Naoki Yoshida, the game producer and director working on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, says that there are no plans to take the new MMO free-to-play, because the team working on it sees subscriptions as a way of keeping a promise they made to their fan base and getting their trust back.
The developer tells VG247 that, “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,” he adds.
As long as the new Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn manages to deliver quality under a subscription model, the fan base of the MMO will trust the development team and return to the game in numbers.
The fact that the game uses a subscription-based model also means that players do not have to worry about the long-term prospects of the MMO, as Square Enix plans to keep it online as long as gamers are interested and paying.
The first incarnation of Final Fantasy XIV
was plagued by bugs and by broken game mechanics and, for a time, Square Enix offered the MMO for free in order to compensate players.
Since then, the publisher has decided to close down the game and launch a new version called A Realm Reborn, with new concepts and better execution.