A twelve-year-old massive multiplayer online role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV is finally getting a massive overhaul in the graphics department. During the latest “Letter from the Producer Livestream,” Final Fantasy XIV‘s producer Naoki Yoshida announced the game would receive its first graphical update in the future, alongside patch 7.0. The mention of “the first” implies that there’ll probably be a second, indicating that the graphic update may roll out episodically through the upcoming game updates, possibly leading to a new expansion past the recently released Endwalker.
According to IGN, Naoki Yoshida announced these changes during his discussion regarding the implementation of NFTs, which were previously announced by Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda. Yoshida stated that the development team has no intention of incorporating NFTs into Final Fantasy XIV MMO, as they would conflict with the game’s design. Still, the game will get a visual upgrade and the return of its trial version. For those that aren’t familiar with the situation, the trial version was removed to help Square Enix combat server congestion caused by the game’s sheer popularity.
It’s worth noting that Final Fantasy XIV has received various improvements and updates to its visuals over the years since its release, but the development team is calling for a massive graphical update to keep the game with the current times. The development of these updates will conclude with the 7.0 expansion release, and Yoshida has already announced that these will likely cause the game’s minimum required specs to change for the PC. However, he also announced that the dev team has no intentions of dropping support for the PlayStation 4 version of the game since the console is still being manufactured.
In fact, Yoshida also announced that the dev team is working on further optimizing Final Fantasy XIV for PS4, which would grant players more control over graphic settings. The announced graphical update will primarily target the characters’ appearance, introducing higher textures and improved shaders. These will be paired with an enhanced lighting system that would increase the overall quality of the graphics. However, Yoshida also advised players not to expect the next-level photo-realism graphics, like those seen in the Horizon: Forbidden West video game, since they wouldn’t be feasible for Final Fantasy XIV.
Another great news is the return of the free trial for Final Fantasy XIV, which was previously suspended from sales for being too popular. After the release of the Endwalker expansion, the game’s servers weren’t able to keep up with the demand, causing reliability issues and massive congestions, which prevented subscribers from playing the game. So, in response, Square Enix pulled Final Fantasy XIV from sales, suspended “free-trial” registrations, and introduced priority logins for subscribers over trial gamers.
The game went back on sale later on, when Square Enix alleviated the majority of congestion by introducing new servers for the game, allowing all current players to experience the new content without allowing the influx of new players to the game through free trial. The company extended “free-trial” periods for Final Fantasy XIV gamers affected by login priorities, which would end soon, as Yoshida announced the return of free-trial registrations for the game.