Outside of a small but vocal group of pitiable, misguided souls, I’m pretty sure most of you out there will agree with me that Final Fantasy XIV is kind of a terrible game. Square-Enix has even admitted as much, and will soon relaunch the game with a massive overhaul that pretty much makes FFXIV into a new (hopefully better) game… and those changes will unfortunately come with a new monthly fee.
FFXIV has had troubles from the moment it launched: within hours of the game going up, fans complained of a lack of content and empty, graphically barren zones. It’s not unusual for an MMO to launch with some unfinished content or some bugs, but FFXIV’s obviously rushed, mostly unfinished nature set a new low-bar for sloppy MMO launches. The game was lambasted by critics and fans who purchased the game almost immediately went back to playing the game’s almost-decade old predecessor, FF11. Square-Enix immediately apologized for the quality (or lack thereof) of the game and announced that the game would essentially be free-to-play until they could patch it into something that was worth paying money for.
Apparently, Square-Enix is confident that the upcoming massive redo of the game is worth player’s money, as they announced today that starting January 5th, the game will start charging a $9.99 monthly fee. This is a slight discount from Square-Enix’s original $12.99 per month minimum fee that they had intended to charge for FFXIV from the very beginning, but obviously they’ve lowered the price in order to try and entice gamers into giving the game a second chance. It’s a pretty ballsy move on Square’s part, considering most non-WoW MMO’s are having trouble attracting enough of subscriber base to make money off of monthly fees and have gone the free-to-play route, but then again, I suppose they need to recoup the costs of this project somehow. Whether or not Square-Enix will be able to overcome the stigma that is now attached to the game’s name remains to be seen, but hey, I’m willing to give a game a shot to see if Square’s supposedly gigantic retrofit was worth all the time and effort.