We’re coming to the end of an era. After seven years, Final Fantasy XIV’s service is ending on the PlayStation 3. Square Enix decided that the arrival of Stormblood, the next expansion, will be the point at which support continues only for current generation systems. Which feels like an inevitability. The PlayStation 3 isn’t the hot system anymore, and trying to keep a game current for an old console may not be cost effective. Fortunately, something sad and bittersweet is much easier to bear, thanks to Square Enix’s efforts.
The company is handling Final Fantasy XIV’s discontinuation in the best possible way. Sure, it’s unfortunate that it has to end. I’m sure there are PlayStation 3 players out there who aren’t ready to upgrade to a different console or computer so they can keep going. But everything Square Enix is doing is ensuring the game’s last days on the system go as well as possible.
The Final PlayStation 3 Free Login Campaign is a good start. When a subscription MMORPG is coming to an end, what happens to all those people who were paying to play? Well, Square Enix decided to just stop accepting money for that version. With this promotion, people don’t have to pay at all to log in and play on their PlayStation 3 copies of Final Fantasy XIV. Between May 1 and June 15, they can enjoy one last hurrah. Well, so long as an account wasn’t canceled or suspended.
It’s like people are getting a chance to say goodbye. Certainly, there still must be a substantial playerbase working through Final Fantasy XIV on that system. The idea of paying that last month and a half would be rather distasteful. Would you want to give money to a company who’s shutting one of your favorite pastimes down? Nope. But people don’t have to. They can enjoy their final moments without fees, which is a great way to handle things.
It pairs well with Square Enix’s other Final Fantasy XIV promotion. Last year, Square Enix announced a free upgrade promotion. People could transfer their service account data to a PlayStation 4 version of the game, thus actually getting a free copy of Final Fantasy XIV for that system. The downside is, upgrading meant you had to immediately transition over to the PlayStation 4 version of the game. But still, it is a nice promotion that allows people to continue playing without pause for free. It even takes into account if a person owned the PlayStation 3 Collector’s Edition originally and gives the PlayStation 4 Collector’s Edition after the upgrade if they did. People with expired accounts even get 14 free days to play once they make the switch.
Both of these offers show a level of consideration and respect. Square Enix understands how much a MMO like Final Fantasy XIV can mean to someone. It didn’t have to make such offers to allow people free playtime and free upgrades, but did. Because of it, people are getting a chance to keep enjoying something they love and give it a proper goodbye.