Next Squenix MMO will be "different"

Rumoured to show up at E3.

Game Informer magazine reports that Square Enix's next-generation MMO - the company's follow-up to Final Fantasy XI - is rumoured make an appearance at E3 next June.

FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka told the magazine that the game "is going to be different from Final Fantasy XI". You can see a scan of the article on a Final Fantasy fan forum.

"Even though we have the same staff working on the project, we're not going to make something that'll be exactly like FFXI." It's designed to coexist with FFXI rather than replace it, apparently.

These are much the same things that Blizzard is saying about its own next MMO, the game that will follow World of Warcraft. The EverQuest and Lineage series have shown that a direct sequel to a successful, long-running MMO can just end up splitting its audience down the middle, and Square Enix is probably keen to avoid that; Final Fantasy XI, although six years old, still has a healthy subscriber-base of half a million players.

What Tanaka's comments don't make clear is if the game will carry Final Fantasy branding or not, or what formats it might appear on. Hopefully we won't need to wait longer than six months to find out.

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