In my personal opinion, it is just the American culture making FFXIV not an ideal game.
Definitely, in gaming, there is a lot culture influences. Jrpg isn't as popular here then other areas of asia. You can see many games hit top of the chart in japan or any place in asia, but barely make any sales in NA/EU.
I think more NA just enjoy games that don't have too much challenges (include grinding) while majority they don't appreciate japanese art (like anime). I think mainly due to the fact NA/EU doesn't like to try new stuff or change their routine. While i even met many people avoid FFXIV/FFXI just become it is a foreign game. A lot NA never have the chance to try foreign imports to ever start to like them.
For example, you would be surprise how many people never eat sushi (consider the fade is getting there).
Of course, this is just my view from an asian that lived in NA/EU for many years. It still surprise these day me that i found many people haven't taste sushi before... I live in a big city by the way, not some towns and i have many friends that never eat sushi @ 20+...
Are you sure you dont got that backwards ? i mean nothing in FFXIV is new, in fact they went back to the old "Grueling Grind" from EQ and older games, no content at cap level, just leaves and a few quests, that how MMORPGS where back in 1990's, also the JRPG genre has been boring for the past 7+ years, imho i do not think is the american culture, but more simple, the game sucks period, it sucked in alpha, it sucked in beta, it sucks live, and no excuse say's otherwise, i mean if it was the american culture, but is not doing that much better in japan or eu ?
Now i do agree to some degree on that maybe the majority don't like a really challenging game, but on the subject of FFXIV strictly i have to say No! Nothing in FFXIV is challenging, there are no boss fights, no real hard content, is just grinding for the sake of grinding, is the same old grind at lvl 1 and at lvl 50, there is no promised land that you reach after reaching cap, all that awaits you is yet more Grind.
As for JRPG imports, well thats the japenese fault, for not ever learning what games to port, i mean Secret of mana, was a HIT! It's a clasic, yet seikendetsu 3 never saw the light in USA, Front Mission 1 was never ported to the USA, and thats a Snes game, and at that time, there was no game like Front mission 1, all we got was FM3(Wich is my favorite) then 4 wich was Meh! But 5 ? 5 was awesome and they never ported it, they ported what ? FM Evolved <.<, SRWS is a great serie's yet they have not released the main games of the series outside of japan, yet the OG series SOLD LIKE PANCAKES! And yet they dont port no more games like that, so really i dont know wtf is up with the **** <.<
Btw: THANK GOD FOR ATLUS!!!