At the tail end of next week (yes, E3 week), pre-ordered editions of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will go live on June 16.
That's only four days ahead of its official worldwide release on June 20, but even so, excitement is brewing for the new expansion all the same. Stormblood is the MMORPG's first expansion in two years since Heavensward. As the game nears launch, Square Enix has fittingly released a dramatic trailer. A word of warning: the trailer's a bit spoiler-y for those not caught up.
The launch trailer gives players a peek at the expansion's new story, alongside the prominent battle changes the game is implementing. Back in May, I had the opportunity to play a bunch of the expansion for myself. I found the game's new environments (particularly Kugane) and job actions (streamlined, lively, and smoother than ever) to be endearing—maybe endearing enough to make me long to pick up the MMO since I last put it down long ago.
For a lot of Stormblood's promotional material, the story seemingly came second to all the quality of life fixes coming to the game. Back at the preview event, I asked director and producer Naoki Yoshida if this was an intended shift away from story, given the MMO's unique history of focusing on story primarily. He assured me it was not. "First and foremost, because this is a Final Fantasy title, Final Fantasy XIV still places a heavy emphasis on story, and we have not changed that since Heavensward," said Yoshida. "And we actually have put on more bandwidth to develop the storylines in Stormblood, and more than in Heavensward."
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood releases at 2 a.m. PDT on June 16 for players who pre-ordered the expansion. For the rest of the world, the expansion launches on June 20 for Playstation 4, PC, and Mac. For more on Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, check out our "Everything We Know" hub.