Final Fantasy XIV: PAX East 2013 Panel Report
Final Fantasy XIV is set to relaunch as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn sometime this year, and with the new version now in closed beta, fans were looking forward to this year's PAX East for some new bits of information. Unfortunately, Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV plans for PAX East appeared to be more introductory than anything else.
If you've been following Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn closely at all, don't expect to learn much of anything new today. This seems to be a calculated strategy, too. One of the original issues plaguing Final Fantasy XIV was that Square Enix didn't do enough to make the game feel like a real numbered entry in the series. The aim, from what I understand, is to drive awareness with the general Final Fantasy fanbase. Square Enix's Naoki Yoshida admitted as much to me during my interview with him at last year's E3, and based on the marketing strategy we've seen come out for the game since then, I think it's safe to say they are taking this angle quite seriously. Heck, the entire point of conversation came up only after I explained to Mr. Yoshida that I had not been drawn to either FFXI or FFXIV for precisely these reasons. As a longtime fan of the series, the two games just didn't really scream Final Fantasy to me.
In any case, the panel jumped around to a variety of subjects before getting to Final Fantasy XIV. We sat through a retrospective on the series, a segment on the now launched 11th expansion to Final Fantasy XI, Seekers Adoulin, and then finally, a fairly brief segment on Final Fantasy XIV itself.
Square Enix began by thanking fans for their patience in dealing with all the trials and tribulations that FFXIV has faced since launch. For anyone who didn't bother to stick around or jump in during the first go around, they reassured us that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn truly is a new game.