Square Enix has canceled Nexon’s mobile reimagining of their classic MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, after six years of development.
Final Fantasy XI R was announced back in March 2015, alongside the Rhapsodies of Vana’Diel campaign that was intended to close out the original version’s story, and news that the console versions would be discontinued. Now Gematsu reports that both companies have decided to reassign staff to new projects, claiming that the project’s quality was not meeting standards, according to GamesBiz.jp.
The mobile repackaging was intended to launch in 2016 and would have “leverage[d] Final Fantasy XI’s compelling storyline, engaging content and impressive graphics while optimizing features for smartphone and mobile devices to create an immersive, responsive and dynamic experience for mobile users.” Planned improvements included improved party organizing systems, enriched solo play, and in-game events.
The reboot was announced at a sad time for the main game, with its storyline concluding and console support ceasing, but Final Fantasy XI has continued to humbly flourish on PC since then. New story content began to roll out last year, inspiring a spike of player activity. A new patch last week featured the next chapter in the Voracious Resurgence storyline, new login bonuses, and a “ReFriender” program for veteran players to link up with lost adventuring partners.
Though the first MMORPG Final Fantasy is still available and online, a mobile port may have been a welcome option for series fans who are curious about its rich history but don’t want to slog through an outdated PC game which still requires a monthly service fee. But if the project wasn’t ready for release almost five years after its initial announcement, and was barely seen in the interim, it was likely a lost cause.
Whether Square Enix will attempt to repackage the story of Vana’Diel in another method remains to be seen. In the meantime, their other MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, is performing tremendously as it ramps up to its next expansion, Endwalker, and shows no signs of stopping.