Square Enix has been making major changes to Final Fantasy XIV to fix the game and the service has been free for people that bought the PC version. That’s about to change because between late November and early December, Square Enix will move the online game back to a subscription model.
But, that doesn’t mean Square Enix is done working on Final Fantasy XIV. Director Naoki Yoshida shared a concept screenshot of Final Fantasy XIV 2.0, which will be a totally new version of the game.
Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 will begin with a geological anomaly that shakes up the earth and changes the map. That story bit will allow the team to redesign maps and axe the seamless world. Yoshida says this will allow them to build more dynamic maps. The game’s graphics will get an overhaul for high end PCs and PlayStation 3. Existing players will be able to re-customize their characters for 2.0. Square Enix also plans on completely changing the servers to a world-less model and scrapping the UI in favor of a new interface with multiple windows and a different interface for gamepad users.
Being an online game, community is the most important component of Final Fantasy XIV. And Square Enix (surprise) plans on changing this too. Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 will have player houses called estates, the ability to create free companies with other players, in-game item delivery, and player vs. player content.
Final Fantasy XIV 2.0’s for release and public testing sometime between September and October 2012. Around the same time Square Enix will launch a PlayStation 3 closed beta test and reinstate another trial period for the PC version. Finally, Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 will go on sale for PC and PlayStation 3 after January 2013.
Adding subscription fees is a big change for Final Fantasy XIV and we’re curious to see how many players will stick with the game for an extra year while 2.0 is in development.