FF14 “So Bad They Gave Players Another Free Month”

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Final Fantasy XIV’s release debacle continues with the news that Square Enix is offering players another month of free play with their purchase – a move which detractors lambaste as an attempt to stop even more disgruntled players from abandoning the game.

The offer of an extra 30 days free (for a total of 60 days free play for all accounts opened before the 25th of October) certainly means there is no better time to start the game – however, critics claim Square Enix is simply trying to reverse plummeting server populations whilst it rushes out patches.

Meanwhile, the western gaming press continues to pan the game almost as much as the players themselves:

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189 Comments

  • Tinfoil hat on. Take all this with a grain of salt, it is merely speculation by someone with little industry knowledge.

    You know, one of the comments I hear most frequently in the criticism on FFXIV is “where did all the time and money spent on the production on this game go for it to come out like this?”

    And it got me thinking, what if SE hasn’t been honest to players and stockholders about the amount of time and money spent on FFXIVs production?

    And the reason it came out in such a rushed and unfinished state is that stockholders became suspicious, and demanded to see where all the money was going to?

    Lets say profits for a quarter are more dismal than expected. And the real reason is that sales are lower than projected.

    It looks better to stockholders if you lie and say that sales were actually really good and the reason profits are down is because you spent a lot of money on the production of an MMO that is likely to provide a significant return on investment.

    Now maybe someone with a better grasp of economics and the transparency of SEs operations than me can rip this post to shreds and I welcome it.

    But something seems fishy about this game.

  • No amount of patchwork will make this game better. They need to make a new game from scratch to make a game that will be considered triple A class. Of course that means a lot of money and resources which Square will simply not do.

  • Everything about FFXIV seems to be about money:

    -Discourage the amount of time you play so that they can put more people on less servers.

    -The extra free 30 days to people who buy the game by the 25th (get more people to pay $50).

    My guess is that the CEO wanted a nice X-max bonus so he set the release date reguardless of the state of the game.

  • We just got to wait. Apparently in the past the company got pwnt and when they released ff1 as a last hope or some shit they went back up. So hopefully, they release something fucking epic to revive the franchise.

    • Can you possibly imagine an article by Artefact talking about that game?

      “Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light promises great game-play. People are optimistic about it’s release, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light sells 100 thousand copies in its first week in the US.”

      What the hell kind of news item is that? It’s not at all worth mention. Frankly, no one gives a damn. What would the cover image even be? Nothing about the game is even remotely sexy.

  • Never have I seen a series as expanded as this.
    Though FFs are never sequels to start with, they’re all just slapped on with the same title with an added number every installment.

    Even when not considering that, wow, get creative SE. We’re tired of seeing this repeated crap you call beautiful design & all.

  • I played the beta and I’ll be honest. I really feel that SE tricked a bunch of people into buying a game that they knew was absolutely horrendous based on feedback on the beta boards. Of all the feedback there, there was probably one positive post for every 20 negative posts.

    And they’ll sell another whole bunch when they release it on PS3; Sure they’ll patch it up again, but the game is fundamentally flawed, the combat is tedious, mining is a chore and finding places is just frustrating.

  • This is getting ridiculous, “How long will it take?” A LONG ASS TIME. A month really is nothing in terms of an MMO, look at any other “good” MMO on the market, they’ve all been out for at least 6+ months, and “Oh they should’ve fixed it in the beta” no they fix BUGS in the beta, you can’t test MECHANICS in a beta, the only way to truly “test” the whole game is to put it out for mass-play like this and patch, considering it’s what EVERY OTHER MMO HAS DONE. And “rapidly vacating servers” how about you provide a link to that? Really if you create a giant media circus like this any game will seem bad, we even have people PROUD they didn’t even try out the game, once upon a time that would’ve been mocked in the gamer community.

      • Except they aren’t paying money. That’s the point of the extended free trial. The only money spent is on the retail copy of the game, which would cost just as much if you bought it two months from now when the patches fixing the problems are released.

