There are no plans to make Final Fantasy XIV free-to-play
But we can expect longer free trials so people can try it out thoroughly before buying.
More and more big games are going free-to-play these days, with payment models that are more about cosmetic gadgets and battle passes than good old-fashioned expansions and monthly fees. Look at the online role-playing game Genshin Impact, for example, which makes a huge amount of money doing just that.
However, in a new interview with Eurogamer, Game Director Naoki Yoshida assures us that this is not a trend that is planned to be implemented in the blockbuster Final Fantasy XIV, but the trial period will likely expand and get longer, so that curious gamers don't accidentally buy something they don't like:
"I believe the free trial will continue to be expanded, but we have no plans of making the client itself free at the moment [...] Since a huge amount of time and money has been invested in the expansion packages, the revenue from sales of the expansion package itself is still very important in order to continue to make expansions on this scale. We would like to constantly aim for the best on the business side as well to continue making a lot of content to be enjoyed."
Next year's expansion Dawntrail will kick off version 7.0 of Final Fantasy XIV, bringing with it not only new story content but also a new, graphically updated look - the first since the re-launch of the game ten years ago.