to be his successor.
#22 Dec 14 2009 at 12:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Empyy wrote:
Quote:
We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.


So we buy in-game items and SE makes more money? Am I reading this wrong? =[ This is indeed very very sad news...


To me it basically says RMT have too many people buying so they figure they might as well capitalize instead of spend the money to combat. The whole if you can't beat em (or if you haven't really tried) join them (or take over yourself) scenario.

Edited, Dec 13th 2009 11:53pm by Yogtheterrible
#23 Dec 14 2009 at 12:34 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah... if there's any chance you can purchase useful items or the ability to gain XP quicker, I'm not going to play this game. Games are already a waste of time, allowing RMT just makes it an even bigger waste of time.
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#24 Dec 14 2009 at 12:43 AM Rating: Good
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BTW, the "campaign code" I could get my hands on here is about just as deceitful. We do not know yet what this "special RMT-item" you receive will be. The campaign code is limited to pre-ordered Japanese versions. So basically, they try to make even those (Japanese) people highly anticipating FFXIV without any interest in FFXIII to fork over 8400 Yen (about 65$) to get some mystery-item for the game they actually want to play.

The funny thing is: if said item is actually good, those outside Japan or without overflowing wallets to obtain it (the latter goes for me) will be pretty, pretty *******

If it is worthless, those who did pay 65$ just to get it will be pretty, pretty *******

What a brilliant business idea, Wada. (^.^)/
#25 Dec 14 2009 at 12:57 AM Rating: Good
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What he might mean when he says there are people that would prefer the style of both subscription and RMT is gilbuyers.
#26 Dec 14 2009 at 1:44 AM Rating: Good
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You can count me out too. Not gonna pay twice for the same thing, this feels like the DLC from Capcom, you buy a brand new game and in the next few weeks they are releasing DLC that you must pay to play, not included in the retail game.

Man this sucks... I hope it a minstranslation.
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#27 Dec 14 2009 at 3:23 AM Rating: Good
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I won't start screaming SE is selling game items until I see either some proof on their site, or a clear answer in a fully translated interview.

Quote:
BTW, the "campaign code" I could get my hands on here is about just as deceitful. We do not know yet what this "special RMT-item" you receive will be. The campaign code is limited to pre-ordered Japanese versions. So basically, they try to make even those (Japanese) people highly anticipating FFXIV without any interest in FFXIII to fork over 8400 Yen (about 65$) to get some mystery-item for the game they actually want to play.

The funny thing is: if said item is actually good, those outside Japan or without overflowing wallets to obtain it (the latter goes for me) will be pretty, pretty *******

If it is worthless, those who did pay 65$ just to get it will be pretty, pretty *******

What a brilliant business idea, Wada. (^.^)/


If anybody drops 60+ bucks on FFXIII just for an item for FFXIV...just wow. If that's the only reason they purchase FFXIII, they deserve to waste their money.
#28 Dec 14 2009 at 3:29 AM Rating: Good
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But I also wouldn't want to get the game, and then a year later have them add RMT, which if they do, is likely their plan.
#29Krackbang, Posted: Dec 14 2009 at 3:59 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) It seems as if this is being implemented not just for profit , but to suit the casual gamers who doesn't have much time in the day to quest for certain items.
#30 Dec 14 2009 at 4:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Wada is a terrible CEO, he never should have gotten that position.
I doubt he's even been to see FFXIV's development once yet. All he does is come out with some controversial crap every now and then which contradicts whatever the company is actually releasing.
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#31 Dec 14 2009 at 4:57 AM Rating: Good
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If the items from the Cash Shop aren't necessity, I don't see much issue with it since it wouldn't affect me and others who wouldn't be paying for those anyways. But if the items are necessity, then yeah that's BS.

FFXIV most likely won't have massive PvP element in it either, just like FFXI. If the Cash Shop items help to make the game become more convenient (e.g.: Scroll of Reraise x99 for $5, or Super-Mega-Ultra-Hi-Elixir x99 for $5), then so be it if some other people are willing to pay the cash. But if the Cash Shop items are a must to beat certain NMs (e.g.: Scroll of Invincible x99 for $5 or Scroll of Instant Win x99 for $99), then yeah that's BS.

So as long as the game is fully playable without the role of Cash Shop, I'm not too bothered at all. In the end, Cash Shop is pretty much similar to gilbuying/gilselling, except not against the ToS. We know that there are gilbuyers in FFXI, but they don't really affect things as much anymore these days. You probably couldn't tell who's buying and who's not anyway.

