I can't even remember the last time Final Fantasy Union had a website refresh, but what I can remember is the amount of times we have tried and failed to launch a new version of the website during that time. It has been a long journey, that's for sure, so it makes this new version of the website rather satisfying.
What makes it even more satisfying is that for those of you who don't know, Lauren and I had a baby last November. We have been desperately trying to keep everything running as best we can and if I'm honest, toiling over this new version of the website over the last 4-5 months, on top of having a newborn and full-time job, has been pretty trying. It's just been something we've wanted to do for so long (both have a baby and launch a new version of the site), and even though having a baby is a pretty good excuse to take a break, we owed it to ourselves to power through.
You see, we don't just see this as a new website launch. We see this as the first step on a new journey for Final Fantasy Union as a whole. Whether it's the podcast, the events we are now doing or our social presence, we want to use this as a huge step forward and we hope you can be there with us as we look to move onto bigger and better things.
I will admit, that although the website may not seem like a huge revolution at this point, the fact it works, and (hopefully you agree) looks a lot better than its predecessor, can be seen as a significant positive. It has been a massive bugbear of mine that the Character Database was not even functional for years, and that the Glossary of Terms was pretty much just flat out broken. Well, those two parts of the website are now fixed.
We have also taken the time to bring the ever popular podcast back into the site, as opposed to linking you off to Gaming Union, and there is now a separate section for all of the Voice Actor Interviews we have conducted since way back when Final Fantasy XIII first launched.
So What's Next, I Hear You Cry?
Well, to start off we have the FFU/FFUKF Fan Gathering on the 19th of March! It promises to be another great day for us to get together with a ton of Final Fantasy fans.
If we're talking about website specifics though, we are going to get back to updating the character database on a more regular basis. It was in a dire state before, with no characters after Final Fantasy XII. There were Final Fantasy XIII characters in there at some point, but they got deleted during the last relaunch. As a first step, we have put profiles for Noctis Lucis Caelum and Lunafreya Nox Fleuret live. We are hoping to add the rest of the known Final Fantasy XV cast sooner rather then later.
You will notice a new Release Dates section. This is also something that has been sorely missing in the past. This will include releases for all Final Fantasy and appropriate Square Enix Japan titles for the upcoming year.
In addition, we have also given Features much more prominence within the main navigation. We plan to do a lot more features and general community-based content in the future. You'll notice that in our SUPER NEW BANNER, there are some new faces - these guys are massive trouble, but we hope to involve them soon too.
Oh, and you can also easily access news for each of the different games without having to try and sort through a load of fluff. One that's perhaps more relevant at the moment is Final Fantasy XV News. We have also given prominent staff members their own pages so you can keep up to date on what they've been saying and/or doing.
We Love You Guys!
This site has been running for coming up on 8 years now, and it wouldn't continue to do so without all your support. I know we aren't always first for news coverage, that there are occasional typos in our content and the database has cob webs growing upon cob webs, but we try our damned hardest no matter what else is going on.
We are therefore eternally thankful to everyone who continues to visit the website, comment on our content, likes and follow us on social media and listen to the podcast. Your continued support means the world to us <3
Onwards and upwards! Oh, and here's hoping we do actually see Final Fantasy XV release this year.