Like many people who currently play FFXIV or are remotely interested in the game, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of E3 2012. E3 is usually something I look forward to since we get to see what new games or expansions to current MMOs are coming out for the next year. It is the BIGGEST event for a gamer and seemed even bigger for FFXIV’ers because they would finally reveal the 2.0 preview video. Then the Letter from the Producer XXVIII dropped. Yoshida mentions he is on his way to E3, they plan to kick off the promotion video, unveil the promotion site for 2.0 after E3 ends, and I can tell you that my excitement is building as I read these words because it is something I’ve been eagerly anticipating for a long time; not just as a player but also as a person trying to do something in the community by doing the Sequence Break XIV podcast and Zantetsuken site. However, in one fell swoop this excitement that has been cultivated for months? The giddyness that FFXIV was going to be the most awesome come back kid is now flushed down the toilet. Why? Because they wanted 2.0 to come out with a bang. Not a trickle of information. A huge flood of information that would just awe and amaze us outside of E3.
…. Right. The biggest event for any gamer, publisher, or news media person, and would most likely garner the MOST attention from the gaming community on what FFXIV has done to become a better game is not a good platform to showcase the finished 2.0 promotion video. Because who the hell wants just a trickle of information when you can have a flood? Who wants a video when you can have a website AFTER e3? Appealing to new players? And possibly PS3 players? What better way to do that than not to do this at (excuse my language) fucking E3.
I’m dumbfounded. I’m also very hurt and angry. As someone who has done what she can to promote FFXIV to her friends and listeners of SBXIV, I have really tried to amp up 2.0 and told many people to wait until E3 if they are interested in FFXIV. I’ve managed to bring my friend, brother, and possibly my sister into FFXIV. I have also talked to other players and tried to convince them to play FFXIV now and to see what exciting news would come out with the promotional video being released at E3. Now? I feel like a fool. The rug has been pulled from underneath me. I told many people that Yoshida is awesome, because he is awesome and the things he has done for FFXIV so far have been really great. The past year I’ve also renewed my faith in SE after the initial failure of FFXIV and (in my eyes) FFXIII. Then this happens and I’m left with shit in my mouth and questioning what the hell I’ve been doing for almost a year with SBXIV (formerly Go Team Derp!), Zantetsuken, and on twitter.
I know that sounds dramatic, but I’m trying to wrap my head around this and I can’t. I understand that they want to do what is best for 2.0, because I also wish for the same thing. But not showing a video at E3 is probably missing the biggest opportunity to reach to new and former players who just brushed FFXIV under the radar even with the Welcome Back Campaign. I’d understand if they said that the video wasn’t finished. I’d be cool with that. Knowing it is finished and not being revealed is what is really mind boggling to me. The interviews that are to come are going to be exciting, but nothing would have beat actually seeing visuals of 2.0 — even if it were just all CG. Garnering interest would have at least put more seeds in people’s minds for something to look forward to. It would be a seed that hopefully will grow to, “Hrm. Maybe I should check out this website!” when the site launches and to hopefully go to, “Oh, I remember that trailer at E3! Maybe I should check this game out!” At the very least, it would have solidified the reason for people to continue to sub after returning to the game. Legacy status is a big enough reason in and of itself, but it means nothing if there is no visuals to help tease the players into wanting to stay for what will come.
So what now? I’m hoping that the release of the promotional video in August will mean they will have a larger presence at PAX Prime where players can actually look and (hopefully, but I am no longer holding my breath) test the demo. It would get directly to the players themselves or at least 70-odd thousand of them. Its not as media heavy as E3, but it is at least a mini one. Orophen and I plan to be there, as well as FusionX from Gamerescape. I’m going to try to convince myself that someone from SE is reading my tweets (well, I know ONE of them sort of is) and is holding off this whole thing just for the sake of us. I know that is crazy and full of shit, but it is the only sense of comfort I can give myself right now after such a huge blow of disappointment.