The Starter Edition of Square Enix’s critically acclaimed online epic Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is free on the PlayStation Store, but only until May 26.
The Starter Edition includes 30 days of game time for free and usually costs US$19.99 [AU$31]. Interested gamers will have to act fast, however, as the offer’s only valid until May 26, 2020, on the PlayStation Store.
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) May 22, 2020
Before the realm was reborn
Square Enix’s award-winning Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) wasn’t always as well-received as it is today. In fact, the online adventure got off to an incredibly rocky start.
Final Fantasy 14 began its development back in 2005 and was unveiled four years later for the PlayStation 3 and PC.
The game finally went live in September 2010 and was set to be the 14th mainline installment in the franchise. It would be the second-ever Final Fantasy MMORPG following Final Fantasy 11.
Final Fantasy XIV first released on this day in 2010. A deeply flawed release that was savaged by both critics and fans – but over the course of the next several years, the project would be rescued. pic.twitter.com/IcEJUzUKtJ
— RPG Site (@RPGSite) September 30, 2019
Unfortunately, the online-only title was unanimously panned by fans and critics upon release. The common consensus was that the game’s beautifully crafted world and gorgeous graphics were marred by a horrible interface, clunky combat, and a myriad of bugs and glitches.
Due to the overwhelming criticism and disappointment from gamers, Final Fantasy 14 shut down its servers on November 11, 2012—a mere two years after the game’s release.
Fortunately for fans, Square Enix wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
Second time’s the charm
Instead of attempting to fix the MMORPG’s issues through patches and updates, Square Enix formed a new team led by Naoki Yoshida, who ended up creating a brand-new title altogether.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn not only replaced the original title, but it also continued its storyline while featuring better servers, a revamped gameplay, an enhanced interface, and a completely new game engine.
The rebooted title was released in August 2013 for Windows and PlayStation 3, with a PlayStation 4 version following less than a year later.
MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV (2010) was so poorly received by critics and fans that Square Enix vowed to develop a vastly improved second version of the game. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released in 2013 to positive reviews.#GameHistoryDaily pic.twitter.com/BS4BOtmjfv
— Memory Card (@MemCardShow) May 2, 2020
A Realm Reborn garnered glowing reviews for the way it completely turned around a failed Final Fantasy installment. Not only did it fix most of the faults of its predecessor, but the remake also featured some of the greatest storytelling and worldbuilding ever written for an MMORPG.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn took home several accolades, including awards for “Best MMO of the Year,” “Best RPG,” and “Excellence in Multiplayer.”
Image courtesy of Final Fantasy 14/Square Enix