Bucking forecasts that their new MMO will launch later this year, Square Enix announced today that Final Fantasy XIV will go live on September 30, 2010–or just three months from now.
The company also offered two preorder packages for the game: A standard preorder set ($49.99) and a features-packed Collector’s edition preorder set ($74.99).
If you order the standard preorder package, you will get a bonus in-game item called Garlond Goggles, which increases the speed of skill progression.
Meanwhile, if you choose the Collector’s edition, you can access the game earlier by September 22, or eight whole days ahead of the masses. Aside from the head start, the Collector’s edition also offers the Onion Helm in-game item, which speeds up your recovery after a nasty KO. Other exclusive goodies in this package include:
- Free 30-day game time;
- A behind-the-scenes DVD on how the game was made;
- Security token, similar to World of Warcraft authenticator;
- Travel paper journal for recording your adventures in Hydaelyn;
- Redemption voucher for a fully-personalized “Right of Passage”
- Buddy pass to invite a friend to test FFXIV for free
The monthly subscription rate is set at $12.99, which is lower than what most MMOs charge currently at $15.
Each game account will come with one playable character and one retainer character, often called a “mule,” which provides free item storage and in-game merchant services. Additional characters will cost $3 per month for a maximum of 8 playable characters per account. Each additional retainer will cost $1 per month.
Console fans though should sit still because the PS3 port will only come out March 2011, with pricing still to be determined. If you can’t wait for that, the PC version should tide you over but don’t forget to check out the full spec requirements.
FFXIV has just finished its alpha testing and is preparing for closed beta, which is why most players anticipated a release date closer to the year-end Christmas (and it made sense to cash in on the holiday gift-giving rush).
But the earlier launch date and aggressive price scheme show Square Enix wants to take advantage of the current lull in MMOs and get all the attention it needs to promote the game. Well, at least until Star Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion start churning up the hype machine for their respective games and expansions.