Final Fantasy XIV Online Boss Talks Potential Xbox, Nintendo Versions; Free-To-Play Switch Not Happening

The game is currently only available on PS4 and PC.

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Square Enix's long-running MMO Final Fantasy XIV Online is currently only available on PlayStation 4 and PC, but the title could eventually come to Xbox and Nintendo platforms.

Speaking to GameSpot from the Square Enix Japan offices today in Shinjuku, game director Naoki Yoshida said versions of the game are possible for Xbox and Nintendo systems. In fact, he said discussions with Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as Google, are currently underway.

As he's said in previous interviews, Yoshida stressed with GameSpot that Final Fantasy XIV needs to support cross-play to have its playerbases united and offer the best experience. That's currently possible on PS4 and PC, but not with other systems, which has presumably kept the game off Xbox and Nintendo systems so far. However, now that Sony, as well as Nintendo, is beginning to allow cross-play with competing platforms for games like Fortnite and Rocket League, it seems more likely than ever that Final Fantasy XIV comes to new platforms.

Nothing is certain at this stage, and Yoshida wouldn't be drawn too far into a speculative conversation about where Final Fantasy XIV may be released someday.

Yoshida poses in a meeting room at Square Enix's offices in Japan.
Yoshida poses in a meeting room at Square Enix's offices in Japan.

"Talks with platform-holders has been going on. The fundamental philosophy with Final Fantasy XIV is we want it on labels with cross-platform play with any devices, hardware possible," Yoshida said through a translator. "So as long as the regulations with the counterpart hardware companies ... we can actually pass that, then the possibility, the chance is quite high [of Final Fantasy XIV coming to Xbox and Nintendo systems].

"So we are talking with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Google, of course; we cannot say anything at the moment because we are still in negotiations, but once we have details we can make an announcement; we can bring the news to everyone. We are currently negotiating will all those platforms."

In our nearly hour-long interview with Yoshida, he repeatedly mentioned that Square Enix wants Final Fantasy XIV Online to reach as many people as possible. It already has more than 14 million registered players, and launching the game on Xbox and Nintendo systems would only increase the game's footprint further still. Also in the interview, I asked Yoshida if Square Enix might consider dropping the game's monthly subscription fee in favour of a free-to-play business model in an effort to help the game reach even more players.

It's not likely to happen. Final Fantasy XIV Online is currently free up to level 35, and that's as "free-to-play" as the game is likely to be for the foreseeable future.

"F2P is not a bad model. F2P in general in games, players try it, and then just go. For Final Fantasy XIV, our basic game design is we want players to spend a little bit of time and because the game gets interesting [over time]. If we shift to F2P with the current game design, then either the community or the game itself would break. So it's not going to be good. If we were to move to a F2P model, we should have to completely rehash, recreate the game design from scratch. Changing simply to FP2 now is not a good game design decision. It's not a good direction."

GameSpot's wide-ranging interview with Yoshida covered a number of other topics, including the controversial new race, Hrothgar, coming in the Shadowbringers expansion, as well as the new raid boss designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and even Yoshida's stance on battle royale. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

We sat down with Yoshida as part of the Final Fantasy Fan Fest. For more, check out GameSpot's recent stories linked below.

Disclosure: Square Enix paid for GameSpot's flight to Tokyo and accomodation.

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Avatar image for cydramech

It is not Sony's stance on crossplay that has anything to do with why FFXIV is only on PC & PS4, but the facts that, firstly, Microsoft isn't willing to drop their subscription requirement for online play, and secondly, the Switch will just limit any further development of FFXIV (as, after all, since now that even the inclusion of the PS4 is limiting what could be done with FFXIV, how do you expect the Switch not to hinder it even further when the Switch is better compared to the PS4's predecessor - the PS3?).

Avatar image for esqueejy

Not surprising that F2P isn't happening. I played this for a while and it was actually pretty good, certainly gave me my FF fix and was enjoyable, with lots of story, voice acting, decent exploration, etc. When I decided I was done? Absolutely, deliberately impossible to navigate their customer service wesbiteS, login and account management, etc. Maybe it's designed for eastern brains or something crazy, but their websites and account management features are downright horrifyingly bad and seem deliberately designed to trap you into your payments and not let you quit. It's really completely and utterly absurd compared to other MMO sites and account management. I literally ended up canceling the card and ordering a new card from the bank after giving up trying to deal with these clowns.

Avatar image for sladakrobot

Its a shame they dont consider the f2p model as the game looks very interesting.

