Yoshida Would Consider F2P Model For FFXIV

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz yesterday, Final Fantasy XIV Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida talked about player numbers and catching up to World of Warcraft’s numbers. 

When talking about the subscription business model that Final Fantasy XIV has held since it was released, he had this to say:

“That being said, if 80% or 90% of our players are demanding we go free-to-play, then we might need to look at shifting our business model, but we would also need to change our game design to match that business model. It all depends on what the game design should be based on what our players’ needs are.”

Fortunately for players, most of those currently subscribed to the game are aware that the regular updates to the game are a direct result of their subscription fees. Moving to any type of free to play model that relies on inconsistent revenue could potentially deal a huge blow to the regular patch cycle that we currently have.

Former FFXIV Producer Hiromichi Tanaka and former Online Producer Sage Sundi put it best when talking with 4Gamer in 2009 before the game’s original release:

“Sundi acknowledges that micropayment style MMORPGs are very popular at the moment. However, he says they don’t tend to last long because of how much people end up spending. Tanaka says sometimes the average is between 4000 and 5000 yen per month (roughly $40 to $50 USD) and Sundi says that also means there are people who pay even more than that. They don’t want to see FFXIV have its lifespan shortened by something like that.”

It makes sense that Yoshida-san isn’t completely closed to the idea of Final Fantasy XIV moving to a new business model, after all, this is the same man who, when asked about Final Fantasy XIV coming to the Nintendo Switch, didn’t immediately say no, even though they were about to drop support for the PlayStation 3.

Looking at Square Enix’s history with MMOs, a move to a free to play model would be quite a surprise, considering that Final Fantasy XI, now in its 15th year of operation still uses their subscription based model, with having made zero changes to the fee required of its players.

So will we see a F2P FFXIV any time soon? Probably not. The game is currently going strong and I can’t help but feel that a move to F2P, if it ever does happen, would be more likely to come towards the end of its lifespan, which we hopefully won’t see for some time.

  • Rosetwist

    Jesus God NO! This game is good as is. If it becomes F2P (p2w) it will be even more bastardized than it’s already become catering to short attention span players. BAD IDEA for a truly standout game! Please do not do this!

    • John

      on top of that (keeping spammers and RMT out)…I don’t play F2P game because the RNG element is rigged to waste player’s time.

      • The only way RMT is kept out is if you play on JP shards or a locked server, though.

    • Nargacuga

      Are you really so stupid to believe that FF14 going F2P would somehow, magically, become P2W? HOW?! Yoshi would veto ANY idea that involved buying items of item level for the current raid teir and if you really want to get technical it’s always P2W(up to level 60) stupid one.

      • Kashira

        He would Veto it in a sub based game, but if the sub goes away they need other ways to get money.
        I wouldn’t be too sure if I was you that it won’t become pay to win.
        He said in this interview: “but we would also need to change our game design to match that business model.”

        How do you expect that they can make people buy stuff on their shop in a steady flow, so that they can keep a steady money flow?

        I wonder if you can think of an item that will make you come back to pay for it, but doesn’t feel like it gives you an advance over people who don’t buy it?

  • Nevermore

    “when asked about Final Fantasy XIV coming to the Nintendo Switch, didn’t immediately say no, even though they were about to drop support for the PlayStation 3.”

    That’s because he’s not allowed to say yes or no. That’s not his decision to make, and he especially can’t say anything unless an official decision by the Square-Enix executives is made. This is common PR/marketing talk.

    • Right, but the fact that he then has said he has talked with management at Nintendo to talk about this shows that he’s open to many ideas regarding the game.

      • Nevermore

        Might as well report that water is wet, if you’re just gonna point out the obvious.

        • Sheldon Fry

          so you point out the obvious and then get snarky with rofldrg for doing the same thing.

        • viseriod

          Wow someone has some maturing to do. If you can’t have a proper discussion, then please stay away from places where people discuss things like a message board.

      • Kaoru Honjou

        I think maybe they want a way so that you can do simple things with using switch. It wont be a full game but like crafting or checking on your retainers while you’re not near your PC/PS4. Heck you might even do a light party run with your squadron or friends cross platform without needing serious hard ware. Nothing like a 24 man party run or world boss/hunt event. Simple things that only a switch can do.