However, I do prefer to have no Cash Shop if possible.
#32 Dec 14 2009 at 5:43 AM Rating: Good
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@Krackbang and Vaagan
There seems to be a misconception. Even in MMORPGs based only on microtransactions, the items up for sale are not really a "necessity" in a strict sense. There is, for example, that 5$ Elixir of Wisdom, that will give you a 100% Experience Boost for 10 hours of playtime. Basically this means you could simply skip 10 hours of EXPing in the Dunes by just forking over 5$. But what does this mean?

Well, it will mean that if you do not pay the 5$ - I guess I would if I was in such a game, as I could theoretically afford that much -, everyone and their dogs will breeze past you. Simply stating it is "free choice" to not buy such an item, or would help casual players to catch up is a little skewed logic, in my opinion. Because you can be pretty sure all not-so-casual players with a little spare money will buy this Elixir as well.

So in the end, not buying that Elixir becomes a serious disadvantage that separates the "reluctant leftbehinds" from the "serious p(l)ayers". That's not really a matter of free choice, as you try to put it. It's a matter of (admittedly very subtle) coercion; they got you, you are attached to their game, and you don't want to be left behind -> pay more.

Not to mention that people will try to neurotically squeeze as much EXP grinding as possible into those 10 hours - after all, they paid for the boost, so they want to make the best out of it. IMHO, that's a very good vantage point to break the cozy and cooperative community that made FFXI stand out from the soulless crowd for so long.

Wada sure knows how to make a profitable business plan for a few weeks, or even month, or maybe even years; after all, there is a proverb in my country:

"The devil will always pay a good price
for a (game's) soul".


Edited, Dec 14th 2009 6:57am by Rinsui
#33 Dec 14 2009 at 6:02 AM Rating: Default
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Why are we being at disadvantage for leveling up slower? You don't get any special item to be the first max level character. It took me a year to get my first level 75 in FFXI and I'm fine with it. If you start playing the game six month after me, are you at disadvantage for being level 1 while I'm at level 50? Not really.

Heck, even the three add-ons, not everyone buys them despite the obvious reward and reasonably cheap price of $10 each. Yet, nobody really felt that they're necessities and must buy.

What I meant with "necessity" is that there are MMORPGs that would sell potions of awesomeness where you get like +50% damage dealt and like -25% damage received. Things like that are significant, and at a certain point, the mobs difficulty suddenly scaled up much higher that you can't even really kill normal mobs around your level comfortably without using such potion.

Using an analogy in FFXI, imagine if the only way to enter Jeuno is by buying a "Jeuno Pass" for $5. Then when you want to enter Whitegate, you have to bribe the guard with "Windurst Magical Subligar" for $5. And so on. It becomes necessity because of the integral part that Jeuno and Whitegate play in the game.
#34 Dec 14 2009 at 6:59 AM Rating: Decent
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I'm left to wonder, if everyone has such a dismal belief in SE as to jump the gun before any concrete information is known, then why even anticipate the game at all? It's like some people hang around just to say "I told you SE sucks" everytime something comes out that can be taken one way or another and there is nothing really pointing in either direction.

I would also like to know how someone is "disadvantaged" at being "left-behind". It's like endgame is the only reason to play all. Frankly, I'm happy with taking my time and experiencing the game. I feel like I'm actually better off than the people who feel like they have to zoom through it all. I'm better off because I got to actually experience the game itself and enjoy the journey. Besides, if the the journey sucks, why would the destination really be any better?

Overall I just think that we should all calm down, take it all with a grain of salt, and just wait and see. Have a little faith or why bother at all?

edited for spelling.

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 8:04am by Lenaught
#35 Dec 14 2009 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
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mpmaley wrote:
I despise Wada and whathe's done.

What's funny is that despite wanting to have higher sales, FFVII still holds the crown for highest sales of a console RPG ever.
Lets be honest here, who here hasn't owned at least 2 copies of this game over the course of their life?

I'm accountable for like 3.
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#36 Dec 14 2009 at 7:43 AM Rating: Decent
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He also baulks at the idea that Final Fantasy, which has been countlessly iterated, is getting tired.
Its been tired since 7.
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#37 Dec 14 2009 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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I'll wait until more information becomes available until I make a decision whether or not to purchase. I've long been a staunch activist against RMT and cash shops, as I feel it cheapens the experience, and we all know what kind of damage RMT can do.

