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Monday Musings: FF XIV: Made In China?

chinese flag final fantasys xiv

Rumors are aswirl that Square Enix has outsourced the development of their most beloved series

In what may become the greatest video game scandal since the Modern Warfare 2 debacle, rumors are on the wind that Square Enix outsourced the development of Final Fantasy XIV to China.

What evidence could call up such a horrible charge? I’ve mentioned before that I think Square Enix may be losing their minds. Well, as the dots connect on FF XIV servers, the case for Square’s sanity is looking bleaker and bleaker.

We’ve already discussed the questionable map creation of FF XIV elsewhere. I played through Final Fantasy 7 for over 20 hours, and all of the backgrounds and the animations in those backgrounds were illustrated on a computer by hand. I saw the cheap copy-paste job in FF XIV and said: this isn’t the Square I know. (Dare I say love?)

This is a big-retarded Square, and they’re doing big, retarded things. Things I don’t know, say, a third-party Chinese developer might do.

Japanese gamers got the brunt of the evidence sort of thrust in their faces. Many of the names for items and creatures, which used Japanese characters in previous titles, were now composed entirely of Chinese characters that didn’t even mean the same thing. The most glaring example of this regards Chocobos, which had been renamed from their traditional moniker to two Chinese symbols that effectively translate as “horse-bird.” The coolness of this name is not something lost in English translation. Japanese gamers the Japan over read the name and said, in their silly uffa-puffa-wuffa language, “what the fuck is a horse-bird?”


There was also the large list of last-minute translations of words in the game from Chinese to Japanese in late September, raising some big red flags that at least part of the development process happened under the big red flag.

There is also the full-retard experience system in FF XIV that fatigues experience returns for playtime after a player logs more than eight hours a week. In Kotaku’s article about the shenanigan, Square explained that the fatigue system was in place to balance the progress of players who who have lives with players who don’t have lives, so that just because you have a girlfriend doesn’t mean you won’t be at the same level as your poor basement-dwelling brother. Your sorry-ass brother may also be on par with the Chinese, who can’t even play online video games for more than a 3-hour sitting without 40,000 gallons of red-hot commie vengeance washing up their assholes, poor bastards.

So, to recap, Square Enix most prestigious has been plagued with weird Chinese names–including the name of the beloved Chocobo. The gaming world is marred by copy-pasted mountains and settlements. People who play the longest gain the least in a system built for Chinese playtime-restrictions.

This is coming from a company known for its high standards of translation, persnickety development style, painstaking attention to detail, and provision of bonuses for fanatic devotion to maxing out your level.

What has gone wrong? Is it even Square? I could have sworn it said that somewhere on the box…

Oh fuck I was right it says it right down there in the corner fuck

There is, however, one good reason for one of these foul ups. Final Fantasy XIV will be the first of the series to release in mainland China, and some of the Chinese nomenclature that Square culled at the last moment may make its way into the Chinese release. This is no excuse, however, for the other elephants I ushered into the room above.

If it is the case that this whole MMO was an outside job, that leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, that would mean that Square Enix has sunken to almost criminal levels of operation. As one of the most prestigious brands in gaming, Enix putting their name on anything destines it for public attention, if not stardom and canonization. Even suggesting that a respected company like Square would outsource the development of a series that has existed throughout gaming history disgusts me. If they are doing this, I want to kick dust on whoever is responsible and then spit on them, because the dust deserves my spit more than they do.

On the other hand, it would mean that Enix is just crazy, and that they aren’t beginning to just straight-up suck.

Raised by a pack of wolves in North Texas suburbia, Derek Sommer has become a consummate writer, gamer, artist, and party fiend. Find him at the nearest whirling epicenter of fun to Lewisville, TX.

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