Final Fantasy XI promises more story and more character growth for 2021

It continues.

It’s the new year around the world, and Final Fantasy XI producer Akihiko Matsui has rung in the new year with a letter to players all over the world. Matsui notes the challenges of development in 2020 and the shift to working from home, but notes with no small amount of pride the amount of work that the team was still able to accomplish including kicking off the Voracious Resurgence arc and the updates to Odyssey and Ambuscade through the year.

And moving forward? Well, plans are in place for the Voracious Resurgence content to continue as the game approaches its 20-year anniversary, so more of that is planned for the year. In addition, Matsui states that the team is looking into additional growth options for all jobs as well as further item storage solutions, proving once again that Square-Enix has a very different definition of “maintenance mode” than nearly anyone else. Not to mention that there is a New Year’s event running in the game right now, if you need any additional reasons to be excited for the game.


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What I still don’t understand is why the monthly subscription for FFXI costs more to play than FFXIV? It seems to me that FFXIV has been producing more content than FFXI has for quite a long time now. AND FFXIV is free to play up to level 60…. I’ve been convinced Square Enix wants FFXI to die. So when I see information like this it makes me wonder if this is a weak effort to try and raise sub numbers before more drastic actions.

Ashley Bau

I don’t believe it does unless you are counting the free trial in some way against the cost? The basic sub price in FFXIV is $12.99 and the basic sub price in FFXI is $12.95 in USD (may be different outside of the US?). From the above example, technically FFXI is cheaper by 4 cents. FFXIV also offers a “standard” sub that provides some minor benefits for $14.99 a month which is a larger difference. Although, you can get that price down to the same $12.99 by subbing for 90 days at a time.

In either case FFXI offers the cheaper sub (though if you make a lot of alts the FFXIV standard sub offers the cheapest option). You mentioned the unlimited free trial that FFXIV but that really has no bearing on the sub price IMO. Would it be nice for them to offer a similar arrangement for xi? Sure.

Johnathan Carron

Should probably remove the xbox and PlayStation tags as this game hasn’t been available for consoles for a good few years now. Also I never recall them saying the game was going into a maintenance mode from any newsletter the send out.

Ashley Bau

You are correct that they never explicit have called what they’re doing a maintenance mode. However, they did indicate a state that was roughly approaching that.

Back in the original announcement in 2015 the following was stated by Akihiko Matsui (producer): “To start off, I’d like to explain the reasoning behind why we will no longer be implementing major version updates and why we will be stopping service for both the PlayStation 2 version and the Xbox 360 version.” – source:

The plan at that time did seem to be a winding down of services. It was not explicitly maintenance as they still planned to continue updates but they would be limited in scale and mostly re-use assets. Some time after this they actually backtracked on this idea and did add new story content quests and rarely, some content using new (or previously cut) assets.

I have seen a number of people over time claim that the “maintenance mode” thing was a lie but if the series of events is followed it doesn’t look like it. Interviews and the progression of content development over time suggests that rather than it being a lie, the game retained more popularity than the developers expected leading to a change in plans. This is easily exemplified by their big 2022 project for the games anniversary which was stated to have been funded explicitly due to the unexpected amount of support from players for the game on an ongoing basis.

Kickstarter Donor

This right here. Really, what I think may have happened is that Square Enix (be it the developers or the people in charge), were convinced that when there were no future updates planned for the game after the release of Rhapsodies, no one would want to keep playing it.

Obviously they were wrong, and I think they wanted to see if the numbers sustained enough to actually develop new content, and now that they have, we’re getting new stuff. Just conjecture on my part, but either way I’m really happy this game is still seeing new content.