Square Enix dropped a bomb on its fanbase early this morning with an announcement of a staff restructuring, a plan for a completely new direction for Final Fantasy XIV, and a delay of the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
Producer Hiromichi Tanaka has stepped down, leaving behind an apology to fans for the "inability to fully satisfy users with the initial release of Final Fantasy XIV." Taking his place as Producer/Director is Naoki Yoshida. While this change received the most attention in the announcement, there are nine other managerial changes taking place to create an entirely new core team for FFXIV.
What will this team be working on? President and CEO Yoichi Wada says that there will be a new direction for the game: "we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining Final Fantasy XIV's new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time."
While the extended free trial is nice for fans, those anticipating the PlayStation 3 release are going to have to wait a bit longer: "Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011."
[Update: Seems something similar is happening to the FFXI team as well.]