Citing the widespread disappointment with performance and poor communication of system requirements, Square Enix has temporarily halted sales of the Final Fantasy XIV Mac client. Good call.
Having spent the better part of two years using alternative methods such as Boot Camp to run Final Fantasy XIV on their systems, Mac had been clamoring for a Mac-native client for ages. The long-awaited software was launched late last month to coincide with the release of Heavensward, the MMORPG's first major expansion pack. Problems arose immediately.
For one, the Mac client is essentially the Windows client in a wrapper that tells the Mac how to handle the Windows functions. With that additional layer involved there was no way the Mac client could compete with simply using Boot Camp to run Windows on a Mac and using the regular old game client.
Retailers began selling and shipping the Mac version of the client prior to its official launch on June 23, during which time performance was still being optimised. Far more problematic was the fact that the official system requirements for the Mac client were not published until after launch. Users who had preordered the software had no idea whether or not their systems could run it properly, having based their purchase off incorrect speculative system requirements released prior.
In a lengthy letter to fans posted late last week, Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida takes direct responsibility for allowing the Mac client to be released in such a state.
While the development and operations teams, as well as our entire company, were involved in this mistake, it was I who ultimately made the decision to release the Mac version under these circumstances and therefore bear sole responsibility, and I sincerely apologise to you all.
Because of this situation, many of you purchased a product which your Mac hardware could not run at even the minimum system requirements, resulting in insufficient performance, for which many of you have expressed your dissatisfaction. Had we provided accurate information beforehand, I know many of you would not have purchased the Mac version, which is why we decided to offer full refunds. Once again, I apologise.
Players who purchased the Mac client through Square Enix's online store can apply for a refund here. Players who purchased via third party retailers are directed to contact their place of purchase. Yoshida says Square Enix has taken steps to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Sales of the Mac client will be suspended until players have enough information to make an informed purchase.
We have judged that there is still a lack of information on the Mac version and its system requirements. We are planning to make an announcement which will include detailed information on the product, system requirements, and screen resolution. Until this is done, and I am personally satisfied that our users are adequately informed, we will be suspending the sale of the Mac version.
While not quite the same situation as Warner Bros. recent decision to halt sales of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight until bugs were addressed and missing features implemented, it's nice to see another publisher stepping up and potentially taking a financial hit in the name of customer satisfaction.