Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn director Naoki Yoshida said during a presentation at GDC 2014 that when the MMO first launched in 2010 the servers were so unstable, that there up to 400 crashes per day.
During his session attended by Polygon, Yoshida went behind-the-scenes of the MMO’s develop, he said another reason the MMO was failing was due to the team’s “unhealthy obsession with graphical quality,” and lack of content with a minimal story.
In order to compensate for the heavy graphics, the original team limited the number of player characters on screen to 20.
This unheard of limitation in an MMO was due to the team’s lack of knowledge and experience in the genre. However, Yoshida said this was due to MMOs being so time and resource-intensive that few Japanese developers develop MMOs.
Another reason for the initial failure of the game: Square’s assumed every issue could be patched.
Design flaws, though, cannot be patched, but the firm was sure once the game was released it could implement solutions to any issues the team faced. Yoshida said this was a “lack of planning” on Square’s part.
As the first MMO to “ever be rebuilt and relaunched,” it seems to have worked out for Square: A Realm Reborn currently boasts over 1.8 million players and 6.75 million players have been created.
Total playtime has surpassed 400 million hours, and daily active users sits at around 500,000 worldwide.