        • Not yo mention if I bought it a month from now, I would have a ‘free'(guess what? You actually paid for it) month in the (supposedly) improved version of the game and if I bought it 6 months from now it would be that much more improved.

          The only reason they are doing this is to prevent people from canceling their accounts till the patches are released, since they realizes some of those people won’t come back.

  • Leave it to Sankaku to totally leave out actual INFORMATION in a post about FFXIV.

    Here’s a direct quote from SE on their reasoning behind the extension.

    The short version is pretty much “We may have messed up a bit… but we’re planning some changes based on your feedback so stick around for free a while”

    “Since the official launch of service on September 30, 2010, we have received a wealth of constructive feedback from the FINAL FANTASY XIV community, and the development and management teams would like to take this opportunity to express their sincerest gratitude. For those who purchased the collector’s edition and began to play one week before official service began, the month-long free play period is drawing to a close. Considering the nature of much of the feedback we received, however, and the current state of the game, we have decided to extend the free trial period for all users.”

  • ok this is too much FFs name is in the S****** now.

    SE upper management need to go or they at least need to evaluate what great games are, I’m sorry but these peoples decisions from the last couple of years are ruining what was once a great company, FF XIII was s*** which only sold as well as it did because of name only, this game is s***, previous games were sub par pieces of s***, lets not forget about that crap about what westerners want as main characters and westernizing games, what the hell is wrong with these people, the only guy in there that knows what hes doing is Tetsuya Nomura

    • THIS is too much? So when it was getting slated and nothing (seemingly) was being done about it, that was fine? But now they’re giving people a month extra free and fixing the issues, suddenly that puts FF’s name in the s***.

      Christ, I didn’t like XIII as much as the earlier games either, but I wish less people would go around saying things like this game is ruining the brand when something is clearly being done about its deficiencies.

        • Well aren’t you Mr. The Glass is Half Empty. Yes it should have been there in the first place. But why does it matter so much as long as it gets fixed? Especially when you aren’t being asked to pay whilst they do so.

          Do you know WHY you get charged a subscription fee each month? It’s because an MMO service is highly expensive to run. SE are simply throwing away a month’s worth of income in order to keep fans happy whilst they sort themselves out. And they still get criticised for it. Some people are never happy.

  • I haven’t played it, I didn’t buy it, it could be a true Free 2 Play game IF it had DLC – down loadable content – which added a Fun Pack and some Fan Service by the looks of it. Maybe like GW, buy the game then play for free like.

  • This game needs to be buried immediately to show Square Enix that we’re not going to take any of their shit anymore. If they want to make a game they need to do it right.

    I can’t believe people are still playing this game and telling themselves that the game is only going to get better. No shit, you guys. How many modern MMO can you think of that don’t have new content patches with improvements? Other games didn’t lick so much balls at release, and now you’re going to wait for them to patch this game until its baseline is decent enough to compete with any other MMO? You standards are shit, its pathetic.

    • Yeah! Look at them listening to community complains, addressing them and giving people free play-time whilst they work to compensate! We need to show them we aren’t going to stand for that kind of crap!

      • If they listened to community complaints I guess we wouldn’t be having this problem right now, would we? Or did everyone in beta like the slow same-button combat and using retainers to sell items?

        • If Squenix can possibly be trusted to keep their word anymore. Man, I would love to make a modest proposal, have a bunch of these fan-boys promise they are only playing because the broken shit will be fixed, and if after all these supposed awesome patches, shit isn’t really fix, they promise to cancel their account and destroy their CDs. Of course none of these fanboys would ever consider actually risking holding Squenix responsible that way.

        • They liked the combat. As do I, and even against crappy enemies very few people spam the same attack, what are you talking about? They didn’t like the retainer system, and that is being significantly addressed in the upcoming patches.

          So yes, they listen. The elements people liked are staying as they are, the elements that are getting slammed are changing. And its free to play until it does so. What’s the issue here?

  • “a move which detractors lambaste as an attempt to stop even more disgruntled players from abandoning the game.”

    Then the detractors are idiots. There is a detailed post that SE released detailing the changes that will come into effect with patches at the end of the new trial period, which fixes a very large chunk of the game’s problems.

