Xbox Live To Blame For Lack of Final Fantasy XIV On 360

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

If you're thirsty for an MMO experience, don't bother with buying an Xbox 360. It appears that once again, a studio can't come to terms with Microsoft. Square Enix, developer of Final Fantasy XI for the 360, has joined the list of studios that can't break through negotiations for a forthcoming MMO.
 
In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Final Fantasy XIV Online director Hiromichi Tanaka pegged, of all things, the Xbox 360's online service as the reason why Final Fantasy XIV, it's latest MMO, isn't coming to the system. 

"The main reason why we couldn't go with Xbox 360 was the Xbox Live system," he told the publication during E3. "[Live is] different to the normal Internet environment, so when we wanted to introduce this game in the same environment as Windows PC it had to be PS3, so that was our choice." 
  

 
There's nothing forward-looking, no cheeriness from Tanaka-san. Final Fantasy XIV Online for the 360 might have been a project, but it is no longer. "Microsoft has a different point of view," Tanaka continued, "they want to have a closed environment for Xbox Live. We're still talking to… We couldn't come to an agreement on Xbox Live," he said.

What Tanaka isn't mentioning is money. But it's plain that Microsoft's MMO policies, both financial and technological, are too nasty for studios to work with.  

== TEASER ==I've seen this before. I ran into a similar story in 2008 during an Indianapolis-based event called Gen Con. Champions Online was being demoed for the public there. Its booth, on the left-hand side of a cluttered room with long tables, booths, board games, and Magic: The Gathering peddlers, had several stations, most of which required the use of an Xbox 360 controller. The team was plainly excited about the possibilities of the game hitting the console--and perhaps even the PS3--but couldn't comment on when it would happen. It struck me as odd. Then, at Gen Con 2009, the story of Champions Online console had morphed into something similar to what Square went through with Microsoft.   

Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios told me the game was finished for consoles, but the studio couldn't come to an agreement with Microsoft. It became a legal thing. "We just have to work it out with Microsoft," he told me, months and months before the version was revealed as dead--after it was finished, no less.

While that's the best of a few sad examples, there is still Lord of the Rings Online for Xbox 360, a purported version of the game that Turbine has never announced. As the rumor goes, Lord of the Rings Online Xbox 360 was finished in 2009, but Microsoft brass wouldn't let Turbine use a free-to-play model. It's been stuck ever since, even though the PC version of the game will go free-to-play in the near future.
 
As Eurogamer notes, it's ironic that Final Fantasy XI remains one of the Xbox 360's only MMOs (and one can certainly argue it's the only real MMO on the console). Regardless, I get the feeling that Final Fantasy XI was just a test for Microsoft to figure out how to play with other studios regarding their future MMOs--including even Square Enix, who doesn't want a part of it anymore. It's a bummer, but at least the parties' failure makes it plain that we shouldn't look to the system if we want to play an MMO. Not now, and perhaps not ever.
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

If you're thirsty for an MMO experience, don't bother with buying an Xbox 360. It appears that once again, a studio can't come to terms with Microsoft. Square Enix, developer of Final Fantasy XI for the 360, has joined the list of studios that can't break through negotiations for a forthcoming MMO.
 
In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Final Fantasy XIV Online director Hiromichi Tanaka pegged, of all things, the Xbox 360's online service as the reason why Final Fantasy XIV, it's latest MMO, isn't coming to the system. 

"The main reason why we couldn't go with Xbox 360 was the Xbox Live system," he told the publication during E3. "[Live is] different to the normal Internet environment, so when we wanted to introduce this game in the same environment as Windows PC it had to be PS3, so that was our choice." 
  

 
There's nothing forward-looking, no cheeriness from Tanaka-san. Final Fantasy XIV Online for the 360 might have been a project, but it is no longer. "Microsoft has a different point of view," Tanaka continued, "they want to have a closed environment for Xbox Live. We're still talking to… We couldn't come to an agreement on Xbox Live," he said.

What Tanaka isn't mentioning is money. But it's plain that Microsoft's MMO policies, both financial and technological, are too nasty for studios to work with.  

== TEASER ==I've seen this before. I ran into a similar story in 2008 during an Indianapolis-based event called Gen Con. Champions Online was being demoed for the public there. Its booth, on the left-hand side of a cluttered room with long tables, booths, board games, and Magic: The Gathering peddlers, had several stations, most of which required the use of an Xbox 360 controller. The team was plainly excited about the possibilities of the game hitting the console--and perhaps even the PS3--but couldn't comment on when it would happen. It struck me as odd. Then, at Gen Con 2009, the story of Champions Online console had morphed into something similar to what Square went through with Microsoft.   

Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios told me the game was finished for consoles, but the studio couldn't come to an agreement with Microsoft. It became a legal thing. "We just have to work it out with Microsoft," he told me, months and months before the version was revealed as dead--after it was finished, no less.

While that's the best of a few sad examples, there is still Lord of the Rings Online for Xbox 360, a purported version of the game that Turbine has never announced. As the rumor goes, Lord of the Rings Online Xbox 360 was finished in 2009, but Microsoft brass wouldn't let Turbine use a free-to-play model. It's been stuck ever since, even though the PC version of the game will go free-to-play in the near future.
 
As Eurogamer notes, it's ironic that Final Fantasy XI remains one of the Xbox 360's only MMOs (and one can certainly argue it's the only real MMO on the console). Regardless, I get the feeling that Final Fantasy XI was just a test for Microsoft to figure out how to play with other studios regarding their future MMOs--including even Square Enix, who doesn't want a part of it anymore. It's a bummer, but at least the parties' failure makes it plain that we shouldn't look to the system if we want to play an MMO. Not now, and perhaps not ever.
#2 Edited by bretthancock (778 posts) -

O well!  Bring back True Fantasy Live!

#3 Posted by artofwar420 (6289 posts) -

Let the flaming comence. *shield*

#4 Posted by CaptainFish (454 posts) -

Didn't FFX1 bypass live on the 360? Oh well, I guess that's one of the downfalls of having such a closed system, companies that are big enough not to deal with it, that don't want to deal with it, won't.

#5 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

Seems like it's starting to bite MS in the ass now with this and now the steamworks support coming to ps3, making Valve's future games weakest on the 360.

#6 Posted by Somadude (549 posts) -

Don't you have to pay both SE and MS to play FFXI?

#7 Posted by NoXious (1338 posts) -

Microsoft is lagging behind. PlayStation managed to swoop in Valve and it's Steam support.

#8 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

Meh. I'd leave the MMOs on the PC.

#9 Posted by Ace829 (2083 posts) -

All the more reason for me to buy a PS3.

#10 Posted by Poltergeist13 (70 posts) -

At least we can now quit holding out for a MMO on X360.  I was really hoping FF14 would be on 360.
#11 Posted by nick69 (625 posts) -

There's always pc....

#12 Edited by ProfessorEss (7371 posts) -

 Is it just me or could a really good MMO on a console (any console) do more harm than good to the producer of said console?
I played (and loved) WoW for two and a half years. During that two and a half years I bought exactly ZERO games.
 
PS: Let's wait to see when and what the PS3 gets as far as MMOs go first before we start handing out the gold medals. :)

#13 Posted by Pazy (2580 posts) -

Microsoft are missing out, MMO's are a major thing in gaming now and are coming to consoles sooner or later. At the announcement of FFXIV on PS3 me and a bunch of friends already planned to get it on PS3 and play together, I would love if we had more choice (especially Lord of the Rings Online) but I cant wait to play an MMO on my console's again.

#14 Posted by Yasihiko (34 posts) -

We've seen this in the past before.  May I direct your attention to Exibit A.  Unreal Tournement III on the PS3 was released with custom tools for users to make their on maps/mods/whatever they wanted.  When the Xbox version came out later Epic was denied that same feature because of Microsoft's supposed "closed system".  

#15 Posted by Chris2KLee (2336 posts) -

Funny, because Monster Hunter Frontier Online is coming out in Japan soon, and it's gonna give players a free month of live for every month you sub. It seems a similar model might work for other games, but I guess it depends how much of a cut MS is asking.

#16 Edited by ProfessorEss (7371 posts) -
@Yasihiko said:

" We've seen this in the past before.  May I direct your attention to Exibit A.  Unreal Tournement III on the PS3 was released with custom tools for users to make their on maps/mods/whatever they wanted.  When the Xbox version came out later Epic was denied that same feature because of Microsoft's supposed "closed system".   "

To be fair tho, both versions of UT3 were more or less an Epic failure.
#17 Posted by Yasihiko (34 posts) -
@Somadude: You don't need to be a Gold Member to play FFXI.  Just a basic XBL connection if memory serves me right.
#18 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

It has a PC version, and if you have a brain in your head that's the only version to care about. If idiots want to pretend an MMO clearly being made with PC as the lead skew is a sweet PS3 exclusive, let them have it.

