Rebuilding fans' trust in the Final Fantasy brand will take "a long time", following the damage done by the original and "failed" version of Final Fantasy 14, Square Enix has admitted.
A Realm Reborn, the in-development relaunch of Final Fantasy 14, will be only the "starting point" of this, the game's producer Naoki Yoshida told Eurogamer this week.
"Losing your fans' trust is very easy thing to do. Regaining it is very hard," Yoshida said. "We believe Final Fantasy 14 is a starting point, and that players joining us will think 'oh wow, this is great, I'll see what they can do with Final Fantasy 15 or 16'.
"Over a long time we'll try and regain their trust, but it is something we as a company must put effort into, long-term.
"That doesn't mean we're not going to try to get people's trust back with this one game," he added.
It's taken Yoshida and team years of work just to get to the point of an alpha stress for A Realm Reborn on PC. Once that's complete, beta testing will happen later in the year - and PlayStation 3 gamers will be invited to join in.
In Yoshida's eyes, such an undertaking has been crucial to save the overall franchise's reputation.
"In the 25-year history of the Final Fantasy series, there hasn't been a Final Fantasy that has failed. We can't - we just can't - let this game end in failure," Yoshida declared.
"At the original launch, we let down a lot of our fans. Fans around the world were expecting something great, and we feel like we let them down and we lost their trust. To regain that trust we have to show them we're still behind the project, and that Square Enix is dedicated to making something that's great. It's kind of a crazy idea, but we've got to do it."
"In the 25-year history of the Final Fantasy series, there hasn't been a Final Fantasy that has failed. We can't - we just can't - let this game end in failure."Naoki Yoshida, producer, Final Fantasy 14
Final Fantasy fans will also be vital in helping spread word of A Realm Reborn, which Yoshida is certain will have a more positive reaction.
"We'll take our time and make something we feel lives up to the series' name and then let other people play it. And when they realise 'wow, this is really great game', their voice will be heard and word will get out there," he concluded.