Final Fantasy XIV may not have had the easiest ride in the world of MMORPGs, but nonetheless the multiplayer title has managed to be something of a success. Now, Square Enix has revealed that the title has hit an impressive marker, with Final Fantasy XIV reaching over 16 million players.
First released in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV initially looked to be a bit of a misstep for the series. Everything from its gameplay to to basic issues with its structure were heavily criticized at launch, and Square Enix decided to make the bold move to tear down the game and restart from scratch as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This proved to be a stroke of genius, and over time Final Fantasy XIV regained the faith of players and became that rare thing of a MMORPG that managed to regain dropped ground.
Final Fantasy XIV has since received two substantial expansions in the form of 2015's Heavensward and 2017's Stormblood, and now the title is set to get a third expansion named Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. With the expansion dropping on July 2, it's a fitting time given that the game has just hit that 16 million player mark. To coincide with this, Square Enix also released a trailer for Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers that covers changes to the jobs system, which can be seen below.
Shadowbringers will bring a fair few changes to Final Fantasy XIV. The expansion will include new races that players are bound to spend some time with, even if there has been some discussion among the player base over the choice to gender lock the options. However, perhaps the most interesting dynamic change will be that of the charged action system that is being introduced.
The MMORPG is perhaps the hardest type of game to turn around when things have gone sour. After all, it's a genre often typified by complex systems that can put off new players, and the history of online gaming is littered with the skeletons of those games that have tried and failed to make a mark. Final Fantasy XIV shows that with a bit of dedication and an earnest attempt to make things right for players, even drastic steps like starting over entirely can work fine - although being part of a franchise like Final Fantasy must have helped.
What happens next will be interesting, particularly with an extra eye on Final Fantasy as a whole given the release of that brand new Final Fantasy VII Remake footage. Hopefully Final Fantasy XIV will continue to deliver what the players want, and perhaps keep away from the battle royale genre.