Final Fantasy Producer Gives One Hell Of An Apology

Final Fantasy Producer Gives One Hell Of An Apology

Like many MMOs, Final Fantasy XIV has had some pretty serious technical issues since it (re)launched. Unlike many MMOs, however (or other games, for that matter), FFXIV's producer is ready to take the blame.

Where most platforms, services and games are usually better at ducking consumer complaints than they are accepting responsibility for mistakes when things go wrong, FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida is stepping up and taking his lashes. Personally.

"...I would like to take the time to personally apologise once again to all those players who have been affected by the extended World login and character creation restrictions which have been in place for the past several days", Yoshida writes on the game's forums. "I also understand that apologies will not help you get logged in, so I would like to give you an update on the situation at hand and the various measures we are currently employing to alleviate the situation."

After listing some of their emergency procedures, Yoshida says "The fact that we had to implement these restrictions is a direct result of my inaccurate sales and login estimates, and as producer, I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep. Each and every player who has been affected has my deepest apologies."

Saying it's the "best apology ever" sounds faintly ridiculous, I know, and the fact it's even on my radar is indicative of the sad state of customer service in this business.

But hey, that's beside the point. The game's had problems, that's in the past, so today it's just nice seeing somebody responsible for a video game problem actually do the right thing and put their hand up. It won't change what's happened, but it must make somebody feel better about the whole mess, right?

Further Details on Access Restrictions [FFXIV, via PC Gamer]


    Can honestly say I haven't had a single issue when logging in. Maybe the server I was using (Cerberus EU) wasn't affected? Or I just got lucky...

    Developers need to take notice of this gesture. Sometimes, amidst a whirlwind of technical issues and angry customers, a simple humble apology goes a long way. I hate when big companies have clearly made a mistake causing people huge inconvenience yet when they address the problem they say everything they can about the topic except 'sorry'. It's like they're trying to save face or something which is ridiculous. An apology might not fix the problem, but it doesn't cost any money or effort and it shows a lot of respect for your customers.

    Last edited 06/09/13 9:51 am

      I totally agree! I have actually been waiting for this all to cool off so I can get the game :(

      Saving face isn't terribly ridiculous when you have to explain to your boss why they should keep you on board, when they have written proof of you admitting to being a fuckup. When you make a public statement on behalf of a company, or yourself, you're not just addressing the public - you're addressing your boss.

      A boss who very likely doesn't give two shits about whether precious gamer feelings were hurt or if self-entitled basement-dwellers (their perception) had their favourite class nerfed or couldn't play a video game 24hrs a day on their long-weekend. The boss very likely only cares about the bottom line, and if those same butthurt dwellers then went and caved and spent all their disposable income anyway, which - to be fair to the cynical bosses - is depressingly often.

      I really suspect that's where the majority of the seemingly two-faced non-apologies come from, in the industry. Gamers will rage and make death threats over a .25sec increase in gun reload times, anyone with a rational head on their shoulders knows that a certain baseline of gamer rage can safely be ignored.

      All the same, given how little a sincere apology has actually cost Yoshi personally, or the company, it'd be nice to see other devs realizing that and mollifying the pitchfork-carriers more effectively.

        The game being a screaming success will definitely help, but this is possibly career suicide. Japanese businesses don't like losing face and he's probably taking the fall for the team as a whole to save their reputations.

          They look on face-loss a little more kindly when it brings in scads of money. I doubt he's going anywhere given the unexpected success of the project he's led.

            True enough. It's probably the one thing that saved him.

        I'm not talking about developers taking personal responsibility for their stuff ups, I understand that's potentially threatening to their job and also admitting blame can sometimes make the company liable. And often times it isn't a single developer's place to speak on behalf of their company (contractually and ethically).

        I'm actually talking about when a PR representiitve or a big wig in the company, someone who's not gonna lose their job, addresses something, someone who's taking the mic to speak for the whole company. While they're throwing out all the usual 'we understand this is frustrating ... we're investigating the issue ... blah blah' a simple sorry is a really personal gesture. It just doesn't happen that often. Without a simple sorry, these companies often sound like they're trying to escape blame or convince you that they're not in the wrong, but throw in even the most basic apology and there's instant goodwill.

        Case and point, the example in the article. Times are tough and sales are down so it makes good business sense to take every opportunity to respect customers.

          Tangential, but your point brings it to mind: I'm always surprised by the amount of weight people put in the word 'sorry' in and of itself.

          It really is baffling when you see people go to great lengths to express very eloquently their empathy and sense of responsibility, then some crass twit comes back with, "Yeah, but you didn't say SORRY." Open-mouthed what-the-fuck.
          I mean, yes - go and do it because of twits like that who don't understand that you're taking the time to detail your expression of regret, but seriously? It's a sign of what's wrong with the world.

            If regret is expressed that's often just as good, and certainly more potent than a shallow apology. I'm just hunting for that personal show of responsibility, not just the semantic 'sorry'. I can't stand the dry, robotic 'we understand a small percentage of players have encountered [insert problem] we are looking into the issue and will update as soon as we have any info regarding a fix'. It basically says, tough luck. It shows zero respect for your custom.

            I'd just like to hear more things from big companies like 'we're not at all OK with this problem ... we're disappointed we didn't anticipate this ... we're not proud of how this launched but we're going to get things up and running ASAP'

            I think there's three lost arts of modern society, and they are complimenting, debating and apologizing. People criticize at the drop of a hat, yet keep encouragement holstered. People feel the need to meet a different opinion with hostility instead of broadening their own. And people seem to avoid apologizing like making a mistake is illegal. Apologizing in particular is such a liberating thing, to humble yourself and offer no justification or qualifiers, it's a nice feeling for both parties.

            I used to work in retail and I had a really top record for customer service. I found that a simple and genuine sorry now and again (even for things out of my control) would stop customers in their tracks, it could diffuse so many time bombs, often it turned an angry customer into repeat business. It's such a rare ting to here done properly these days, people expect you to try and dodge responsibility and try to talk around it so when I'd look them in the eye and genuinely apologize or show empathy, people really appreciated it and would often calm down immediately.

            Last edited 06/09/13 11:28 am

            Actually, your point reminds me of the 'sorry' issued to the Aboriginal people of Australia by the Rudd government. A descendant of some people who did something wrong apologized to the descendants of the people who were the recipient of the apologizer's descendants wrong doing. What did that accomplish?

    Plus in light of all this we get an extra week of free play .... win !!

      Yeah but you still can't create characters where you want therefore playing with mates is extremely difficult.

        It'll be interesting to see if the initial round of server transfers will be free.

    Cant login to a game? First world problem.

      Yeah I should be moaning about hunger in sudan instead.... On a gaming website.... Thanks for coming....

    ... I must accept complete responsibility for this misstep

    Screw being "nice seeing somebody responsible for a video game problem" say this - that's the sort of statement that doesn't get said enough anywhere about anything. Well done, that person.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now