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Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. Directed and produced by Naoki Yoshida, it was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 in August 2013, as a replacement for the failed 2010 version of the game, with support for PlayStation 4 and macOS releasing later. An Xbox One version is in development. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original 2010 release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods’ blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.
The original Final Fantasy XIV, released in September 2010, was a critical and commercial failure. In response, then-Square Enix President Yoichi Wada announced that a new team, led by Yoshida, would take over and attempt to fix the issues with it. This team was responsible for generating content for the original version as well as developing a brand new game which would address all of the previous release’s criticisms. This new game, initially dubbed “Version 2.0”, features a new game engine, improved server infrastructure, and revamped gameplay, interface, and story. The original version shut down in November 2012 and was followed by an alpha test for Version 2.0.
The game released to largely positive reception; critics praised the game for its solid mechanics and progression, and they commended Yoshida for turning the project around. After a poor 2013 fiscal year, Square Enix executives attributed the company’s 2014 return to profitability in part to the game’s strong sales and subscriber base, reaching a total of over 20 million registered players by 2020. Since release, the game has had a number of content updates produced for it, including three major expansion packs: Heavensward (2015), Stormblood (2017), and Shadowbringers (2019).
Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG and features a persistent world in which players can interact with each other and the environment. Players create and customize their characters for use in the game, including name, race, gender, facial features, and starting class. Unlike in the original release, players may only choose to be a Disciple of War or Magic as a starting class—Disciples of the Hand and Land are initially unavailable. Players must also select a game server for characters to exist on. While servers are not explicitly delineated by language, data centers have been placed in the supported regions (i.e., North America, Europe, Japan) to improve the communication latency between the server and the client computer and players are recommended to choose a server in their region. Regardless of server or language, the game features a large library of automatically translated game terms and general phrases which allow players who speak different languages to communicate.
“a great MMORPG experience”
8.6 / 10 – IGN
“One of the best takes on the MMO experience I’ve ever seen”
92 / 100 – Ten Ton Hammer
“rounds up every great MMO feature we’ve seen in the last decade”
9 / 10 – Machinima Inside Gaming