#19 Posted by Pazy (2580 posts) -
@Somadude said:
"

Don't you have to pay both SE and MS to play FFXI?

"
No, a silver (free) account is all you need on the Microsoft side. On top of that you pay Square Enix your monthly fee though.
#20 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Well, how did final fantasy XI work on the 360?

#21 Posted by endaround (2145 posts) -

" Indianapolis-based event called Gen Con" 
 
Really Brad?  I don't what's sadder that you describe it that way or the WOTC turned Gen Con into something you have to describe that way.

#22 Posted by nugazer (23 posts) -

Playing MMORPGs on consoles = lol

#23 Posted by JJRage (61 posts) -

I kind of thought this was already pretty well known. At least, it was among Champions Players during the beta last Summer. I seem to recall multiple Cryptic and Atari employees alluding to the fact that Microsoft was the one holding things up for the Xbox 360 release. When Atari finally announced the August '09 release date for the PC version, when both they and Cryptic had maintained throughout development that both versions would launch at the same time, it seemed like pretty much a done deal that the 360 version was scrapped entirely.  
 
Even during beta testing (and possibly during alpha), Champions was programed with the 360 controller in mind. That game has official Xbox button icons in it even. It was seemingly ground up built for consoles, and even to this day plays better with an Xbox 360 controller plugged into your PC. 
 
Microsoft needs to start playing ball with these MMO developers. In the case of Final Fantasy XI, you don't NEED a Gold XBL membership to play it online, and I'm sure that's Microsoft's biggest gripe. But at the same time, as far as I could tell when playing FFXI on my Xbox 360, you didn't use the Xbox Live service at all when playing the game. You had to link your Gamertag with your PlayOnline ID, but that's really it. Outside of that, FFXI actually forced you to install the PlayOnline application to your 360, which in turn was used to connect you to FFXI. I never saw any indication that Xbox Live's servers were being used, outside of actually being signed in. 
 
Something tells me Microsoft would change their tune if Blizzard showed an interest in bringing WoW, or a version of WoW, to the Xbox 360. 

#24 Posted by Gearhead (2251 posts) -

So not having Final Fantasy 14 is a bad thing? >_>

#25 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -
@nugazer said:
" Playing MMORPGs on consoles = lol "
#26 Posted by Mechanized (324 posts) -

Why can't we get LOTRO on PS3? Why don't these developers show Microsoft that they need to get their head out of their ass by going to the competition.

#27 Posted by ThePhilatron (257 posts) -

Micro$oft seems extremely protective of it's Xbox Live policies.

#28 Posted by Fontan (318 posts) -

Makes me even happier for recently buying a PS3.

#29 Posted by demontium (4709 posts) -

Who gets MMO's on a console?
 
They are tailored for PCs.
 
- Variable graphics
- Easy patches
- Bigger set of controls (Mouse/Keyboard)

#30 Edited by DukeTogo (1504 posts) -
@Somadude said:
"

Don't you have to pay both SE and MS to play FFXI?

"
Yes, which is why this is stupid.  I can see the problems, the dev wants their monthly fee, and MS requires all online gaming on 360 to be paid via Gold.  This means that playing the game on 360 costs more than playing it on PC, but if they lower the sub cost for the 360 crowd then the PC players will complain that they are paying more than the console people for the same experience (even though I would argue that playing an MMO on a PC has far more benefits).
 
It's a sticky situation that inevitably comes down to someone having to ask for less money or possibly alienating a segment of users.  At the end of it all I think this proves that MMOs on consoles will just never work, and frankly it's in the best interest of PC gaming to keep MMOs on PC since it's one of the few remaining genres that are exclusive to that platform.
 
And dude, all these references to Gen Con are flagging the nerdiness of Mr. Nicholson.  Next you'll be talking about what paints you use on your tabletop miniatures.
#31 Posted by Blaaze89 (85 posts) -

i also heard that another reason for this is the 6GB install limit on the xbox..... kinda silly on Microsofts part

#32 Posted by akumous (92 posts) -

This could be a similar issue Valve has experienced with XBL which resulted in them changing their business model, swallowing their pride, and porting they games to the PS3 now.

