Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will carry paid subscriptions, despite the majority of MMO titles going free-to-play. The game’s director Naoki Yoshida has claimed that paid subscriptions didn’t hurt Star Wars: The Old Republic or The Secret World, in an attempt to justify Square’s decision on the matter.
Speaking with Penny Arcade Yoshida said, “I don’t think there’s a right or wrong for having a monthly subscription model or free-to-play model,” he said. “Games like The Old Republic and The Secret World, I don’t say those games would’ve been more successful if they had been free-to-play, for example. The subscription model was unrelated to the success of the game.”
He added, “With the free-to-play model, you’ll get huge income one month, but the next month it depletes. Most MMOs have investors in the background, and the company uses the profit and splits the profit with the investors.
“But, if the game’s not successful, and it doesn’t reach the target, then they have to switch to free-to-play to try and get just a little profit from it. Among the MMOs in the market, only Blizzard and Square Enix are making money without investors in the background.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Yoshida say this, as he also attempted to justify the games subscription model when I interviewed him at gamescom last year. He said that subscriptions were promised at the game’s outset and that the studio must include payments to ‘regain the trust of fans’.
See if you can make some sense out of that over on the original article, because I can’t.