Square Enix had the opportunity to write Final Fantasy XIV off, to cut it loose and to take the loss. Its initial launch was met with disdain the world over and subscription numbers plummeted for the MMO in the first months of release. Instead Square Enix did something amazing. They took their MMO back to the drawing board and had it redeveloped, breaking apart old features and making them new. Only this time, they made quality and fun a priority.
This was born Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, an MMO based on traditional Final Fantasy values and aesthetics. Much of the grind and tedium that had plagued even the early levels of the original release of the MMO were stripped away in favor of a more theme-park flavored experience. Players, as they leveled, would be drawn on by a cinematic story that unfolded as players explored zone to zone. By the end of the leveling experience, players would come to a conclusion that would both be exciting, but also open them up to a world of challenges and rewards. Basically, Square Enix delivered.
At the core of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is its throw-back job system. All players are able to create a character which can then equip and play as any job they desire for the rest of the game. Jobs are switched by equipping a different weapon -- it's as simple as that. These jobs are then split into the holy trinity of damagers, tanks and healers, though crafting classes are also considered jobs. They equip tools instead of weapons, of course. It's possible then that a single character might be the highest level in every single job in the game, without the need to create different characters altogether.
To ensure that players continue to be subscribed as the months go on, Final Fantasy XIV has a variety of end-game content including dungeons, story, legendary quests and raids. Square Enix also delivers content updates on a frequent basis, though they don't have a specific schedule for these releases -- instead opting for "when its done." Square Enix also recently announced Final Fantasy XIV's first full expansion, to be released in 2015.