The long-running MMORPG Final Fantasy 14’s director, Naoki Yoshida, offers his opinion on the rumor that the game would switch to a free-to-play business model. Square Enix is currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of Final Fantasy 14, which was rereleased with the slogan “A Realm Reborn” in 2013. The game had a difficult launch in 2010 that eventually required a complete rebuild three years later. Naoki Yoshida, the director in charge of the game’s miraculous turnaround, played a major role in directing this transition, turning it from a lackluster offering into a game that still holds players’ attention.
The astounding success of Final Fantasy 14 has generated significant profits. Four expansions have been released for the game over the past ten years, and Dawntrail, the fifth, will be released in the summer of 2024. The game’s free trial has also been greatly increased, allowing players to access not only the original game but also two of its huge expansions without paying any additional fees. There have been rumors that the game would switch to a fully free-to-play model given this extension of the free trial. Yoshida has quickly refuted this idea, saying that it is doubtful that the game will have such a future.
When asked about the likelihood that Final Fantasy 14’s free trial would eventually include the whole game during an interview with Eurogamer, he made it clear that they do not have plans for such a move. However, he did mention the possibility of future enlargement of the free trial. According to Yoshida, the significant time and resource investments spent in developing expansions are often recovered by the sales revenue produced by those expansions. He emphasized that the goal of the development team is to offer players the finest content while also taking the business factors into consideration.
The director was also questioned regarding the game’s potential after discussing Final Fantasy 14’s astounding success. He stated that the development team has no plans to work on a new game at this time, despite the fact that designing a brand-new game might be more difficult than simply overhauling an existing one. He did, however, add that if inspiration struck, he might go after it.
The director highlighted his delight at how Final Fantasy 14 went from a difficult project to a successful MMO and his joy at keeping the game interesting for both new and experienced players. The community’s steadfast support has allowed the crew to keep giving gamers thrilling experiences, for which he expressed his gratitude.