However, I found myself doing something a month ago that I swore I would never do. I purchased a micro-transaction from an MMO. LOTRO offered a $20 "Adventurer's Pack" for their new expansion. The pack offered an in-game mount, an in-game cloak that boosted run speed for a short amount of time, gave you 2 character slots, and opened up an in-game shared storage vault for all characters on a server. (Previously, you had to mail items to other characters, or store them in your house, which was inconvenient.)

I didn't take the offer when it was first announced, as I had no need of another mount, or a cloak. The shared storage and 2 extra character slots were tempting though. After the expansion went live, Turbine removed the in-game items from the pack, and that's when I decided to get it.

Even though I swore never to take part in micro-transactions, this seemed to me a good deal, and it did not affect gameplay except for the fact that I can hold more junk now. Transactions like this, I can live with. I don't want to have to pay to get the +1 Uber Sword of Kick *** though.

It's a divisive issue, but until we know more, there's no point to the wailing and gnashing of teeth. We have contradictory comments from the devs and Wada. Let's wait and see what happens, shall we?
#38 Dec 14 2009 at 7:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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+1 on the not liking a cash shop and monthly fee crowd.

Zackary wrote:
mpmaley wrote:
I despise Wada and whathe's done.

What's funny is that despite wanting to have higher sales, FFVII still holds the crown for highest sales of a console RPG ever.
Lets be honest here, who here hasn't owned at least 2 copies of this game over the course of their life?

I'm accountable for like 3.


I still have my first? Then again, compared to some gamers I know, I treat my stuff like radioactive isotopes and am super cautious moving discs from their cases to their systems. Some just chuck the sh*t around like frisbees.

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 8:57am by Seriha
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#39 Dec 14 2009 at 8:06 AM Rating: Decent
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I just have a lot of friends who like to borrow stuff.
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#40 Dec 14 2009 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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Seriha wrote:
+1 on the not liking a cash shop and monthly fee crowd.

Zackary wrote:
mpmaley wrote:
I despise Wada and whathe's done.

What's funny is that despite wanting to have higher sales, FFVII still holds the crown for highest sales of a console RPG ever.
Lets be honest here, who here hasn't owned at least 2 copies of this game over the course of their life?

I'm accountable for like 3.


I still have my first? Then again, compared to some gamers I know, I treat my stuff like radioactive isotopes and am super cautious moving discs from their cases to their systems. Some just chuck the sh*t around like frisbees.

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 8:57am by Seriha


This, this and more this.

Although... I had the PC copy of FFVII... and after driving back from university I found that the CD case had cracked and disc 3 was broken in two :(

So I got a bit naughty and downloaded a new disc 3. Yeah, I know.

I still have 8, 9, 10, 10-2, 11, 12 and all the GBA copies of FF games though. I really should pick up VII for PS at some point to complete the set. I wonder how much it'd all go for on eBay.
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#41 Dec 14 2009 at 9:08 AM Rating: Decent
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I still got my first copy of ffvii, but on topic. If there is micro-transactions, as long as they dont effect gameplay. Is fine with me. 'Fluff items.' Think i spelled that right.

There some 'cash-shops' out there that you need items from it to play the game. Like some auto-heal your char if u drop below like 50% and such. Long as such items like that not in there. But if some odd reason there is(god i hope not)they are all bound to player, or else you'll see some1 bazzar just selling tons of these items to make some quick cash.

But idk. We all going to see when more info comes out.
#42 Dec 14 2009 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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I will wait for more information, if it is consumable items that can be bought both ingame and through RMT then whatever, it won't effect me however if they are items that actually make a difference in game then I will probably just stick with FFXI and just see how FFXIV is by reading blogs and forums about it. If it isn't bad then I will probably jump in.
#43 Dec 14 2009 at 9:29 AM Rating: Decent
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i just wish this bit of info would fully come out already so i could know if i'm gonna be playing this game or not. i hope my excitement for the game and all my reading of posts and forums and new tidbits doesn't turn into a big *** disapointment.
#44 Dec 14 2009 at 10:13 AM Rating: Excellent
Lenaught wrote:
I'm left to wonder, if everyone has such a dismal belief in SE as to jump the gun before any concrete information is known, then why even anticipate the game at all? It's like some people hang around just to say "I told you SE sucks" everytime something comes out that can be taken one way or another and there is nothing really pointing in either direction.


Those of us who have been enormous fans of the FF franchise since the days of the NES are always excited about word of new offerings from SE. Those of us who were drawn to FFXI by its association to the franchise only to feel left wanting were excited by the announcement of a new FF MMO, but the hope was always that it would take the best parts of FFXI, address the most glaring deficiencies in FFXI, and then wrap everything around a shiny new game and voila...what FFXI could/should/would have been if the developers had had a little bit more foresight.

However, there remains that old saying: "First time, shame on you. Second time, shame on me."

I'm watching these forums and other releases about FFXIV and it seems that for each detail they offer the stirs up a bit of the since-waned enthusiasm, they offer two more that make me think, "Ya, still clueless."

Will FFXIV make money? Absolutely. Will SE get any money from me? At this point, it's doubtful.
#45 Dec 14 2009 at 10:32 AM Rating: Good
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@Serielley
Quote:
The pack offered an in-game mount, an in-game cloak that boosted run speed for a short amount of time, gave you 2 character slots, and opened up an in-game shared storage vault for all characters on a server.


Wow. I guess we should all be happy then to pay cash for our Chocobos, the Flee Ability, Advanced Jobs and extended moghouse storage next time around.

@Vaagan, Lenaught
Quote:
Why are we being at disadvantage for leveling up slower?


Because you are not given the same possibilities as those who use the cashshop; whether you *want* to level up faster is completely irrelevant (I was @75 after about 1 1/2 years, if I remember correctly. And I loved the Dunes).

Please try to look at it from an unusual angle. Wouldn't you pitty the poor redheaded kid in your party who permanently gets only half the average EXP just because she can't afford those extra $5 every 10 hours? Or the one who permanently lags behind the party because he didn't buy the new Hermes Boots from the cashshop? As I said, this problem doesn't concern me directly; for me 5$ extra/month is peanuts. I just think it's unfair and underhanded (dishonest) business. And I am very allergic to dishonesty.

Btw, as a father of two small kids, scientist and husband I would possibly be one of those guys who objectively benefit most from microtransactions. Subjectively, however, the mere notion makes me puke.

@AureliusSir
Guess we are getting old, eh? (^.^)/

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 11:46am by Rinsui
#46 Dec 14 2009 at 10:36 AM Rating: Good
I'm so incredibly disappointed by this news.

I simply cannot afford to pay for this game in addition to buying items to keep up with my friends. In FFXI, your equipment was (generally) a testament to how hard and how long you worked for it... Now it just may be that it will be a testament to how fat your wallet is.


I really hope people in Japan disapprove of this BS, because SE certainly won't listen to their NA userbase. In fact, I'm not sure they listen to anyone, going by their track record in FFXI.


Edited, Dec 14th 2009 11:41am by EtherealTwilight
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#47 Dec 14 2009 at 10:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Considering this guy doesn't even play the games his company develops, I doubt he knows enough about MMOs to realize what he said. I think he's probably talking more along the lines of the WoW card game where you can get a spectral tiger than actually buying XP potions. I think the devs know better than to allow that.
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#48 Dec 14 2009 at 10:46 AM Rating: Decent
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@EtherealTwilight
...and that's right what makes me wonder. I didn't read anything about this here (in the magazines) or in any of the Japanese forums (forii? fora?). Which leaves me with the slight hope that this is all a big, big misunderstanding.

Edited, Dec 14th 2009 11:51am by Rinsui
#49 Dec 14 2009 at 11:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc.
“The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons.

“In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.”


Is it possible that he's talking about prepaid cards for time spent playing the game, rather than subscription fees? That is, instead of paying $15 a month, you pay $X for a certain number of hours of playing. I think other MMOs use this frequently as another option besides the subscription, and as I recall it was never much available for FFXI. I think that makes a lot more sense in the context of subscription fees and disc purchase, and given the numerous other quotes from developers that there wouldn't be sale of in-game items.
#50 Dec 14 2009 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why does Wada's Vision seemingly contradict Tanaka and Sundi's Vision?


Excellent post.

It's not just them. Nomura and Kitase have also publicly stated that they're not happy with Wada.
#51 Dec 14 2009 at 12:22 PM Rating: Decent
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WoW is doing it right so far, they have the two non-combat pets, race/faction change and server transfers off the top of my head. None of which has any impact on your or anyone else's playing short of maybe Envy of the nifty Pandaren pets
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