There are only two reasons SE gets singled out here:
The first and most obvious is that this is a forum for an SE game. You'd find the same chatter if you were to visit the forums of any other game for their respective company.
Five minutes outside of these forums will prove otherwise, SE gets tons of scrutiny for their work. Granted, Bioware distracted the issue for a while there, earning EA the worst company title due to pure kneejerk hatred of Mass Effect 3 Endings and their issues with SWTOR and Dragon age II. However the general concencus is still "Square Enix sucks and they're a shadow of what they once were." Regardless of what board you bring up the subject is.
The second is that people use other companies shortcomings to portray SE in a better light. Occasionally a comparison is drawn between games to show what SE woulda coulda shoulda done, but for the most part it's "Yeah, well SWTOR is F2P now so Bioware failed too. SE and XIV isn't so bad off" type justification.
You're lumping two claims together when you shouldent.
1. That SE isn't that bad off: It's true. 100 million copies of games under their belt. A 25 year running tradition. Yes, they are on the decline, but when the other companies are referenced, it is to be kept in mind that these other companies haven't even been around as long as SE has for their work to grow stale, and yet they are fumbling again and again.
For Square Enix, this is a slump for them, one of many they have taken and can easily rise above again. Less "Square Enix is going to close shop." More "Hurry up and release Verses already." Compared to "If Bioware doesn't hit Dragon Age III out of the park, they're a dead brand." - being the tone of the day on BSN. That's the comparison people are trying to draw. SE is one of the companies that can survive the trend of bad games being released of late. Not that they don't need to improve.
The second is "FFXIV isn't so bad off." Where, I'd disagree with that.
FFXIV is in bad straights, there's no denying that. Even with all the improvements they made in the game nothing short of a successful reboot via A Realm Reborn will ever pull it out of the red. The difference that stems confidence in this regard is SE's dedication.
have been a dead project - by every precedent and standard to MMOs we've established in our history. Yet- here we are, anxiously awaiting gameplay for their reboot. This speaks of dedication we don't see often at all in other companies, and speaks of the type of change we've wanted to see from the companies. We might disagree with their methods, but we haven't seen the product yet, and that will make all the difference in the world. In this case, the ends will justify the means. If sucking up to Blizzard for some pointers has us coming out with a better game? Nobody will care - and people will likely overlook it.
Though if it flops again, people will scream "See, that's what they get for copying WoW!" So they're really in a catch 22 in that circumstance.
Somehow I have earned your prestigious 'Black Knight' tag for suggesting the exact same thing. The only difference is that I think SE should reassess what made them fail at being great. Their current approach of 'moar liek WoW' is pretty much a sure sign that it'll be a long time before they try to stray from the path again, which is exactly what the genre needs.
They have to show that they can implement a system that can adapt easily and they have to show that they are able to identify, correct and learn from their mistakes.
What this should teach you is the importance of tone in your critique. My criticisms of SE outside these boards often far easier to swallow regardless of which side of the debate I take, because I take a more neutral approach. Granted, I don't have much respect for these boards therefore I'm far less careful with my words, and perhaps that should change. But I continue to be exasperated over several issues both in terms of moderation and development.
I find the concept of 'moar liek WoW' to often be one of those knee-jerk reactions players have focused on, rather than analyze correctly. It's pretty easy to see that many of the basic functions WoW implements are successful - UI interface, Auction System, Guild Tools. These things could very well be the inspirations Yoshida was looking over. However, the first thing players thing about is gameplay and questing.
This is also done in neglect of the priorities clearly listed by Yoshida as far as MMO < RPG < Final Fantasy, which, the higher you go up the priorities, the further and further from 'liek WoW' you get.
So while it will be a challenge for Yoshida to prove these knee-jerk fears wrong, considering this game has failed once already, I don't portray it in such a doomed light. I merely as what they are- hurtles to overcome. Nothing so far in my experience of quests and storyline has indicated that this will be a takeover of atmosphere by World of Warcraft conventions. Rather, that they are taking a proper nod at the most successful MMO in history, and discussing with them the trends they observe in the market.
Hopefully they come to similar conclusions ArenaNet did, but I don't hold out that high of an expectation. We'll see. Personally I won't mind a more traditional MMO provided there are enough unique mechanics around it to keep it interesting - and of course if they can reclaim that Final Fantasy magic they have lost for many in FFXIII.
That's a high enough bar to set for now. Later on, I might push hard for them to adapt a system similar to Live-Quests.