#33 Posted by dvdhaus (356 posts) -
@ProfessorEss said:
"  PS: Let's wait to see when and what the PS3 gets for an MMO before we start handing out the gold medals. :) "
The PS3 is getting Final Fantasy XIV.  
 
This is just the beginning, it kind of started with Gabe's announcement of Steamworks support on the PS3 version of Portal 2.  I guess Microsoft really wants to nit pick everything that gets updates on Live, and limits the amount of data that can be updated per patch.
 
I will gladly sit through a long update now on a PS3 if I know that that patch is updating and cleaning up bugs.
 
And if Microsoft isn't willing to work with Square on this, I guess in some way that is them saying the next proper Final Fantasy game will not be on the 360.  I was thinking that Final Fantasy Versus 13 might have become multiplatform, but maybe not after this.
#34 Posted by ProfessorEss (7371 posts) -
@Fontan said:
" Makes me even happier for recently buying a PS3. "
For the PS3's vast library of MMOs?
#35 Posted by clubsandwich (3795 posts) -

meh, I don't like MMO's so I don't care.

#36 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I dunno, as far as MMOs go, it's hard to make a good one that works on the 360, so i don't think this is that big of a blow to MS. That said, they really need to be more willing to open up xbox live a bit. There are a ton of things like Mods (UT3), MMOs, cross platform multiplayer, steamworks, and otehr stuff that they could have that could enhance a lot of their multiplatform titles, but any game that wants to do that ends up way better on the PS3 because Sony is pretty leniant about that stuff. 
That said, I think people overestimate the importance of this, and certainly the importance of the Portal stuff. They haven't even said how the steamwork integration will really work (like cloud, does taht just mean on other PS3s? Cause I don't know a lot of people that go back and forth between PS3s), and it's pretty clear that even if that is a good thign to have, it's not exactly going to make people want that version of the game over the 360 version by more than a tiny margine. I think console preference will be way more important. Its not like the PS3 version looks or plays any different. The only possible advantage is if they start treating it like TF2.
#37 Posted by MeatSim (10855 posts) -

MMO's should be played on the PC anyway.

#38 Posted by EveretteScott (1488 posts) -
@ThePhilatron said:
" Micro$oft seems extremely protective of it's Xbox Live policies. "
 
Micro$oft? Yeah! Stick it to the man.
#39 Posted by xyzygy (9989 posts) -

Microsoft is still benefiting because it's coming to Windows as well.

Online
#40 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

There's pros and cons to every system. To keep a really good online community, Microsoft has to really lock down their system. Though Sony doesn't have that good of an online community, it's online system is more open for developers to work with. 
 
Both systems have very good potential for online capabilities.

#41 Posted by sizu (391 posts) -

Microsoft really need to open up XBL to developers to allow games such as this to be viable on the system. 
 
I play games online both on XBL, and PSN and recognise the strengths it currently has over the Playstation Network.  However more flexibility would benefit their customers. 
 
This is yet another game/service that will be absent, the last one being the BBC Player for us Brits, due to Microsoft's somewhat draconian management approach to XBL.

#42 Posted by MetalBaofu (1383 posts) -
@DukeTogo said:
" @Somadude said:
"

Don't you have to pay both SE and MS to play FFXI?

"
Yes, which is why this is stupid.  I can see the problems, the dev wants their monthly fee, and MS requires all online gaming on 360 to be paid via Gold.  This means that playing the game on 360 costs more than playing it on PC, but if they lower the sub cost for the 360 crowd then the PC players will complain that they are paying more than the console people for the same experience (even though I would argue that playing an MMO on a PC has far more benefits).  It's a sticky situation that inevitably comes down to someone having to ask for less money or possibly alienating a segment of users.  At the end of it all I think this proves that MMOs on consoles will just never work, and frankly it's in the best interest of PC gaming to keep MMOs on PC since it's one of the few remaining genres that are exclusive to that platform.  And dude, all these references to Gen Con are flagging the nerdiness of Mr. Nicholson.  Next you'll be talking about what paints you use on your tabletop miniatures. "
If you are already paying for XBL anyways, then paying SE(or whoever) for the MMO would not cost more than it would on the PC.  And, if you are not already paying for XBL, then you most likely either don't own a 360, or have no real desire to play it online.   I assume the problems they have with MS are more than just pricing related.
#43 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -
@DukeTogo said:
" @Somadude said:
"

Don't you have to pay both SE and MS to play FFXI?