        • They would never put only part of the game on a console. It’s all or nothing.

  • Linden

    just make subs cheaper(atleast here is kind expensive after change’s) and ppl will flood the game xD

  • Messala Oliveira

    I left the game some time ago because of the monthly fee, and yet I would vote NO for this matter. We who live in regions away from NA, EU and JP suffer a lot more with the monthly fee values (exchange rate and taxes), but it isn’t the right reason for a success game change all its design.

  • Luana Nogueira

    YES!

    • Sheldon Fry

      NO!

  • Sammy Chan

    Why try to fix something that isn’t broken ? The game is doing well . No F2P please :c

  • Sheldon Fry

    Final Fantasy XI never went F2P so I’m not worried about FFXIV going that route either.

  • Loona

    Well, not only SE is taking player’s money in a form of a subscription fee they also have cash shop. They earn shitton of money and I honestly don’t know where it goes. Def not to servers, hardware and content creativity (repeatable to the point of boredom). Take the disgusting cash shop away and continue pay to play and that will be acceptable. At this point it’s greedy.

    • Seb

      The cash shop is full of totally unnecessary stuff… even WoW sells mounts and whatever, and has for many years. And you clearly know nothing about the costs of modern game-making if you think they’re not still reinvesting into FFXIV. Their update cycle is quite fast by industry standards. And while it’s not a great game for your typical monomaniac MMO fanatic, the fact is that they consistently release a broad array of content which keeps the various niches of their playerbase happy.

      And, frankly, post-Stormblood FFXIV is the most class-balanced MMORPG I’ve ever seen, which is no small feat.

  • TheRealOne

    The key point is that it depends on player demand. It’s an idea but given that most people don’t want this game going F2P, it’s not going to happen.

  • GOD NO. F2P will mean the complete death of FFXIV. It’d invite complete trash to the community and a load of p2w garbage nobody wants.

    No no no no no no no no. and a million times NO! Every MMO i’ve been to has gone p2w or died as a result of F2P. Just no. I’ll sooner uninstall the game before I sit through a day of f2p in ffxiv.

    • Nargacuga

      Are you really so stupid to believe that FF14 going F2P would somehow, magically, become P2W? HOW?! Yoshi would veto ANY idea that involved buying items of item level for the current raid teir and if you really want to get technical it’s always P2W(up to level 60) stupid one. By the 12 how can you FAIL so hard mentally and BELIVE THIS GARBAGE. I legit hope you get PERMINANTLY BANNED for this childish and foolish mindset.

      • garystartswithg

        Drink your juice, Nargacuga.

        • Nargacuga

          ah when the retards have litterally nothing better to counter a valid argument. KYS you little bitch, do the world a favor

        • garystartswithg

          lol — you are such a triggered little snowflake.

    • garystartswithg

      I was just having a conversation not about gaming, but about campsites and how I would rather pay because the free ones people dump their garbage, party all night, children running around like a pack of wild dogs, etc. etc. I would rather see reduced rates for poorer countries than a free for all, and didn’t they just increase sub costs for some of those people?

  • Zarabeth Langer

    I really hope this never happens. If it does go ftp I’ll probably just quit.

  • Hezkezl

    Moderator stepping in here. Keep the discussion civil, guys. Gamer Escape’s comment section is no place to be telling people to ‘kill yourself’ because you’re incapable of forming a coherent rebuttal to their shitpost

    This is also not a place to insult other people because you can’t think of a better way of forming your thoughts when trying to respond to somebody. I’m going to be keeping a stronger eye on the comments in this article, so if you find your post deleted it’s because I judged it to be going too far.

  • Definitely would not be a good sign. I’ve never seen F2P implemented where it wasn’t the fast decline of a game.

    Not to mention, if they ~did~ go F2P they would have to become completely lenient on their 72-hour bans for cursing. (inb4 I curse and wasn’t banned. you weren’t reported, it happens a lot.) F2P MMOs in general have a much less family-friendly playerbase and chat for obvious reasons. Censoring and banning that alienates a huge chunk of the playerbase and I doubt they’re willing on NA servers to let people say whatever they want.

  • Cafekun Dayo

    I honestly think that they should offer 7 and 15 days subscription model.

