tl;dr - SE should re-release FFXI for XBox 360 at least, if not also for PSVita
So I just got up about 20 minutes ago, waking from a really odd dream.
In it, I was walking through a parking lot of some big box store, and passed two guys talking about games they were looking forward to play. For some reason, one guy stopped me and asked me what I thought of Final Fantasy XI. The question caught me off-guard, since you never normally hear talk of this game, so I glanced around and saw on the back of a delivery truck that FFXI was releasing in 2013. The picture on the back was of the classic FFXI logo on an XBox 360 package. The dream goes on but I'll stop there, the rest really isn't important to this thread.
So, you are likely asking yourself why the hell I bothered creating this thread. Well, it's because I've been thinking about that dream, why I had it, and what it could mean. Now I'm not saying I'm seeing the future here, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to re-release this game for XBox 360.
Let me explain.
First, Square-Enix is the company of the re-release. Let's face it, they've probably released every game they made in the 90's about 4-5 times. Hell, if you check out their YouTube channel, they have an ad there for the release of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions for iPod Touch and iPhone, and they are reworking the game to run on iPad this fall. If they feel they can make a profit from it, they will release it again.
Second, there's a ton of renewed interest in FFXI. After all the new changes, players are returning, and new people are starting the game. Sure, it's not the numbers they saw in 2004, but more subscribers means more money. If they can generate a little buzz and release a complete XBox collection set with Abyssea on it, they might gain both new sales and new subscriptions.
Lastly, they need the money. The company hasn't had a really huge hit since XI. XII was a good seller but didn't reach the iconic level of X or XI, and XIII was so critically panned that it's shocking they are bothering with XIII-2. They are making decent money from remakes and releases on the PSP and Gameboy, but nothing as huge as their multi-million sellers of the past. Right now SE is in a game of inches, and having bled money for a year on an MMO that is essentially dead in the water, it would not surprise me that they try to resurrect XI.
Now, why 2013? Well because 2012 will be the year of FFXIV. Honestly, it's not getting released this year, there's no hope in that. The "Golden Patch" hasn't truly come, and they have yet to hit a happy medium that players are truly loving. Honestly, I haven't played in forever, and just watched as an outsider to see if the game can ever be made into something approaching good. But fixed or not, SE has to get it out the door and into subscription mode soon, or risk further angering their investors. So they will need to release the game next year, like it or not. The updates to the billing system of XI make that more likely, as they are trying to get players accustomed to using these services as opposed to in-house billing.
So I can see them making one last push next year to get players into Eorza before realizing that the game is a failed endeavor. Likely it will lapse into F2Pw/Cash Shop or a two-tiered Free and Paid system. So they still need the infusion of cash XI offers.
Honestly, FFXI should be re-released, and not just on XBox 360. It should come to PSVita. With mobile gaming becoming a bigger market, no MMO has really stepped up to become the mobile WoW. There is a few games out there, most notably Pocket Legends, but none from a major developer. If they were to take the risk, re-work the game's UI to be scalable independent of the graphics settings, and release it for the handheld, it could make them a dominant force there, and perhaps even inject new life into this game.
So, after writing this mini-novel... What do you guys think?