Square has learned a few important lessons from the original failure of FF XIV.
As strange as that title may sound, it’s true, or rather it’s true to the extent that the flowerpots are part of the bigger issue. The main reason the game failed was because the developers decided to focus on graphics quality rather than adapt to changing trends in game design.
Just how much focus did they put on graphics? Well, the flowerpots we mentioned before were certainly extremely pretty in the original… The only catch is that they used up a whopping 1,000 polygons as well as 150 lines of shader code. To put that in perspective, those are the same numbers that characters in the game utilized.
Square admitted that 8 years of the successful Final Fantasy XI left them unable to do four main things. 1. Recognize the changes to the MMORPG market. 2. Break free from their fixation on graphics quality. 3. Adapt to genre-wide game design changes. 4. Keep up with the changes in user needs.
Once they realized their mistake they restructured and delivered Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which was received much better than the original incarnation.
Source: Famitsu (via Sankaku)