One of the biggest games in the last 20 years is the Final Fantasy franchise. The game has sold 100 million units and currently holds eight Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. While many have fond memories of older Final Fantasy games, Square Enix is still pumping out new games, with the latest being announced on Tuesday.
Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn will be released on April 2014. As reported in October, the beta for FFXIV will begin on February 22nd, which is the same day as the PS4 launch in Japan, where Square Enix's headquarters are located. The PS4 version of the game was announced during this year's E3 convention as FFXIV was released on the PlayStation 3 and the PC. There were major questions over the summer as to why only the PS3 was the only console involved in the game and it stemmed from Microsoft's refusal to share servers with PC users and Sony.
"The main reason from our side is that I don't want the community to be divided; to be split into two or more. For example, one player might be on the PC version, another might be on the PS4 version, and I'm playing the Xbox version -- but we're not able to join the same game servers. That is just ... I just don't like the idea. I disagree with it," said Final Fantasy's game director Naoki Yoshida.
Yoshida will demo the PS4 version of FFXIV via a livestream on the Final Fantasy Lodestone website on December 14th starting at 7 a.m. EST. While showing off the next-gen version of the game, Yoshida will also showcase new content that will be featured in the current-gen version of A Realm Reborn in Patch 2.1 that will be released on December 17th. The highlight of the announcement is that users playing FFXIV on the PlayStation 3 will be able to upgrade to the PS4 version for free and transfer their character and saved data over to the next-gen version of the game.
The financial outlook for Square Enix looks extremely rosy as they had to redo their financial forecast due to the success of FFXIV for the PS3 and PC. At this point, 1.5 million players have accounts since the game's launch in August. The game company anticipated a $20 million operating loss but now expects a $47 million operating profit due to the current-gen game. While the game has been successful, Square Enix has reduced costs within the company which included several rounds of layoffs in 2013.