Many gamers are fond of calling botched, bug-ridden MMO launches "extended beta tests." With Final Fantasy XIV, however, Square Enix turned the other cheek, took its lumps, and agreed. In penance, the Japanese role-playing giant cast a rather basic - at least, in Final Fantasy terms - spell: It made FFXIV's subscription fee disappear . There were probably still a bunch of glittery effects involved, though. And zippers.
But now, after more than a year, Square's finally feels that the game is worth charging for again. Soothe your panicked piggy banks, however, because FFXIV's fee isn't quite back up to full strength. At least, not yet.
With FFXIV's monthly character and service fees combined, the default package total now comes up to $9.99 per month (via IndustryGamers ). Previously, players' wallets had to deflect a full-blown chargaga at $12.99. Regardless, you've got until January 6 to decide whether you want to pay the piper or saddle up your giant horse bird and ride off into greener pastures.
It's worth noting, however, that the discount's temporary. Once FFXIV version 2.0 rolls out "sometime in 2012," the game's subscription fee will balloon back to its original size.