The alpha test for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn should begin around the end of October, says producer, Naoki Yoshida, in his latest Letter from the Producer column.
Yoshida also provided an interesting statistic in his latest letter—the amount of fans that want the current version of Final Fantasy XIV to remain online after A Realm Reborn launches. Here are the results of a poll Square Enix conducted, asking that very question:
Q. Would you still want to continue playing the current version of Final Fantasy XIV after November 11, 2012, even if none of the character data accumulated beyond that date was carried over to your Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn account?
35.4% of fans keeping their eyes on the game voted “Yes,” while the remaining voted “No”. Yoshida says the plan was to keep the servers for the current version of the game open as long as 30% of fans asked for it.
As previously reported, the current version of Final Fantasy XIV will record character data up until November 1st, and players will be able to transfer this into A Realm Reborn. On November 11th, the game will be taken down, and once preparations for the launch of A Realm Reborn are complete, vanilla Final Fantasy XIV servers will go up again a few days later.
However, no further patches or fixes will be made to the vanilla game, as the team will shift their focus entirely to A Realm Reborn instead. Yoshida says that the servers for vanilla Final Fantasy XIV will remain open as long as 30% of players continue to use them. If the number of users drops below 30%, the servers will be taken down again, and a long-term decision regarding the older version of the game will have to be made.