As MMO giants like World of Warcraft are reporting falling subscriber numbers, Square Enix is reporting subscriber growth for its superbly-revitalized Final Fantasy XIV. Today, Square Enix revealed that the Final Fantasy XIV community includes over 5 million subscribers, not including trial memberships. The community will usher in Final Fantasy XIV‘s second year anniversary with a special event called The Rising from August 27 at 1:00 a.m until September 7 at 7:59 a.m. PDT.
Analysts and games industry veterans have often tried to guess what MMO might take over as the “next” World of Warcraft. Nobody would have guessed Final Fantasy XIV as a WoW killer contender due to its abysmal gameplay and lackluster launch in 2010. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn re-opened the world of Eorzea to give Final Fantasy XIV a much-improved second life on PC, and introduced cross-play for the first time on PlayStation 3, beginning on August 24, 2013. Players have been discovering this new world ever since, with subscribers growing to 2 million in April of last year. Growing to 5 million is nothing to sneeze at, considering World of Warcraft is just under 6 million subscribers.
Granted, the current subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft are at an all-time low, per Polygon.
“World of Warcraft’s subscription numbers dropped as low as 6.8 million during the Mists of Pandaria expansion, but the company has not reported numbers as low as 5.6 million since 2005, just one year after World of Warcraft released.”
Delivering content players enjoy and providing a rewarding gameplay experience may be part of Final Fantasy XIV’s successful growth. The aggressive expansion, Heavensward, introduces three new job classes for players to master. The Astrologian, Dark Knight and Machinist each offer gamers new ways to play and additional reasons to return to the game’s world.
Producer Naoki Yoshida will share more reasons for fans to celebrate by sharing details of the next patch during the Final Fantasy XIV 14-hour anniversary broadcast. He will make his Letter From The Producer LIVE appearance from 9:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m PDT. The broadcast will be viewable on YouTube Live, Twitch, or Niconico Live.
[Images courtesy of Square Enix]