The early access of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has just started, and things are getting crowded with queues already visible on many congested servers. This isn’t really surprising, since preorders for the game were apparently through the roof, as shared by Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida in an interview on the Japanese website 4Gamer.
People in North America know what they want, don’t they? Once they try something, if they like it they’ll play it. If they don’t like it, they won’t. Yet, at the end of beta phase 4 the increase in purchases on Amazon was extraordinary.
When it comes to Japan, I think there are still people with a wait and see approach, but I heard from SCEJA (Editor’s Note: SCEJA is the acronym for Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia) that when beta phase 4 ended the number of preorders for the PS3 downloadable version became the largest they ever had. So I think that many, even in Japan, tested the beta and then decided to purchase the game.
Adding to this, on Amazon USA there currently is a deal that includes the downloadable PC version of the game and $10 credit for $29.99, and it has immediately jumped to the very top of the best sellers rankings for games. Not many PC games get there. Add to that the fact that the player base is split over two platforms and that all those that purchased and played the original FFXIV get the PC version for free, and it’s quite an achievement.
The initial success of the game may not come as much of a surprise for those that actually followed its development since the launch disaster of the original Final Fantasy XIV. After all Japanese gamers were willing to pay ungodly amounts even just for the preorder code without the game, but this solid beginning still generates a good chance for a bright future for a game that many men (and women) of little faith thought would never take off. Looks like it did take off in a quite spectacular way (besides some predictable congestion during the initial rush). Now we’ll have to see if it’ll reach and keep a good cruising altitude.
In any case, now the floodgates are open, at least for those that can partake in the early access. Welcome –or welcome back– to Eorzea, and if you missed my own interview with Naoki Yoshida recorded at Gamescom, you can check it out here.