Coming from an English-speaking standpoint, it’s probably diffifcult for us to imagine that people playing Final Fantasy XIV in a different language or written character set might be having difficulties completely unrelated to our own. They are there, however, and they are most assuredly annoying for the Japanese fanbase of FFXIV.
Let’s take two cases of annoyance FFXIV players are currently having in Japan, one of which is related to the CE owners specifically while the other is related to in-game play itself.
The above image is of the tumbler that Japanese CE owners got when they bought their copy of FFXIV. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that it’s dirty, but I’ll tell you now: that’s not dirt.
Whoever commissioned the creation and packing of the FFXIV CE tumblers may have made it look snazzy, but did not take into account the possibility of bacteria. Furthermore, Sankaku Complex reports that the tumblers can barely be called tumblers, as there are a startling number of things that cannot be put inside the actual containers.
To quote the translation on Sankaku Complex:
Do not fill the product with the following materials as they may cause damage:
Items including salt and solid materials, carbonated beverages, milk or other dairy beverages, fruit juices, etc.
Essentially, it’s a container that is unusable for anything other than air.
Sankaku Complex’s report also notes that the tumbler was made in China. Normally, this would have no bearing on much of anything, but the second issue related to Japanese players enjoying FFXIV is highlighted by the Japanese gaming community’s sinking feeling that game production was outsourced to a company in China.
How so? Well, to shorten a rather long tale, Final Fantasy XIV’s Japanese text mistranslates or uses Kanji for words that should otherwise be relatively easy for the Japanese to read. For example, Chocobos, the staple mode of transportation in Final Fantasy games, was originally mistranslated into a nonsense word through Kanji, with that word basically calling Chocobos “horsebirds.”
After the business was made known to gamers, Square Enix told the players that they would be changing the conventions back so that English style naming would be used instead. The introduction of a patch to alleviate the issue, however, caused another sensation to occur as names were summarily being misspelled all over the place, reinforcing the idea that the game was made in China, much like the tumblers.
Sankaku Complex notes the following examples: “Chocobos” are now called “Chocopos” (instead of Horsebirds), “Physical Bonus” is now spelled as “Physical Ponus,” “Telepo” (presumably teleport) is now “Telebo,” and “Support Desk” is “Subbort Desk.”
Now, while there probably is a good explanation for all this, it must be noted that the game is essentially in its release state. Misspellings should have been caught by translators. The possibility of shoddy, moldy tumblers should have been thought of prior to creating the Collectors Edition packaging. In other words, there are a ton of “should haves” that needed to be addressed before release. While I am excited for the game myself, I cannot help but feel sad for the folks who, due to being a participant in the early life cycle of the game, have to contend with all of this.
Note: It is also worthwhile to consider that, if the “Made in China” conception of FFXIV is true, then the creation of the Fatigue System in FFXIV may have been done to avoid legal issues with China, which requires MMORPGs in that country to have a fatigue system to avoid game addicition.
Sources: From Sankaku Complex (Site potentially NSFW)