THE BUZZ: Long-beleaguered MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has seen another twist thrown into its push to profitability.
Back in October, as part of the road map to FFXIV Version 2.0—the point at which many of the complaints about the game are to have been addressed—Square Enix announced that the long-lasting period of being able to play the current version of the game for free would be coming to an end. That restart of monthly billing was to have happened in late November or early December.
It’s now early December, and the publisher has pushed the date back by one month to January 6th, 2012. However, as a part of that return to a monthly subscription fee, the cost per month will be reduced—from $14.99/month to $9.99/month.
To ensure that no players are charged money when they don’t want to be, Squre Enix will suspend all current service accounts as of January 5th. If you want to continue playing the game under that new fee, you’re suggested to renew your account and set up payment options starting on December 16th.
EGM’s TAKE: At this point, I worry about the future of Final Fantasy XIV. Deserving of scorn or not, the game has been seen as unfinished and unfriendly to players for so long now. While hope does indeed exist due to the new development team and the promises being made leading up to Version 2.0, those promises aren’t here yet.
No doubt it is tough on Square Enix to continue to run the game as a totally free experience, but with the game’s population already as small as it is, how many will stick around until v2.0 when having to pay every month?