    Specifically: Vastly improving the market system and user interface, steps to drastically reduce server lag, a significant content update with new guildleves (inclusind faction leves) and “Notorious monsters”.

    This free month is an admission of screwing up and an olive branch whilst they fix it. I don’t see what there is for detractors to lambast, instead of making players pay for a broken game whilst they fix it, they are letting them play it for free.

    Who cares what their motives are? This is positive news for absolutely everybody. And to be quite frank, SE should be given some credit for actually listening to the community that is slating the game in its current state.

    • Seriously, “Has some more free shit. Oh yeah, we might be made it better right after the free period ends. Please pay us some more, we totally promise it’s not shit this time”

      All they are doing is giving you a free month of shit shoveled down you throat. You can get a bigger net positive effect just canceling you account and reactivating it AFTER they supposedly fix it.

      If they had said something like “We are giving everyone a free month after we have fix all this shit” MAYBE I could give them some credit… but this? It’s just an admission that they shit they put out to start with isn’t worth paying for.

    • Don’t waste your time trying to be logical, this site is only good for trolling. Most of these fucks are not well informed enough to even know that SE is releasing a major patch to address most of the problems that are wrong with this game.

    • ^this

      The game has some major friggin’ issues that should never have been problems–a lot of these things were already in FFXI after all–but as most reviews say, it has potential down the line. Now here’s another free month, a basic admission that the game shouldn’t have been released yet, and a promise to fix almost all the issues the reviewers were complaining about within a month (which is probably 18 hour workdays in terms of game development time). The motives are probably as SC says, but who cares? Maybe after these basic things are put in the game will be playable now.

      I really do have a lot of problems with the game, but I have more problems with the kind of hater trolls who keep spouting tired lines about making it the “final” fantasy, ffxiii sucked because it tried something different (but never mind that it sold multiple millions, clearly the franchise is about to die) etc. I do think that the SE brass need to be replaced and they need to make quality original IPs like they did before Enix screwed everything up. On the other hand, to say that none of their games have been enjoyable since the merger is complete horseshit, and I get annoyed because the alternative to saying anything of support is to agree with assholes. You see my dilemma.

      • To be fair, Enix was a quality company in its own right. Square and Enix’s merger just did not work very well because of staffing changes.

        They started to lose focus when they entered the MMORPG business.

  • i have watched many gameplay videos on youtube. And just watching from those videos it is enough to tell me it is not worth the money and time to even try this game out. And even if I wait 6 months or more for this game to mature further to be enjoyable it might be to late ( for my case ) as i am waiting for Guild wars 2 and other mmorpg.

    • Not worth the money to even try this game out?

      So you’re saying “Even without playing this, I can tell it’s so bad I’m not even willing to try it for free!”

      Now there’s a crappy attitude. How can you make a judgement from youtube videos? It’s a GAME. It’s kind of a different experience when you play it instead of watch it, you know?

      • Wow, so you’re saying we have to dish out money for the game, plus, probably, money to actually play the game in a decent state. What I don’t get is why you are trying to defend the game in it’s current stat after you already admitted it’s crap that needs massive patches to fix.

      • I’m playing and I’m enjoying it.

        MOST of the player I’ve asked liked it.. no, make that ALL…

        The truth is MOST of the whiners and bashers either haven’t played the game or too damn noob to figure out how to play it.

        • No it’s a phenomenon called a “Vocal Minority” essentially you have a thousand people bitching, but then you have the 200k still playing, most people who bash the game do so because of the 50 freaking articles that came out BEFORE THE GAME DID, which generated negative hype.

          ^^And don’t toss that excuse because it’s just as easy to say that you’re following the hatewagon.

        • Hey, if you like FFIV it’s ok, keep playing. Just realize that that means you’re within a very niche market, since apparently most of people in the world, from n00bs to pros, don’t quite agree with you. Then again, it’s just a game…some lives on, some dies…horribly.

