Final Fantasy FFXIV is an expensive game.
For a game that originally launched over ten years ago, you still pay a whopping $59.99 USD — in other words, full-game price — for the complete edition of the game. This edition includes the base game and all of its expansions so far.
Want the game on another device like the PlayStation? Expect to spend $59 USD again.
Have the game and want the latest expansion of Endwalker? That’ll be $39.99.
After shelling out for a digital copy of the game, it doesn’t stop there. FFXIV also has a monthly subscription fee of $12.99 — per device.
But don’t worry. When you buy the game, you have a generous 30-day free trial to get started. And once you have purchased the complete edition — you have the game forever.
Well, until there’s another expansion. 😉
In this article, let’s talk about why FFXIV is a wallet-bleeder — and also — is FFXIV worth bleeding for?
Always feel free to stop on by one of my Miranda Lemons Twitch streams and share with me your thoughts.
The Success of Final Fantasy XIV
FFXIV is an expensive game, and — like it or not — it has found an audience more than willing to pay.
The story of Final Fantasy XIV begins with a total failure. The game was originally released on September 30, 2010, to overwhelmingly below par reception from both players and reviewers.
With a Metacritic score of 49, one would only need to type “FFXIV 1.0” into a Google search to discover various articles considering the failures and shortcomings of Square Enix’s second Final Fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online RPG.
Compare to April 2021, when Final Fantasy XIV released its forth major extension, Endwalker, to 22 million FFXIV users and daily players around 3 million. The expansion had an astounding 900,000 preorders.
World of Warcraft once acclaimed as the king of the MMORPG genre is estimated to currently have approximately 4.8 million subscriptions.
Developer Blizzard has not openly discussed the subscription numbers of their game in some time, leaving users only to deduce and guess, so take that number with grain of salt. While we may not know the absolute truth, this much is certain: Final Fantasy XIV is one of the largest traditional MMORPGs on the market right now.
The success story of Final Fantasy XIV is no surprise by now. Most players in the MMO gaming sphere know all about the game’s infamous failure and unprecedented successful relaunch on August 24, 2013—nearly a year after the previous iteration shut down in 2012.
This extraordinary turnaround, to my knowledge, has never occurred in modern gaming history, at least to this level of success and praise.
So one might be keen to ask, what is it that makes Final Fantasy XIV such a good game that is so well-loved and people are willing to pay for — for years and years?
4 Ways FFXIV Justifies Its Cost
Some of the key features to consider when you take into account the price factor:
1. FFXIV Doesn’t Get You With In-Game Monetization Strategies
Final Fantasy XIV requires users to pay a subscription of $12.99 per month to play.
It can be baffling at first glance. But its success does speak for itself: Square Enix has seen great success with this model.
There is a benefit to this model: it builds trust.
With a subscription service, users are paying for the service of its servers and for the game’s continued development and support. As subscribers, users are stakeholders in the game, and they are an instrumental part of the game’s continued livelihood.
Players who pay to play FFXIV realize that there is nothing else required of them.
The game does not have an in-game cash shop, nor does it have any loud and intrusive advertisements about the additional content they can purchase.
There are no up-sells in-game. What the game offers is just the experience.
I need to acknowledge, though, that the game does have a cash store. It is advertised before logging in and it does not intrude on the gaming experience. FFXIV does not do hard sells and they are far from abrasive.
The development team wants to uphold the integrity of the in-game world. Maybe the game caters to an audience that is tired of being reminded of all the premium content they can buy and wants their players to just enjoy themselves in the game instead.
2.FFXIV Releases Abundant Content Regularly
Final Fantasy XIV is extremely productive with releasing regular content and updates. After the launch of a new Endwalker expansion, the team tends to release major content updates approximately every three-to-four months.
These regular releases are absolutely stuffed with content.
So much so, that they often feel like miniature expansions.
The free updates often include:
New standalone bosses
Continuation of the main story of the game
Improvements to existing features
New crafting and gathering additions
New character customizations
Quality of life changes
New mini-games and events
Endless content doesn’t stop there. The game is so massive that communities branch off dedicated to certain areas.
For example, the game features an extensive housing system that allows players to buy houses in designated neighborhoods and decorate them endlessly. The Final Fantasy XIV housing community is so big that I believe it’s quite larger than the end-game raiding community.
Also, the game has had Triple Triad, a card game introduced in Final Fantasy VIII, since the A Realm Reborn expansion, which is always being updated with new cards.
This cycle tends to repeat until five major patches have been released, which completes the release of an expansion pack.
Players love new content, and fresh content is an easy way to ensure that the player base keeps coming back to explore and experience everything the game has to offer. Since the game is on such a regimented schedule, it is also easy for players to expect exactly when they will receive new content.
3.FFXIV Maintains the Square Enix Polish
This is a Square Enix game and an industry leader of software entertainment. They have established themselves in the early ’90s as one of the titans of the RPG genre.
It might go without saying that Square Enix is best known for creating visually stunning graphics, something that sometimes hasn’t been a good thing.
Final Fantasy XIV is no exception. Not only does the game look great, but it plays as you’d expect from a Square Enix game. The interfaces are spontaneous and all of the aesthetics are visually clean.
The game even allows you to change the UI by dragging around all of the interface elements and organize them in whichever way makes you feel most comfortable.
I think that the development team truly cares about their product and it shows.
4. FFXIV Has an Interactive Development Team Who Care About the Fans
I believe this is one of the ultimate reasons why Final Fantasy XIV is doing so well is the highly interactive development team. The team cares about the fans.
Through the relationship that Final Fantasy XIV has with its player base, Square Enix cultivated a unique end-to-end experience that is unlike other games in the industry.
The fans enjoy this and return in kind by spending countless hours in the game world that Yoshida and his team lovingly created.
Is FFXIV Worth It?
To understand the price, we must consider the factor of reciprocity. It seems that FFXIV gives so much to its base that the base is more than willing to give back.
The FFXIV community feels like they get so much value from FFXIV and support over the span of many years, that they are not only willing but glad to pay the subscription fees and expansion costs.
Not only that, FFXIX cultivates community.
Community is everything.
Playing video games together makes your bond to the game even stronger.
To illustrate this idea:
One time, I was playing FFXIV with an old grade-school friend, doing raids, when I mentioned that I was thinking of buying a house. My life changed when, still playing the game, he referred me to his own IRL real estate agent.
I got a referral in-game and it was a small, life-changing moment, because if we hadn’t been playing FFXIV together — I likely would have never casually mentioned house shopping. The candid conversation comes up naturally when doing something together in a game — when you have repeated, regular interactions when things in life just come up.
FFXIV is not just a game. It’s a world and it’s a community. It is a form of work and meaning. It feels bigger than just a game. I am only just beginning to understand how much a game community means after building my own Twitch community and feeling the bonds that form over repeated interaction over weeks and months.
FFXIV offers you hours of guaranteed fun, a vast world, hundreds of quests, skills to learn, plus the worlds that have been added thanks to the expansions.
While the up-front cost may feel steep, you may find that this game offers more than you ever imagined.
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