Square Enix released the Mac version of PC MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn at the end of June, but the game’s launch did not go well. Players immediately reported all manner of performance issues–and they didn’t know what was going wrong.
Now, Square Enix has removed the game from sale, announced plans to offer full refunds, and owned up to the problems quite frankly.
A forum post written by A Realm Reborn producer and director Naoki Yoshida outlines the issues, starting with the refund program. Refunds will be available at all retailers, but Yoshida stressed that the process will vary depending on the store. If you bought the game directly from Square Enix’s online store, however, all you need to do is fill out this form to receive your refund.
The issues with the Mac version of A Realm Reborn are, in part, related to the game’s system requirements. In short, Square Enix announced false information, which meant that some players bought the game expecting their computer could run it, only to find the game struggling mightily.
“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,” Yoshida said. “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.”
What’s more, Yoshida said that “chaos” surrounding the release of the game’s Heavensward expansion on June 23 led to Square Enix not devoting enough time to ensuring the Mac edition–which also was released that day–was ready to launch.
“Up until the official release of the Mac version on June 23rd, we were working to improve the client’s performance,” he said. “Consequently, the system requirements which we should have released were not made available in time, which was a serious problem.
“As an MMORPG, FFXIV has to display many complex objects at once, and as such it is unavoidably demanding on systems” — Yoshida
“Although our development and QA teams tested the client on Mac hardware, because of our last minute efforts to improve performance and the possibility that system requirements might change, we decided to prepare several versions of these requirements, with the one to be released depending on the final result,” Yoshida added. “However, in the chaos leading up to the multi-platform launch of our expansion, we released incorrect requirements, which were not updated prior to the Mac version’s official release.”
Making matters worse, Yoshida revealed that Square Enix planned to conduct regular maintenance on the Mac version of A Realm Reborn, but due to “miscommunication,” the game went live early. As a result, some people bought a pre-release version of the game which had numerous other performance issues.
Looking ahead, Yoshida said Square Enix will resume Mac sales once it has the full list of accurate system requirements ready to share. He did not provide a timetable for when this might happen.
Also in the blog post, Yoshida admits that the Mac version of A Realm Reborn was never going to perform as well as the Windows PC edition. But he said Square Enix wanted to bring the game to Mac because fans were calling for it.
“As an MMORPG, FFXIV has to display many complex objects at once, and as such it is unavoidably demanding on systems,” he explained. “If FFXIV were to be developed in native OpenGL for Mac OS, it is expected that there would be a performance gap of approximately 30% compared the DirectX version.
“This difference becomes more pronounced when running the game on lower spec Mac systems,” Yoshida added. “For instance, a low-spec Windows PC may run the game adequately, but a Mac system with equivalent hardware may suffer from greatly reduced frame rates, further exacerbating the performance gap.”
Yoshida said he takes full responsibility for the issues.
“The mistakes made by the development and operation teams in the lead up to this release have caused considerable confusion and trouble,” he said. “To our customers who eagerly anticipate purchasing, or who have already ordered, their copy of the Mac version of Final Fantasy XIV, and to all of our distributors, we offer our deepest and most heartfelt apologies.
“We aim to recommence sales of the Mac version as soon as we are satisfied that the product information and system requirements are properly prepared.”
Check out the full blog post for an incredibly detailed breakdown of the entire situation.