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FFXIV F2P?

"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,"
In a recent interview with gamesindustry.biz, Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida spent some time discussing the game's recent milestone: Hitting 10 million players.
While Yoshi P in no way purports the fact that Final Fantasy XIV has 10 million ACTIVE subscribers, he did go on to verify that the 10 million players comprise both active subscribers and users with an active free trial.

Interestingly, Final Fantasy XIV's recent Stormblood expansion is the reason behind the boost to over 10 million; players wanting to jump back into the game, renewing their subscriptions again, and new players wanting to finally take the plunge to see what all the hype is surrounding the game.

Regardless, maintaining an active subscriber base in todays MMORPG market is an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish, as the majority of pay to play MMORPGs switched over to free to play models.
And with good reasoning - The pay to play market just isn't.. really.. a viable market anymore.
Although at the very same time, we have import after import of Eastern MMORPGs from Korea like Black Desert, Blade and Soul, Revelation Online and Bless Online all more or less being rushed over within a year of each other.
Then you have other MMORPGs like Kritika Online, Closers Online, Soul Worker Online, all instanced MMORPGs that people don't really care for coming over.

It's just.. You have to give credit where credit is due. Now, here comes the part of the video you're no doubt waiting for.

Yoshi P went on to elaborate on the current content that is accessible through the free trial, explaining that you can access all the way up until level 35 - where as in other MMORPGs that offer the same form of trial of the game - Such as World of Warcraft, they lock you out of the game upon reaching level 20.
Now when World of Warcraft's max level is level 110, and Final Fantasy XIV's is only 70 - you can see the contrasting difference in content available to free players looking to test the game out.

"You never know what you're going to do the following month, everyone has a busy schedule, you never know how much game time you can put into the following 30 days, but we're asking for our customers to pay for those 30 days in advance, so it is something that is an obstacle. The hurdle is pretty high."
So then, how does Final Fantasy XIV manage to continue to convince its players to keep coming back? By maintaining a high quality game, or in his own words:

"reliable servers, regularly updated content and "a fairly substantial volume" of editions with each patch."
Regarding how much of the game is presented freely to players, Yoshi P went on to mention that..

"When we release our next expansion, we might consider opening it up to let people play until Level 50. I want people to at least try to get a feel for the game, and then I'm sure they'll want to continue playing."
This model - offering players so much of the game incentivizes more players to purchase a subscription to continue their adventures.

Now, specifically, what Yoshi P mentioned next was.. surprising, and caught me a little off guard.

"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."
This means that Yoshi P, and the Final Fantasy XIV game could very well adopt a free to play model in the future if a substantial enough percentage of the games' population in fact want it.

That being said, Yoshi P did go on to say that "our active subscribers is the largest it's ever been."

So what do you guys think? Would you want Final Fantasy XIV to go free to play? Or do you prefer it as-is? A high quality paid MMORPG?

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