After thirteen months of an extended free trial, Square-Enix’s MMO Final Fantasy XIV will begin charging a subscription fee. The subscription-based billing system will go into effect sometime between late November and early December, said Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada.

“In the ten months since the FINAL FANTASY XIV team’s restructuring, we have put forth the utmost effort into not only improving the game’s existing features, but also creating a concrete plan to outline the game’s new direction,” Wada said in a statement.

The game’s new direction includes the reworking of in-game maps, a new client and new servers, and the eventual release of the PlayStation 3 version in late 2012. A second, shorter free trial period will be offered during that process.

Upon launch, Final Fantasy XIV  was criticized for a whole host of problems: interface design, the in-game economy, busted quests, and general instability. This prompted Square Enix to rebuild the Final Fantasy XIV development team and keep the game in a perpetual free trial. Wada even said last month that “the Final Fantasy brand has been greatly damaged” by Final Fantasy XIV’s broken launch.  How running a subscription MMO in an increasingly free-to-play market will help rebuild the brand remains to be seen.

Current players will be given subscription billing details via email, and those interested can check out various PDFs of the team’s overall plan here.

Source: Lodestone

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  • FITCamaro - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Ingame maps, a client, and servers?

    That's all the information we get? The maps were fine. The client was stable (for me anyway). The servers were also fine. One of the main problems was the lack of an auction house. The ingame npc bazaar idea was retarded and greatly complicated the economy. Instead of a single place to shop with the option to go to player's bazaars, you were forced to. Which meant potentially an hour or more of searching people's bazaars for the item you wanted at a good price. It was a horrible model.

    Honestly that was my biggest complaint. And the lack of side quests other than the same missions over and over to level up on until you got to the right level to start the next part of the main quest line. But that was kind of expected. FFXI was the same way when it was released.

    If this comes out before The Old Republic in December, I'll probably give it another shot. As a beta tester for ToR I know what to expect there and am overall happy. But I loved FFXI and really hoped FFXIV would succeed. So I'll give it another try.
  • whickywhickyjim - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Does anyone still play the FF games? 2006 called. It insists this game needs more giant enemy crab.
  • evotech - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    Did you warn them about japan? and the tornadoes?
  • foolsgambit11 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Thanks, xkcd.
  • Lazaron - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    There's some interesting things coming, but they're a long way off. The maps were a little bland and the UI was a trainwreck, but I can look past those.

    It was the tedious and grindy gameplay that really turned me off. I thought it was a pretty fun game until I finished up the tutorial and the game told me I needed to just go grind out these random kill missions until I was high enough level for more main story.

    I've done the grindy MMO for years, but I'm just not satisfied by that formula anymore.
  • reclinemusic1 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    FFXIV V2.0 is NOT coming this year, its coming next year. 2012. Please read the release.
  • Craig Getting - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

  • prophet001 - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    I quite possibly would have bought it to just to mess with it for a year had I know that LOL
  • Proxy711 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - link

    More like mess with it maybe a week before you came to the conclusion it wasn't worth your time.

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