Avatar image for midna

@sladakrobot: The game is amazing!

Avatar image for luminousblaze

@sladakrobot: Sorry, but if this game went F2P it would no longer be the game it is today and definitely wouldn't be as great as it is today.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

As if crossplay mattered. They've just split up the datacenters (or I think it's already happened) because there were too many players for the servers to handle. Releasing the game on more platforms just means they'd have to add more servers, and through that add more datacenters, which aren't interconnected anyway. So while you might be playing with Xbox and Switch players, the number of players you'd get to play with overall wouldn't change at all. So you might as well create seperate servers for each new platform as it wouldn't really make a difference.

Avatar image for luminousblaze

@Atzenkiller: Except you get to choose where you play. If you're limited by your console to where you play, you don't really have a say in the matter unless you invest in another system. Plus there are going to be free transfers coming up, so saying it's splitting things up isn't entirely accurate. People will be able to be where they want to be.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@luminousblaze: I only have one console because I see no reason to buy another, so I don't feel limited in the slightest. But what difference would it make to you to what platform you play an mmo on? FF14 is identical in every way, whether you play it on a PC or a PS4. And it's not like you'd really be able to play it on the go on a Switch with crappy mobile internet.

Avatar image for luminousblaze

@Atzenkiller: First of all, it's not identical in every way whether you play on PC or PS4. PS4 doesn't have parsing, shaders, or modding. Even if you exclude stuff like that FFXIV also runs significantly worse on PS4 compared to a modern pc. You can't change the resolution on PS4 or lower your graphics settings to make it run as well as it would on a PC either. (I've been playing the game since release. Started on PS3, moved to PS4, and finally PC)
Secondly, my point wasn't that playing on a certain console doesn't limit your options, but if they made separate servers for each console then it would. Say you own a switch and only a switch and your friend who wants to play with you is on PS4. You're stuck on the Switch servers while they're on PS4. One of you would either have to get an additional console just to play with each other or not be able to play with each other at all.

Avatar image for imajinn

@Atzenkiller: It made a difference on XI so why wouldnt it on XIV?

Avatar image for batusai4ever

monthly subscription kills it for me...while I tried a demo and liked it, I can't bring myself to pay every month like I'm paying for Netflix

Avatar image for carlgrimes

@batusai4ever: These devs at least use the sub money to turn around and provide real new content. We are not like the WoW players who don't get a whole lot of content inbetween expansions. Every 2 months (about) we get at least 4 new instances, a new primal/boss to farm new weapons, a few hours of new story with cutscenes and some voice acting, a new holiday event of some sort, and every 4 months on average we get a new 24 man raid of some sort. We get other content too but this has been a constant thing since 2.0, and the old content still has a use today, meaning the amount of content a new player has to get through is quite enormous. Not requiring an alt to play every class in the game is pretty nice too.

But if an MMO isn't your preferred style of game (or you just can't afford the $15 a month), there's nothing wrong with avoiding it.

Avatar image for esqueejy

@carlgrimes: WOW has its own unique issues, but a constant stream of content isn't it. Blizzard has been adding things on a regular basis left and right over time during BFA. Now, part of the problem is WHAT they've been adding, because there's a lot of diverse systems now that get attention, everything from stories to pet collection combat to new instances/raids to island expeditions to the new warzones, etc. The real issue isn't that they're not constantly adding content, it's the substance of what they add, which is feeling stretched a little thin and too diversified. Holidays and all the frippery stuff is in there as well, but doesn't really bear mention.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@batusai4ever: If you don't play it every month, then you won't have to pay for it monthly either. If you're not into the mmo grind, then there's not much for you to do anyway between patches. And if you only subscribe for a month every 3-4 months when a new big updates comes out, I'd say you'd get your money's worth. Being constantly sobscribed to an mmo means making it your job, and that's not for everyone. I don't know why you'd be worried about paying for it each month if you're not one of those folks.

Avatar image for chris100185

@batusai4ever: It's not a big deal for me because the value is there. If it's generally considered acceptable to spend $60 for games with 10 hour campaigns, I don't see the issue with dropping $12 a month on a game when I'll easily get 25+ hours out of it every month.

Avatar image for chippiez

@beth1973: over 7k?!? WOW Sign me up! In fact, how about I give you my CC info right here in the comments section?!

Avatar image for fullyskully

Well then I think it's safe to say this will happen considering MS and Nintendo are both open to cross play now.

Avatar image for darkelf83

All that talk about how great crossplay is and MS still hasn't accepted the offer for FFXIV.