Since the launch of World of Warcraft in 2004, many developers have tried and failed to capture the same magic. While Blizzard enjoys huge subscriber numbers and significant monthly revenue, most other MMORPGs have been forced to go free-to-play or, even worse, to shut down completely.
Square Enix knows this struggle, having been forced to shut down the first version of Final Fantasy XIV after two disastrous years of operation. The game returned in 2013 as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and reception from critics and players alike was much more positive, and now it seems Square Enix has the user numbers to prove it.
On Friday, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy XIV now has more than 5 million registered accounts worldwide. This counts North America, Japan, Europe, and China, but only counts those who have actually had an active subscription – accounts from the free trial aren’t counted.
The broad availability of the game might have something to do with its popularity. While many MMOs are only available for the PC, Final Fantasy XIV is also available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and even the Vita via Remote Play. The game was also available briefly for the Mac, though it was pulled from sale in July because of performance issues.
Final Fantasy XIV also saw its first expansion, Heavensward, released in June of this year. The expansion raises the level cap to 60, adds new zones, and features a “new story which plunges adventurers into the heart of the Dragonsong War, the bloody thousand-year conflict between the knights of Ishgard and the dragons of Dravania.”
Of course, 5 million registered users doesn’t equate to the same number of active subscribers. If this was the case, Final Fantasy XIV would be in striking distance of World of Warcraft, which fell to 5.6 million subscribers earlier this year. Square Enix has not shared subscriber numbers for Final Fantasy XIV.