Ever since the launch of Final Fantasy XIV, the game has been in a state of repair and remained free-to-play while, Square Enix worked to create a product that they themselves and the playerbase deemed was satisfactory. Today, President of Square, Enix Yoichi Wada and Final Fantasy XIV Producer, Naoki Yoshida announced their plans for the ailing MMO. They are currently developing a new version of the game while they continue to update the current version. The new version dubbed ‘2.0’ will release in tandem with the PlayStation 3 version late 2012.
“One year has passed since the game’s release, and despite the disappointment surrounding its launch, we have received a wealth of support from you, the players. Your encouraging words and continued loyalty have been a source of immeasurable inspiration to everyone involved with FINAL FANTASY XIV’s development.
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. Today, I am pleased to announce we can confidently present that plan to our customers. We fully realize this is but a single step towards our ultimate goal, and that to meet the high standards set in the plan, more time is required. In the meantime, however, we will not waver in our commitment to bringing players exciting and engaging content, even as the game moves through its evolution.”
President and CEO of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada
The new version will see an upgraded graphics engine, new maps and area layouts, renewed user interfaces designed for the keyboard and mouse or a gamepad. They are creating a new server system to increase speed and performance. Adding player housing, in-game delivery and mail systems, adding new classes, an achievement system, raids, instances, primal battles, the list goes on and on.
Current players will not have to start over, all of the existing game will port over, but when the changes are made, they will have the option of recreating their characters’ race, sex, gender and facial features as the graphics engine will change everything significantly.
All of this will be included in the PlayStation 3 version that will go into beta late 2012.
Unfortunately, they need the funds to realize this new vision and with the current condition of the game, the company feels comfortably transitioning back into their subscription model. The free-to-play era will end between late November and early December. They haven’t announced the subscription cost, but promised to release them at a later date.
We can also expect a new trailer for the game at E3 2012. If it all goes according to plan, we can expect to see the new Final Fantasy XIV around January of 2013. For those of you interested they’ve also released a few PDF documents that go into detail about the upcoming changes to the game.
Source: Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone