It’s been a long run for Final Fantasy XI, the Final Fantasy franchise’s first MMO. It was originally released in Japan back in 2002, making this year the game’s thirteenth anniversary. But all good things must come to an end and it seems like that end will be next year for Final Fantasy XI — at least on the PS2 and Xbox 360.
Don’t get too upset though, as the PC version of the game will continue to live on after that date. Only the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 versions are getting nixed. Players of the PS2 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will have until March 2016 to say their goodbyes, which should be more than enough time even with the three major updates coming later this year.
Thankfully, Square Enix will be offering new ways to play the game via smartphone as well as a new spin-off titled Final Fantasy Grandmasters. Both of these efforts are part of something called The Vana’diel Project, which aims to continue expanding the game despite the impending doom the console versions now face.
The new smartphone client for Final Fantasy XI comes as part of a partnership with Nexon and will be simplified for a better mobile experience, while still including many important features. As you might expect, it will also have touchscreen functionality and dynamic events.
Meanwhile, Final Fantasy Grandmasters will allow players to adventure in the world of Vana’diel in a “full-fledged RPG”, with monsters and abilities from Final Fantasy XI. Beta testing will begin next month in Japan.
With Square Enix so committed to keeping Final Fantasy alive, it’s interesting that they would abandon the console versions. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that MMOs are much better suited to PCs. One has to imagine that there just aren’t as many console players as there used to be, which may be related to the fact that the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 are past their primes.
It’s sad to see them go either way. Final Fantasy XI was one of the first MMOs to include cross-platform gameplay — something which Square Enix has carried over to the more recent Final Fantasy XIV. Now with the console versions out of commission, that’ll no longer be a part of the experience.
Did you play Final Fantasy XI on consoles? Let us know what’s going through your head in the comments.Tweet