What are all of these "cookie-cutter games" that have had so much success?
None. That was kind of my point. These MMORPGs that keep getting pumped out in the dozens per year really don't get a whole of success.
The only MMORPGs that sell well these days are the ones that have a few unique features and make those features the whole focus of their marketing and hype.
XIV doesn't have a single feature like that, which is why I think we're seeing stuff like Terra's Theme fanservice. They have no idea how to get people interested in their game.
I would argue that they know exactly how to get people interested in their game. FF fans anyway
Final Fantasy has also never had a huge presence the likes of Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Halo, Madden, WoW, etc. Their games tend to sell higher than average, but not in record breaking amounts like those I listed before. I don't believe RPG's will ever have that kind of presence in the gaming market, due to the "nerd stigma" attached to them. Whether that status is deserved or not is irrelevant, but it is still a relative factor on sales.
SE, I believe, knows they are first and foremost an RPG gaming company and will have to be content with what spoils that brings. They can do their best to top that market, but in RPG's each niche has it's own leader. WoW for MMORPG, Final Fantasy for console RPG (though that has come under fire in recent installments), and maybe Elder Scrolls in the Action-RPG genre.
The game tanked the first time around. It was a flat-out embarassment and slap in the face to FF fans. Until Yoshi and team prove that this time around is different, some of that animosity will remain and that process can't begin until the game is released. If they do become successful, it will be because they release an average - above average MMO to start, then release quality patches and expansions to make a rich virtual world worth visiting that players from other games are willing to migrate to.
Our team is like a flock of woodpeckers in a petrified forest. We just need to keep working and keep an eye open for opportunity.
Toofar - Asura (Formerly of Lakshmi (Garuda)) - WHM BLM SMN
Rafoot - Asura (Formerly of Lakshmi (Garuda)) - THF SAM BRD