From what I remember of the news back from 2002 which I came across again when I did my NM research a few years ago, which included reading a bunch of translated pages and discussions that were in Japanese, a lot of the tumult was settled by July 2002 (all active discussion of the game, not widespread griping about technical issues) and it seems by mid-late June most of it was settled. There was intense server congestion early on (took someone 12 hours just to enter all their info and log in for the 1st time. Tried it at the noon launch, they got in after 12AM), disconnects, and all the usual stuff. Many companies didn't prepare for the spike of demand right at launch, or they know about it and do nothing and just accept it as part of the process, fixing whatever issues come up. Practically all the issues were technical issues which were often the result of the company being brand new to MMOs. EverQuest's launch had technical problems too. The period of chaos was not as prolonged as indicated. Of course, the pace was slower then and a few weeks of issues (issues gradually declining over that time) might seem outrageous now, but people were more patient then (and had fewer MMOs to choose from).
FFXI & FFXIV were like a yin yang in their launches. FFXI had a lot of technical issues at launch (par for the old school MMO course) but once people got in, they loved the world and updates regularly added a bunch of content, did balancing, and more (2002 had updates in June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec- they were monthly). FFXIV's launch went smoothly on the technical front but once people got in, they loathed the world and the world was slow to update, get new content (just compare the NM timeline. FFXI got a huge load in June, a few weeks in, FFXIV took months just to get a small batch and half a year to get a larger batch).
I think in that whole wall o' grievances against Tanaka the big picture was missed- FFXI stabilized, became profitable very quickly, and attracted and retained many players. FFXI is properly credited to Tanaka as a success, of course, he bears responsibilities for all the complaints people have about it. He seems very old school in how he approached game development. Quite simply, he wasn't cut out for feedback and a back & forth. Might be an issue where a lot of people who were 30+ when the 1st logged onto the internet in Japan just can't take professional critique and criticism from a mass of customers (which online can resemble an angry mob). Younger developers grew up online so they are used to the back & forth process of interacting with people, some happy, some angry in all the online discussions they were a part of as teens and into adulthood. And of course, FFXIV 1.0 is properly credit to Tanaka as a failure. Big success (FFXI), big failure (FFXIV), mixed result.
Somewhere out there, there is a road with 2 signs on it. One says "No Trespassing". The sign right next to it says "FREE KITTENS".