After nearly 14 years, Final Fantasy XI will shut down in 2016. The developer, Square Enix, announced the closure during a conference this week as reported on the official Square Enix Final Fantasy XI forums. Final Fantasy XI will be closed in March, 2016, on PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. However, the game will still be available on PC.
Final Fantasy XI will continue until 2016 on consoles with a major scenario campaign leading up to its sunset. The campaign, called “Rhapsodies of Vana’diel,” will be delivered to players in three releases over the next year. The first chapter of this event is scheduled to release in May, the second in August, and the final release in November. Of course, all of those dates are tentative.
IGN noted that during this time, The Goddess Gala event will occur. This event will usher in a return of many previously concluded campaigns for both new and veteran players. The community announcement even makes note of The Goddess Gala specifically.
“These campaigns are not limited to in-game events, as we are also considering a welcome back campaign as well as a variety of anniversary events. We will work our utmost to bring everyone who has ever enjoyed Vana’diel an event to remember and hope that players both new and old will take this chance to visit our humble land and her people once more.”
As VentureBeat reports, the other Square Enix MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, is doing quite well, with over four million users registered to play. Perhaps the developer expects players to transition to the newer generation of consoles to start new adventures. Although Final Fantasy XIV is a completely different narrative and game from Final Fantasy XI, many jobs, mechanics, and features are similar and updated in Final Fantasy XIV.
In fact, Final Fantasy XIV is getting an expansion release this year called Heavensward. The Inquisitr recounted its pre-order and Collector’s Edition reveal just days ago. Players can now pre-order the expansion for early access in anticipation of its June launch.
The closure announcement was also accompanied by the reveal of Final Fantasy XI on mobile platforms. Square Enix will be teaming up with Nexon to deliever “a full-fledged Final Fantasy XI experience” on mobile devices. The game will be optimized for mobile devices, and it will include content for both solo and group play. This mobile version of Final Fantasy XI is expected to release in North America, Europe, and Japan in 2016.
[Images via Final Fantasy XI]