Final Fantasy Brave Exvius goes to war with community content creators over the Easter event
Get it together, Gumi.
Sigh, here we are again, talking about the mismanagement of Gumi and Square Enix’s top mobile game, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. This is the fourth time I’ve written about the game and the third time I’ve had something negative to say, but what can you do when a company that manages one of the larger mobile games on the market seems to go out of its way to spite its own community.
Before we get into everything here, I want to explain how amazing the Final Fantasy Brave Exvius community is. There are people within the community that datamine the updates each week and present the info available for the rest of the community to use. This info is available in an unofficial capacity but allows sites like the FFBE Wiki and YouTubers and community leaders like Claic Yuzolt and Howl to be able to inform players of what to expect from upcoming events. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius doesn’t ever supply this info and much of the content in the game would be nearly impossible without it.
Let me give you a brief rundown of what has lead to our current situation
The game has been plagued with a lack of communication from the devs as of recently. Issues like visual bugs and errors within the game have led to players beginning to feel dissatisfied with the game. Just before Easter, the latest content was revealed for the game, which included two new units themed around the holiday.
Players can earn in-game currency, called Lapis, to make these pulls or they can spend real money on this currency or bundles that include currency and other items. There are also tickets that players can earn, but they aren’t sold outside of event goals and bundles. Lapis earned in-game is tied to story and event progression so there is a finite amount a free-to-play player can amass. Depending on the amount of currency a player purchases, pulls can range approximately from $1.78 to $4 a pull. Obviously, it’s really easy to see how someone can spend serious money.
When the game updated on Thursday, the dataminers jumped in and discovered that both Sylvie and Esther (the event units) were incredibly overpowered units. It was going to be like bringing a howitzer to an airsoft game. The community was flooded with info from the datamine about the units and content creators spent time tailoring their content around advising players to spend their money on these units.
Then, 20 minutes before the update was to take effect, Gumi uploaded a patch that lowered the effectiveness of these units. The units were still powerful, but not as extreme as before. Nothing was said from Gumi’s side of things while the community content creators struggled to make sure players knew about the change.
Obviously, when players learned about the change, some were understandably upset
I, myself, pulled one Esther and was far less elated that I should have been because the unit wasn’t the powerhouse it appeared to be prior. Gumi never posted an update about the change, which seemed like a smart idea since the internet was filled with hype for the new units before the change. It would present some issues in Gumi acknowledging the actual datamining going on, but the common decency of looking out for the community would have been great. Instead, they sat on their laurels until Sunday.
On Sunday, there was a community livestream and the global community had effectively whipped itself into a fervor. The stream kicked off with an apology and a promise to improve communication, which is the fourth time it has happened. Then, they turned around and blamed unofficial channels for misleading the community about the strength of units. They told players to only use official channels for info, which is odd, as they don’t give the important info that dataminers provide. They promised to share more info from the game with fans but based on their prior track record, that needs to be seen to be believed.
The interesting thing here is that Gumi completely turned on their community content creators
This is hilarious because these people have been front and center at the huge community conventions that they hold, called Fan Festas. In fact, Claic was the co-host of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Fan Festa last year. It’s weird that they are willing to rub elbows with these people when it benefits them and then point fingers at community discontent when it’s convenient for them. It’s not a good look and even worse PR.
As a games journalist, I work with games PR all the time. I reached out to one over the situation to get their feedback. I was told that they felt Gumi’s approach to the initial issue was appropriate but they should have attempted to walk it back a bit. They felt that pointing the blame at the content creators wasn’t a wise decision and they should consider making some changes and opening the door for feedback to mend that fence. They believed that taking some responsibility, even though it would hurt their margins, would be a smart move.
I kind of agree. The issue was never that the units were changed, as they weren’t released until the final numbers were live. However, an active community is what keeps a game like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius alive and alienating community content creators and players seems like a suicidal plan of action. Reddit user, FatCatSings, even went as far as making appropriate changes to their official PR statement.
It’s funny because many of these issues are self-made. If Gumi had communicated better and not allowed information that was deemed incorrect to set a hype train off the rails, the community wouldn’t be so upset. It’s clear that Gumi operates under the Japanese business mentality of only communicating when needed and expecting most issues from western audiences to be simple overreactions. Truth is, they don’t care as long as the money spent on the game stays at similar numbers.
It’s a bad time to be an active player on Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and I wouldn’t currently recommend jumping in if you haven’t until Gumi decides how they want to run their game. Right now it’s a really toxic environment for a game that relies actively on having a lively community. I personally don’t see myself spending much more on a game that doesn’t appreciate content creators.
In Claic Yuzolt’s latest video, he ended with a pretty apt statement for the FFBE team, “Fire whoever the fuck does your PR and hire someone who knows what the hell they are doing.” I couldn’t agree more.
Editor’s Note: We reached out to Gumi about the issues with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. We decided to move forward after 72 hours without a reply.
- Review roundup: Mortal Kombat 11 – A worthy addition to the series
- Nintendo is reportedly launching a cheaper version of the Nintendo Switch this fall
- Mortal Kombat 11 is just hitting shelves and there’s already a new leaked character list
- GB Studio lets you build your own Game Boy games
- The Sega Genesis Mini is available for pre-orders and 10 more games have been announced