Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn would be shut down without a subscription plan, says Naoki Yoshida
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has just finished its Phase 3 beta, and its release date is just a little over a month away. Square Enix has already divulged the prices of the game and the subscription, which many aren't happy about. In an age where 90% of MMOs lack a subscription fee, it's a little disconcerting to see a failed MMO from 2010 come back with one.
In a recent interview by Venturebeat, Naoki Yoshida spoke out on the subscription model, stating that FFXIV would be shut down without it. His take on the free-to-play model was this:
"You don’t know what you’re going to be getting, and because you don’t know what you’re going to be getting, you can’t plan ahead."
Of course, he's mainly talking about preplanning additional content with the help from funding that comes with a subscription fee. However, I can't help but disagree with him completely. Dungeons & Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online and others who have shifted from a subscription model to being Free-to-Play, have not only seen an increase in users, but also an increase in revenue thanks to microtransactions.
Another great example of looking ahead without a subscription fee is Guild Wars 2. Easily one of the best MMOs I've played since the original World of Warcraft, demanded nothing extra from me, except for the premium purchase price of $60. After that, I was free to play as I please, with no subscription in sight. What's more, the developers are so keen on delivering new content, that the game now has content updates every two weeks.
It's not like A Realm Reborn isn't built for microtransactions. If there's anything I learned from various trailers for the game, is that nostalgia is king, and bringing things like Magitek Armor to the game for some unexplained reason, was mainly to hook Final Fantasy fans who might fondly recall their time playing FFVI. Why not offer these extra, nostalgia filled items in an in-game store. Fans of FF would sure eat stuff like that up immediately.
I'm sorry Mr. Yoshida, but an excuse like that just won't fly in 2013 anymore. Seeing as how excited I am for the game to come out after taking part in the Phase 3 beta, I would like nothing more than for the game to be completely F2P, but maybe in time, somewhere over there at Square Enix will wise up and suggest this course of action, so that everyone can take part in the next Final Fantasy craze.