  • Daniel Batto

    We already pay buying the game subbing expansions then for extra storage (a MONTH), changing stuff like eye color, skin color, face changes 10$ and you cannot even get a 2nd chance or 30 mins to change it. It’s greedy to say the least. The patches quality have gone down. The lasting appeal is so low it is unbelievable, I see friends leaving after 1 month of sub cause everything gets finished so they now hold things back from the full patch to make it look like they have more then they do. Like now we have to wait for this rehash of binding coil? There idea of new crafting glamour is a dress and 2 lame shirts with no uniqueness to them. No shoes, legs, head piece, shoes. Just a Dress and 2 shirts! Where is the good outfit? In the cash shop of course. The events are normally not even 30 mins to an hour of work. Rehashes of last years event like making battered fish! It makes me wonder where the money goes we beat everything but they only way they keep you subbing the entire month is by limiting your stuff to being weekly so you have to come back to finish so you have to sub again. (Don’t try to give that oh it expands the time the content last) sure in the absolute cheapest way possible. Instead of taking these millions and millions and making actual lasting content instead of locking us out. Oh, get one piece of gear well that’s 1 week you got to wait to get more, yay! This patch that came out today was just a huge SLAP in the face, a joke. Pretty much only reason they are being considered success is cause people cannot get anything done without subbing, and that house you got blown up after 1 fn month of not subbing so all those people are locked down.

    • Koopa King

      You need your head checked

      • Daniel Batto

        Clever, not one point covered.

        • Koopa King

          You’re factually wrong and it hurts my brain so much that I can feel my IQ lowering every time you speak

        • Daniel Batto

          If I was you would be pointing it out.

        • Daniel Batto

          Let me just quote the moderator as to the reason you can only come up with shallow insults instead of an actual argument, “you’re incapable of forming a coherent rebuttal to their post.”

        • Koopa King

          My my aren’t you a pretentious asshole. There is nothing in your above statement that is an issue though. And even if I bothered to go through and list my points on why you are wrong (and you are I’m sorry) I can already tell you’re someone who wouldn’t change their mind or give a shit. (Look out everyone we got a badass over here dropping wikipedia pages!!)

        • Daniel Batto

          lol its called proof something you haven’t given in the slightest I cannot believe you are even replying again. man you aren’t even arguing all you can say is “your wrong” you are a joke. “oh that’s not the problem. so you cannot even say its not a fact anymore. its the same with raids taking mechanics from previous bosses and it is a problem cause people are getting bored. if it wasn’t an issue this free to play would not even have come up. Previous games i listed come out with content faster then this game. now giving less 1 dungeon now instead of 3? why where did that time and effort go? into the rehashed coil? I doubt it highly. its the same stuff but less. Love your “I WOULD GO THREW MY POINTS BUT I WONT ” pretty much equals up to I have no points to go threw. Yes, i would considered the person bringing actual facts the bad ass. Not the guy sitting there brewing up insults like a child. Stop talking cause you obviously bring nothing to the table. It is sad when you know what future patches are going to be before they come out. FF14 refuses to evolve the core of the game so the only people satisfied are ones that are relatively new or extremely casual. Many of the skills in raids are ripped off other bosses. I do not know how many times you want to be smack downed before you stop spouting nothing. The reason you probably never change someones view is cause all you do is insult them. Everything you said not a single fact. Not one, terrible. I gave a fact and backed it up with sources. People stop subscribing cause if its one thing ff14 fails at its lasting appeal. I believe most people probably do not want to actually fully quit but they don’t want to pay a sub cause of these reasons.

        • Daniel Batto

          I can even go with this persons suggestion, “Cafekun Dayo • 2 days ago
          I honestly think that they should offer 7 and 15 days subscription model.

          •Reply•Share ›” cause sometimes that is all the time you need to do an event or most of a patches content.

