Like it or not, there will be a FFXIV subscription fee when A Realm Reborn launches, but why was this decision made?
A common occurrence in the comments for almost every Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FFXIV) piece that I write is the response of “I’d check it out but not with a subscription.” I can see that point though. With the current free to play trend of most MMORPGs in the market that Square Enix will be re-launching into, it could be a bit of a sticking point for many gamers.
A few months ago I even dove into just the topic of a free to play Final Fantasy and why I didn’t think it would happen any time soon. While those were my own opinions at that time, today Yoshi-P, Producer and Directory of FFXIV‘s relaunch, took to the news waves in an interview with Venturebeat (Gamesbeat) to explain the rationale behind a FFXIV subscription fee.
While I won’t post the entire response here as it is quite lengthy but very interesting, I will tell you that Yoshi-P feels that MMORPG development today falls into two categories, those games that are investor tied and rely on fast income to pay all involved parties off but then may struggle with funding for future updates, and those companies like Blizzard and Square Enix that self fund their projects and can afford to wait for a more steady and reliable income off of a small fanbase.
Don’t misunderstand though, Yoshi-P was not advocating one model over the other, he explained that in his opinion the FFXIV subscription not only ensured a somewhat steady rate of income for the developer (which allows for better planning for future updates) but also provided a better game for FFXIV players because they could enjoy the benefits of a more steady rate of updates.
It’s an interesting debate and while Yoshi-P uses references to Star Wars: The Old Republic and RIFT as recent examples of games that were built to be subscription based but changed due to market conditions, he doesn’t feel that the FFXIV subscription fee is an “outdated” payment model as it fits with the high budget proportions of the game’s development. Yes, he acknowledges that their player base may be smaller than some other games on the market because of the subscription fee, but he is banking on knowing what type of income will be coming in monthly rather than maybe having a customer shell out $100 today and then never pay for anything again.
Personally, I’ve already expressed my opinion of being fine with a FFXIV subscription. I am fine with any game that wants to charge a subscription as long as I feel my money is worth it while I play, but in this age of F2P I can also see why many want to at least play for free for a while before making the call to shell out hard earned cash.
Check out his full response in the link above and let me know how you feel on the topic below!