Square Enix launched Final Fantasy XIV, the second major MMO title in the long-running RPG series, on PC last September. Like most subscription-based games, it offered a 30 day free trial period at the outset.
That free period has not ended.
The launch was tumultuous; fans complained about the state of the game. Early this year, original producer Hiromichi Tanaka was ousted from the project and replaced with Naoki Yoshida.
Yoshida spoke extensively to Gamasutra about his plans to rescue FFXIV, including delving into the sticky issue of why the company as yet has decided not to accept subscription fees for the game.
"It was pretty much personally because I've been a player for so long. I wanted to make sure that I would only ask the player to pay for something" once the team had established a firm plan for improvements, Yoshida tells Gamasutra.
"The reason we're doing this is we're showing the players, yes, it's still costing us a lot of money, and we're not getting that money back yet, but we're serious about making these changes. This is one of the ways that we can show players that we are serious and we are taking it seriously."
The date for resumption of charges is "still out in the open," he says.
This is something Yoshida believes Square Enix is uniquely positioned to do, as it bankrolls the project from its own funds. "It's because Square Enix is funding this project 100 percent. That's why we can do this. Only Square Enix can do something like this," Yoshida says.