The Day Thread (8/28) Rises Up In Eorzea

The Rising, a yearly seasonal event within Final Fantasy XIV, began yesterday (8/27) and runs through Sept. 9th. It’s a notable in-game event for several reasons, some outside of the game itself.

The event both celebrates yet another anniversary for the game itself, but also celebrates a key moment in the game – those who gave their life for The Calamity, the worldwide disaster that ended the ill-fated version 1.0 of FFXIV and eventually led to a new version of the game – titled A Realm Reborn.

This video was shown to everyone who witnessed the final moments of the original Final Fantasy XIV on November 11, 2012. After an accelerated development cycle, FFXIV version 2.0, otherwise known as A Realm Reborn, launched in August 2013 to a warm reception. This miraculously saved not just the game, but likely Square Enix itself as a company.

Even after eight years (ten/approaching 11 years if you count the original launch in September 2010) in operation, FFXIV is still growing – something of an anomaly for its genre. A combination of a generous free trial (you can play up to level 60, which includes content up to the end of the first major expansion Heavensward) and the self-inflicted internal implosion by Blizzard Entertainment (and by proxy, its long-running game World of WarCraft) has made FFXIV the hottest massively multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG) of the moment.

In the current seasonal event for Final Fantasy XIV, The Rising, (FFXIV) producer Naoki Yoshida (warmly known as Yoshi-P to the game’s community) meets your character in a dream sequence to thank you for sticking with the game and world these past few years. (Screenshot via post from Reddit user MegaGamer235)

But before ARR’s launch in 2013, the game had become such a disaster both critically and financially that internally there were worries that the game could destroy the reputation of the Final Fantasy brand, not to mention (game publisher) Square Enix themselves. You can view some very informative videos on the subject starting here.

Overall, the tireless efforts of a hardworking team of developers saved the game and have made it even better with regular, frequent updates. It’s definitely weird out of context to call what they did a miracle of sorts, but you simply need to know how poorly the original game fared at launch to understand what they were up against. (But seriously, watch that documentary series linked above, it features some very honest commentary from Square Enix officials on what happened during the original launch.)

It’s been a strange year for the game, no thanks to the current worldwide pandemic, but new adventures will continue with the launch of FFXIV’s latest expansion, Endwalker, set for November 23. Those who preorder can start early on Nov. 19! Endwalker will resolve the game’s current overarching story, with an entirely new narrative set for patch 6.1 and beyond.

As normal, I hope you have a great day thread, a great weekend, well….great everything.