        • Daniel Batto

          Since I truly feel bad that you feel you even have enough IQ in the first place for it to actually continue to lower. I am going to give you a simple easy small example. The main ingredient for this dish, Haddock, was available during the Moonfire Faire (2015) and Moonfire Faire (2017) from Festive Fisher. They just rehashed the way of obtaining vouchers threw battered fish. Source: https://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/wiki/Battered_Fish. Now lets look at the Yokai event, they used the same system as the atma the first level of arr relics so they did not need to create a new one. Source: http://www.ffxivguild.com/ffxiv-relic-zodiac-weapon-complete-guide/2/ ~~~~~Yokai medal locations https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YYuZ9fpxSCELsjDikPXvTFq_NNkXTQU76PU5vmprKqg/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true. Since your probably do not know herere·hash
          verb
          past tense: rehashed; past participle: rehashed
          rēˈhaSH/Submit
          put (old ideas or material) into a new form without significant change or improvement. Now I truly hope that you stop embarrassing yourself to no end.

    • Kaoru Honjou

      One way or another SE will get their money. If F2P is implemented it would be like Iruna Online. The only way to level up or see an improvement on your level is to use all three of their ticket/subscription system which are optional btw. It will take you possibly weeks to level up one level without the tickets. People who don’t want to pay will lose interest having to pour money just to level up like yourself. SE will prioritize buying glamour gear than making new or improving the story of the game. Patches will no longer contain story elements but updates to things you can buy with real money. Expansions will be the only way to extend the story and those you HAVE to buy at full price. RMTs will no longer exist because SE will become the RMTs. Buying gil from the Mogstore just to buy the house or gear in game. The game will only cater to those who are willing to pay and will have a say on how the game progress. SE is a business and game makers second, when there is no steady money coming in. They will force the game to make them money. If the game is available free for download, all you need is a new email if they find out you’re using hack/cheats.
      I can think of more bad than good if FF14 becomes F2P.

      You don’t need to buy storage, you have two retainers/slaves for free. Leveling is not hard and is fairly quick, so level one class/job at a time. They made it like that for those who don’t have much time to feel accomplish that they can level up in hours not days. If you’re finding it boring with nothing to do, level your retainers or your land/hand classes. Try the savage/extreme raids. If you’re alone in the game, which I’m pretty sure you are. Try to start a free company and find seven others who are willing to join/fight with you. Even leveling just the war/magic class to their max with their own stories and all is not even half of the contents of the game. Yes the subs are there but they’re not to the extreme enough with which you can’t afford. You do pay for expansions but they alone have more rich story and game play than most game with the same price.

      • Daniel Batto

        True, some free to play games do operate that way but not all of them. Not only that it could just go buy to play an become more like black desert online. The games content is rehashed all the time if you have played long enough you cannot deny this. It is becoming more like social game then anything. Only dungeon things you cannot beat in a day is the hardcore raids. As for the story there are plenty of games that have a rich story with no sub fee. Like pso2 huge story, great battle system, lots of stuff to work for, and I can do anything that any other person can. Doesn’t matter how much money they spend. The housing system is already a complete mess. In other games like BDO/pso2 and even others. You are not limited, pso2 lets you have a small but you can change it to a large with a ticket then add on 2 additional rooms giving it 3. BDO made it so you can pretty much buy any house you see cause they are instanced. What excuse does ff14 have to give less when you pay for the game subbing and even some other items. You pretty much took a terrible free to play example to further your example. Even star wars old republic that went free to play with just purchasable expansions craps all over ff14 story wise. Even when it comes to mixing skills and such. FF14 is carrot and stick you go one way with pretty much one main rotation. And as a crafter with all crafts 70 i can tell you that holding onto mats and gathering ones from seals and holding them takes up a lot of space so not sure how you don’t use your storage but that is hilarious. Since it only takes a stack as 99 when i get seal mats cause as you probably know seals have a cap of 80k i have to buy a mat. I hold on to them cause of now the prices are really low but when certain gear comes out they require these mats. So i either one have to sell them or get more storage to hold them till the day that gear is placed in. Not to mention if you have lots of glamour some that cannot be put in armory. I been playing since the closed beta and when you got items for glamour crafting, housing items from events so on 2 retainers is a complete joke. Not to mention that you also have your armors from all classes that you level so the more you level the more space that is taken up and i have a few 70 battle classes sch/whm paladin summoner rest are 50/60 so all those gears i either have to throw away hold on to or stash away.

  • Jonny Chien

    Monthly subscription model is what keep the company, the game, and the playerbase healthy. I would hate to see this game goes free to play.

  • LinuxWill Rise

    i think they should just raise the trial level to 50 to bring the old areas back to life but thats about it.

  • omoideinmyhead

    No, thank you.