Final Fantasy XI
}} }}, also known as Final Fantasy XI Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), developed and published by [[Square (company)|Squ | IGN = 8.8/10 }}
Final Fantasy XI received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 85.04% based on 57 reviews and 85/100 based on 49 reviews, Computer and Video Games Magazine noted that it was one of the most welcoming MMORPGs despite the cumbersome initial registration and setup. IGN called it a well done but unoriginal game and also noted that North American players were forced to play with already much more experienced Japanese players who had already completed the game's various quests. Other elements receiving criticism include the EXP grind, which involves constant battles to access different parts of the game, and overcrowded camp sites. The expansions have been mostly positively received, with praise for the amount of content added, but increasing signs that the graphics of the game are becoming outdated. IGN review of the Xbox 360 release was similar, noting that it was a large amount of game content, but had a protracted setup process and elements of the game design that require a large time investment. It has also been noted that this game is the first to move in a wildly different direction while remaining in the main numbering line, as opposed to the Tactics and Crystal Chronicles games which became their own side series.
Sales and subscriptions
The user base for the PlayStation 2 version was truncated initially because of limited sales of the PlayStation 2's hard drive and network adapters that were needed for the game. The Japanese release of Rise of the Zilart was the number one selling game when it debuted in 2003 with 90,000 copies sold in the first week. In the United States, Final Fantasy XIs computer version sold 340,000 copies ($15.5 million) by August 2006, after its release in October 2003. It was the country's 51st best-selling computer game between January 2000 and August 2006. The Final Fantasy XI All-in-One Pack was number 36 and Wings of the Goddess was number 40 on the top 50 best-selling Xbox 360 games in Japan as of December 2007. For the April–September 2004 financial period, Square Enix saw online gaming, particularly Final Fantasy XI, sales increase by 101 percent and operating profit increase by 230.9 percent. Revenues held steady from subscription services in the summer of 2006; in the fall, however, Square acknowledged that online subscription revenues were "unsatisfactory", despite the steady performance of Final Fantasy XI. In December 2003, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced that there were over 200,000 subscribers to Final Fantasy XI, allowing the company to break even and start making a profit. There were between 200,000 and 300,000 active players daily in 2006. As of August 14, 2006 the Xbox 360 version was the sixth most played game on Xbox Live. In June 2012, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced that Final Fantasy XI had become the most profitable title in the Final Fantasy series.
Awards and legacy
Final Fantasy XI was awarded the grand prize from the Japan's Consumer Entertainment Software Association (CESA) for 2002–2003 along with Taiko no Tatsujin. It has also received GameSpy's 2003 PC MMORPG Game of the Year Award and IGN's Game of the Month for March 2004, citing the game's huge customization and its successful cross-platform and cross-language game world. Final Fantasy XI was referenced in the online game Minna no Golf Online in the form of a Final Fantasy XI-themed lobby. At 2009's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy XIV Online, which was Square Enix's next MMORPG.
The game has spawned several written adaptations and related merchandise. Starting in 2003, a series of Final Fantasy XI novels was written by Miyabi Hasegawa and released in Japanese, German, and French. Additionally, in 2004, Adventure Log, a webcomic by Scott Ramsoomair, was commissioned by Square Enix starting in 2007. Final Fantasy XI PlayOnline Visa and MasterCard credit cards were available in Japan, with features including no annual fees as long as cardholders remain PlayOnline subscribers and various other rewards. There have also been posters with limited edition phone cards and keychains released, also exclusively in Japan. Several T-shirts have been made available for order in North America, and various stuffed animals and gashapon figurines have also been made available to order of different races from the series. A Vana'diel clock which displayed the in-game time was also marketed, as well as CDs of the game's music.