        • And I feel sorry for all the great games your missing out on if you judge them from ‘what you’ve seen on youtube’. I used to do that as well, but then I played some of them and found that they were actually fun.

          And some look great on youtube and play like shit. The point is its never fair to judge a GAME based on videos of it. It’s a bit like judging a movie after just reading its script, if you don’t experience it in the way it was designed to be experienced, what makes you think you’re making an accurate judgement?

  • of course a porn wesbite would be the fuckers to bitch over a game half the people haven’t played.

    free trial extention = sorry it wasn’t polished when released, thanks for waiting and putting up with us, here’s another free 30 days for beta testing.

  • Yeah, like giving one more month would do anything about how bad the game is…
    They can’t blame that the players or the press for this one, like they did for FF13. Square-enix has lost there savoir faire and the contact with their fans.
    To continue like this would mean that they are going to end pretty soon…

  • aww another site for losers to QQ.

    wait it out, the game will be great. but fuck off yourselves and keep crying over a game that was rushed to release, and got bad reviews without being polished.

    • I dont even play mmorpgs or any final fantasy, but I love to read others bash it because they’re usually right. I quit playing final fantasy since ff8 and I saw from way back then that they were turning into shit. And it holds true today.

      I bet you’re one of the people that believed dragonball evolution would be a good movie even though we all knew otherwise, haha.

    • The game is out NOW and can be bought NOW.

      What most of the people and even MOST of the players playing FFXIV are saying is the game just wasn’t ready to be released to stores yet.

      I’m sure you’re the type of troll that will lick the shit from SE’s boots but not everyone will spend their hard earned money on a broken game with broken features and only half interesting world.

      When it comes to the selling things to people you need to have your shit together. Jus’ Sayin’.

    • lol i like how someone who defends such a shitty game that was released from a formerly reputable company can have the nerve to call people on this site ‘losers’~

      “wait it out”- the problems in this game should have been addressed long before they even released a beta waiting for anything more is stupid.

      “blah blah~without being polished”- thats what the beta phase is for.. find what the testers hate about your game.. fix it(or you’ll get bad reviews and have to extend your free trial period).

    • You’re saying that a released game that is incomplete shouldn’t get low scores?

      Oh, you’re trolling? Nice try. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT, YOU MAGGOT-MINDED, SQUEENIX’S DICKSUCKING ZOMBIE SHEEP!

  • I would welcome their efforts if it means they’ll make the game better.

    …On the other hand, I’m worried if Squeenix is still holding their egos too high. Perhaps it’s too soon to hope for a change after that guy’s selling of all his shares in the company.

  • My account is on standby until further notice. I think the game has some (small amount of) potential, and the visuals are rather pretty, but… I mean, come on! I can’t even sort my inventory?!

    Guess we’ll see how they scrape this mess up.

      • I assume they wont. Developers and publishers probably knew that they are making a low budget piece of shit to squizze extra penny from stupid players and I doubt they were aiming at success. Although I would be majorly glad to hear of Squenix’s bankruptcy.

        The God-like Tetsuya Nomura could do better then work for such company.

        • Dirty_Dingus008 says:

          It’s funny how More Detail tends to bend out the unique. The CG cut scenes of FF8 where beautiful.. With most if not all the ladies quite Delitable (The blond eye-glassed Babe be the best!) with the simple details.

          Now they’re trying to be more REAL with bits of Japanese Anime undertones~ Which blows every time I see it!

        • Not to mention quite a few of his Nomura share grotesque similarities. Starts with FFVIII on Squall that leads to the disgusting similarities between Tidus, the main character from The Bouncer, and the Kingdom Hearts designs. Nomura needs to have more varieties than the style he learned from the Visual Kei era. Quite a few Japanese companies, typically Capcom, is constantly evolving their designs, shows how diverse they can be.

