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Final Fantasy XIV Doing Way Better than Square Enix Expected

So good, in fact, that the company has adjusted its earnings forecast significantly.

By Pete Davison. Published 5 months ago

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a great game, but since its relaunch observers have been wondering if it would have the legs to survive in the long term.

A troubled launch didn't help; while this is nothing unusual for a new MMO, the new version of Final Fantasy XIV really needed things to go smoothly after its previous incarnation had been so poorly received. Fortunately, despite the usual teething troubles, Naoki Yoshida and his team managed to get things sorted admirably quickly, and it wasn't long before the game was running smoothly and enjoyably. Going forward, the plan is to introduce major content updates every three months, beginning with a patch that adds player housing and PvP, with smaller special events unfolding in the meantime to keep things interesting every so often.

Would it be enough, though? The pay-to-play MMORPG model is often criticized as being outdated and irrelevant these days, particularly with the rise in free-to-play titles along with DLC-supported pay once, play forever games like Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World -- so would Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn be able to survive without going free-to-play?

Well, so far things are looking very positive. The game has, according to Siliconera, so far outperformed expectations, causing Square Enix to revise its earnings forecast significantly.

Final Fantasy XIV's better-than-expected performance coupled with strong arcade sales for the six month period up to September 30, 2013 led Square to alter its projections from a 2 billion yen ($20 million) operating loss to a 4.7 billion yen ($48 million) operating profit -- a complete turnabout. Net income, meanwhile, was adjusted from a 1.3 billion yen ($13 million) loss to 2.6 billion yen ($26 million) profit.

Not at all bad for a new game in a genre of apparently declining popularity -- and one using a business model that is often perceived as outdated, no less. Still, it's testament to the high quality of Final Fantasy XIV -- both as an MMORPG and a mainline installment in the Final Fantasy series -- that it's done so well. Once the PlayStation 4 version launches, we can probably expect another influx of new players, too. Considering that a month ago the company was looking to dig itself out of a serious hole by experimenting with more "flexible" business models, new president Yosuke Matsuda must be breathing a sigh of relief right about now.

The first major content update for Final Fantasy XIV is expected next month. In the meantime, why not check out our review and follow-up thoughts?

The best community comments so far 12 comments

  • brionfoulke91 5 months ago

    @bigdsweetz If you've never played an MMO before, then honestly I would say go for it. I'm jaded and tired of the same old MMO gameplay, but FF14 is probably the best jumping in point for someone new to MMO's because it is the most polished and beautifully presented version of that gameplay.

  • Hero Protagonist 5 months ago

    @renatocosta90

    I'm still playing, albeit casually. I clocked the main story and am now left with nothing to do but dungeon grind for my relic gear, and of the games various dungeons, only two drop the currency you need.

    It's going to be addressed in the December update but the most disappointing thing about the post-game content is that you can't even set foot in the final dungeon without grinding two of the same dungeons for a minimum of three weeks.

  • brionfoulke91 5 months ago

    I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I'm very happy for Square, and I really do think they deserve the success. Yoshi P really listened to MMO fans and seemed to do a great job of giving them what they want.

    On the other hand, as a person who just doesn't like MMO's, I'm not too happy that FF14 has basically become a WoW clone now, albeit the most polished and appealing WoW clone I've ever seen. I never liked WoW, and a lot of the changes leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    But hey, my girlfriend seems to love FF14 so I'll probably keep playing it, despite my lukewarm feelings. Personally I miss the gameplay of Tera, and wish it had borrowed some of those gameplay concepts.

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