FFXIV Producer on Keeping Subscriptions

Naoki Yoshida explains why the team behind A Realm Reborn is keeping subscriptions.

Final Fantasy XIV saw its last day just over a week ago, but that is not the end for the MMO that received poor reviews at launch. The down time is to allow the developers to rework the game into the Final Fantasy MMO that was not originally delivered.

With the trend of games either launching Free to Play or converting to the non-subscription based business model, many might have expected that FFXIV would be switching to F2P during its major upgrade. As it turns out, the new reincarnation of FFXIV, dubbed FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, will be maintaining its subscription based model.

Producer and director for the game Naoki Yoshida explains why they are keeping with the subscriptions.

“The main reason why we haven’t decided to take the free-to-play option is that, at the game’s original launch, it didn’t live up to expectations and it let down a lot of fans. We lost the trust of fans who had followed us across our 25-year history. We want to regain that trust and to deliver on past promises.

“One of the promises we originally stated was that we would release the game with a subscription model. Players will be able to play it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days in the year if they paid a subscription fee.

“So to regain the trust of our players we must of course fulfil this promise. Right now we believe that to be more important than any kind of business decision.”

Yoshida then became philosophical about MMO business models in general:

“The other thing is that – depending on what kind of game you have – its hard to say which model is better. Is free-to-play better? Are subscriptions better? It just really depends, and it’s hard to say which one is better."

To finish off Yoshida commented that they are not under pressure to make the F2P switch, since they are not funded by an outside publisher. When other MMOs that are funded by outside publishers don’t do well, the publisher is worried about getting their investment back.

“We’d have to pay our investors back, and free-to-play is an option to get that money back to investors quickly. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a product that is independent to Square-Enix. All of the money’s coming from us, so we had more time to put it into what we wanted to do. We’re not in a rush to pay anyone back.”

So Yoshida is saying that they announced FFXIV as a subscription based game and they are not going back on their announcement, a decision that they are able to do since they are not being pressured from investors. He says this is to keep the trust of long time fans of the series, but after the poor launch is it there really trust left to keep?

What do you think? Are you planning on trying out A Realm Reborn when it launches in the coming months? Or is the MMO’s past leaving you unsure about its future? If you are unsure (or flat out unwilling), would you be more willing to give the rebirth a try if it didn’t have the subscription costs?

Source: Final Fantasy XIV keeping subscriptions to 'regain trust of fans', says director via VG 24/7

Matt "Mattsta" Adams

Comments

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F2p NOOOO way
# Nov 21 2012 at 3:35 PM Rating: Decent
While I did enjoy the months of f2p, I must admit, I generally don't like f2p models. It tends to invite the wrong crowd into otherwise awesome games. If you open the door, all kinds of bad things come inside. I sincerely hope that it stays p2p.
free trial
# Nov 20 2012 at 10:21 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
I dont mind being a subscriber I just wish the launch date would hurry up so I can get back to playing.
Prefer sub over F2p
# Nov 20 2012 at 9:04 PM Rating: Default
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83 posts
If the game is worth it id prefer subscription just due to the shear fact that subscription games dont cost you a penny more then what you pay monthly. I tend to pay more on F2P games then i do on sub games. Also subscription games feel more open to the player as in you can do whatever you like in the game that it was designed to do rather then feeling limited whenever it came to premium features in F2P games.
well...
# Nov 20 2012 at 7:09 PM Rating: Good
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They already lost a huge chunk of their Fan and Playerbase - F2P wouldnt help anyway, so they decided to go on with the subscription based model since the players who were still playing will play again and maybe some more.

As Lefein already mentioned - its all or nothing! If they fail again then that pretty much is the end for SE in terms of MMO's ... but i think i speak for the majority of FF-MMO-Fans, we really hope its worth the wait & subscription.

They also should at least have a 4 Week Trial for players who left the game (i left 3 weeks after launch, came back some month later and left again because the changes just didnt make it any better - reasons for that are known by most of us all). I just hope i can actually play with my CE and be happy with the game...

btw. i would like to see a complete reroll - a fresh start, since its basically a new game - even the ALLJOBS50 People have to re-learn (maybe). But i guess that would piss off a lot of peolpe :D
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A free trial month
# Nov 20 2012 at 4:49 PM Rating: Decent
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12,561 posts
I hope Squarenix takes this as a call to battle. I don't buy any of this hollow talk about fulfilling promises. A subscriber-based MMO is a constant stream of revenue. They have a chance to actually make a game worthy of being subscriber based, and I (and many others) hope they take this opportunity to release a game of that quality. This re-release of XIV should be an all or nothing affair for them. If this game sucks after having to revamp the server and user side client, they'll never be able to leverage an MMORPG again, because they will lose their fanbase (for MMOs, which by the way, are cash cows).
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Recommend Free Trial or Open Beta
# Nov 20 2012 at 2:02 PM Rating: Good
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I've been a subscriber the whole time, so of course I think ARR will be worth the sub fee. But the game will definitely need a free trial or at least an open beta to give players an opportunity to try the game out at no cost. After the fallout from the first launch, although the new promotional material and reviews will probably convince some players, many will keep their wallets shut without this opportunity.

Edited, Nov 20th 2012 3:02pm by REDace0
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