          Looking back at FFXIII, almost every character in the storyline looks like somebody from older FF games:

          -Lightning’s stiff look is very Cloud-esque
          -Hope looks like Vaan (even though Nomura didn’t work on his design, it shows how the trend work)
          -That chick that looks like Payne except blue like Rinoa
          -Snow’s design looks like Seifer in a beanie.
          -That Blonde chick with glasses reminds me awfully lot of Quistis.
          -One of Snow’s comrade that died had Wakka’s ‘do

          There’s probably more but I quit the game halfway. There’s so many similarities that its disgusting.

        • He’s better than that, but really he’s not that good. He has some fun ideas and a decent style, but really he needs to be more of an artist with his stuff in order to set the bar for character. He’s doing Kingdom Hearts stuff so much that everything’s becoming a bit like that. He’s routinizing his style, and that’s a dangerous place for an artist.

          I truly hope SquareEnix takes this correctly, meaning that they can admit to themselves that they just rehashed everything from FFXI and completely misread the market. If it was made in China as people claim, then not to do that again. Traditional MMO style is ruled by WOW now, none others are really surviving. All modern MMOs have to be new and do things differently.

        • WoW gave free time out because of server instability. They gave the free time to customers to make up for the amount of downtime. That’s VERY different from giving free time to players in the hopes to keep them playing.

          As a beta tester and a player of the game… the game is barely of Alpha quality. I stopped playing not long ago, and I will not be going back for the free month.

          If the game survives a year or two, it might be worth checking out then.

        • There actually have been many MMO developers that have given free time including free months FFXIV is far from the first. Even WOW when it was released had many server issues and problems and gave away alot of free time because of it.

          Personally I don’t think anyone can say the game is dead until the PS3 version is released. In a way SE has a 2nd chance with FFXIV but TBH it was stupid of them to make the PC players basically a large beta testing pool.

        • I really don’t think there’s anything there can can be considered acceptable, let alone “great”. Handing out a second free month to prevent your servers from continuing to hemorrhage customers is a damn fine indication of that. Having worked on MMOs in the past and being intimately familiar with how these things work from within the company itself, this and SE’s request that reviewers refrain from doing their jobs and reviewing the game are damning indicators as to just how bad SE’s hurting on this.
          I’ve never heard of a company doing either of those things. I’ve never even heard the possibility discussed. Give up a full month of subscription fees? That’s a RIDICULOUS amount of money for a company to surrender as a simple apology for a little mistake. Realtime Worlds didn’t even attempt something like that in the twilight hours of APB. SE is clearly both desperate and terrified, and that does not bode well for the player base at all.
          If there were a few problems that could be patched out, I’d probably still be playing, but, unfortunately, most feel that the game is broken on such a fundamentally deep level that there’s no way to fix it save for a complete redesign from the ground-up.
          The decision to make gear entirely player-created was an interesting one, but there are far too many problems with it for me to list and there’s no point in repeating them to someone who’s already very familiar with them.
          That being said, I understand how you feel. I spent $50 and a good chunk of time on this game and would love to think that it’ll reach a point where it’ll be at least partially enjoyable, but SE has made it INCREDIBLY difficult for most of us to believe that that’s ever going to happen and all these ridiculously desperate attempts to slap a band-aid on their servers to cover up the gaping wounds that are hemorrhaging players are just going to make SE look worse and make a horrible problem turn disastrous..
          I’m really sorry that you enjoy the game, but, unfortunately, you’re just part of a vocal minority that’s going to get drowned out by everyone who’s horribly disappointed with this thing. It’s the people who plan to keep playing that are really going to be shafted. I really suggest you re-evaluate why you continue to play. Step back and sincerely ask yourself if it’s because the game is fun and enjoyable or if it’s just because, whether you love the series or SE as a whole, you just really WANT it to be enjoyable.

        • Wow, so much hate. I’ll assume none of you actually tried to play the game. As a tester, I begged that the game be delayed a few more months. There was no response to tester feedback, and now SE is paying for it. However, I am still playing the game and enjoying it. There are several flaws, but I enjoy being on the frontline to guide the game. I am no fan of SE practices, but there really is a great game here. It was a mistake to release it as early as they did, but it’s more of a mistake to just brush it off as failure. FFXIV is not a hold your hand game, and those leaving because of that I say good riddance.