World of Warcraft has been the king of the hill when it comes to MMOs for the entirety of its eleven year lifespan. Many other titles have claimed to be “WoW beaters”, some have come quite close, but none have been able to dethrone the giant yet.
Enter Square Enix. When it was first released back in 2011, Final Fantasy XIV fell a long way short of the mark for even the most entry level MMOs. It was so bad, in fact, that Square Enix first made it free to play while they attempted to fix the bugs and problems and then ultimately threw it in the bin along with the development team that made it. Apologies were made and a new version of the game was developed under the name of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Now, 4 years later, the game had just launched its first major expansion and is going from strength to strength, so much so that Square Enix have recently announced that the subscription based game has had over 5 million user accounts created since its relaunch. That’s a number that’s sure to make the folks over at Blizzard sit up and pay attention as the current subscriber base for World of Warcraft falls to a low of 5.6 million.
Save the chants of “the king is dead” though. 5 million user accounts is a huge number and a phenomenal milestone for FFXIV but that’s not the number of active subscribers to the game right now, just an indication of how many people have had accounts over the 4 years it’s been out and it’s estimated that the current subscriber base is still a far cry from the numbers Warcraft sees. Still, it is a worthy accolade and a sign that the subscription model can still work if the game is good enough.
What do you think? Does Final Fantasy DIV have the pedigree to take on World of Warcraft at the top? Or will Warcraft’s new expansion, Legion, bring subscribers back by the millions? Is love to hear your thoughts on the comments section below!