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?
Matt "Mattsta" Adams