"
Yes, which is why this is stupid.  I can see the problems, the dev wants their monthly fee, and MS requires all online gaming on 360 to be paid via Gold.  This means that playing the game on 360 costs more than playing it on PC, but if they lower the sub cost for the 360 crowd then the PC players will complain that they are paying more than the console people for the same experience (even though I would argue that playing an MMO on a PC has far more benefits).  It's a sticky situation that inevitably comes down to someone having to ask for less money or possibly alienating a segment of users.  At the end of it all I think this proves that MMOs on consoles will just never work, and frankly it's in the best interest of PC gaming to keep MMOs on PC since it's one of the few remaining genres that are exclusive to that platform.  And dude, all these references to Gen Con are flagging the nerdiness of Mr. Nicholson.  Next you'll be talking about what paints you use on your tabletop miniatures. "
NO! You only need a SILVER account to play XI on the Xbox - more over I'm frequently 'Online' in FFXI and disconnected from Xbox Live - they work entirely independent of one another.
#44 Posted by Matiaz_Tapia (268 posts) -

 Xbox live policy problems probably go even beyond MMO's. Portal 2 and steam support come to mind. 
 
 They probably have to open up at some point. There's nothing good to be gained from making developers bitter for having to deal with things like this, specially with the competition rising the way it is :S.

#45 Posted by ProfessorEss (7371 posts) -
@dvdhaus said:
" @ProfessorEss said:
"  PS: Let's wait to see when and what the PS3 gets for an MMO before we start handing out the gold medals. :) "
The PS3 is getting Final Fantasy XIV.  

Is getting. That's all I'm talking about. 

Alpha Protocol was also going to be best game ever.
Duke Nukem also existed.
FF13 was also a PS3 exclusive.
Valve also was never going to develop for the PS3.
The Wii was going to fall flat on it's motion controlled face.
 
I'm surprised people who watch the gaming industry as close as the people around here seem to still count their chickens before they hatch - or before the eggs are even laid. 
#46 Posted by sizu (391 posts) -
@demontium said:
" Who gets MMO's on a console?  They are tailored for PCs.  - Variable graphics - Easy patches - Bigger set of controls (Mouse/Keyboard) "
I've been playing MMOs since EQ on the PC.  Yet I remain open minded about the genre on a console. 
 
why? 
 
Because times are changing, and consoles are becoming much more viable at hosting this genre of gameplay.  Your reasons are moot since variable graphics are only required on PC due to the vast differences in consumer's specifications, and M/K is fully supported on the PS3. 
 
Patches on the other hand could be more time consuming since they need to go through Sony.  That would only really be a snag for quick adhoc hotfixes, less so for planned diarised major updates.
#47 Posted by Burns098356GX (1366 posts) -

Who would play a MMO on a console anyways. And after the embarrassment that 13 was, I could give 2 shits less about anything with Final Fantasy on the cover.

#48 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

If I get FF14 it'll be for PC but a lot of people don't seem to have any experience with console MMOs, FF11, or are just ignorant.
 
FF14 will almost certainly support keyboard, like every other console MMO.  It'll patch just as easily as the PC version, if not easier (FF11 was a pain on PC and 360).  It's not something that's going to pass through Sony QA, which is why MS is hesitant to allow such a thing.

#49 Posted by demontium (4709 posts) -
@sizu said:

" @demontium said:

" Who gets MMO's on a console?  They are tailored for PCs.  - Variable graphics - Easy patches - Bigger set of controls (Mouse/Keyboard) "

I've been playing MMOs since EQ on the PC.  Yet I remain open minded about the genre on a console.  why?   Because times are changing, and consoles are becoming much more viable at hosting this genre of gameplay.  Your reasons are moot since variable graphics are only required on PC due to the vast differences in consumer's specifications, and M/K is fully supported on the PS3.  Patches on the other hand could be more time consuming since they need to go through Sony.  That would only really be a snag for quick adhoc hotfixes, less so for planned diarised major updates. "

 
  
I won't change though. PC MMOing is much more convenient, that is if i even play the MMO. MMOs seem to be flawed from the beginning, I hated WOW within the first week. I am hoping one would be better.
 
I wonder how this one will fare against FF11 (which I didn't like),
 
I know Old Republic will be good, and expensive. It won't take down wow.
 
I still hope for a pokemon MMO.
 
In face, times aren't changing as far as MMOs.
 
What a tangent.
#50 Posted by darkjester74 (1576 posts) -

Age of Conan was supposed to come to the 360 also, but that never happened either.

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