Square Enix and developer Nexon have confirmed that the mobile reboot of Final Fantasy XI has been cancelled. According to Gamebiz.jp (translated by GamesIndustry.biz), the project failed to meet the expectations of both companies, resulting in the cancellation. The news shouldn't prove too surprising, as very little information had been revealed since it was announced in 2015, outside of a handful of screenshots. Final Fantasy XI marked the first entry in the series to focus predominantly on online multiplayer, which seemed like a natural fit for the mobile platform. Sadly, it seems that the project won't see the light of day!
The news will likely come as a disappointment to some fans of the series. Originally released in 2002, Final Fantasy XI built-up a devoted fanbase over the years. The game was available on PS2, Xbox 360, and PC, and continued to see updates all the way through 2015! The mobile reboot would have added a touchscreen interface, and featured redesigned locations from the console and PC version of Final Fantasy XI. The title was initially supposed to release in 2016, but saw multiple delays.
Unfortunately, cancellations such as this one are all too common in the video game industry. Video game development can be extremely expensive, and sometimes it's simply easier to cancel a project as opposed to continuing to sink resources into something with no guarantee of success. While Final Fantasy XI clearly had a dedicated fanbase, it's difficult to say whether or not the project would have been worth a greater investment of time and resources. Perhaps fans of the original game wouldn't have wanted to play on mobile!
For now, fans of Final Fantasy XI will simply have to wait to see if Square Enix makes any future plans for the game and its world. Very few online games have had the kind of longevity that Final Fantasy XI had, and Square Enix has shown greater interest in revisiting past series entries over the last decade. If Final Fantasy XI fans show the publisher they want to see a follow-up to the game, it's entirely possible that another project could happen sometime in the future.
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