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Final Fantasy XI is the most profitable Final Fantasy ever

In the wake of the celebration of Final Fantasy XI's ten year anniversary, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced that FFXI was the single most profitable Final Fantasy title in the series' history.

The announcement surely comes as a surprise to many Final Fantasy diehards because FFXI was likely the most controversial and divisive in the series' history. However, this illustrates the staggering earning power of the subscription MMO. 

Despite tens of millions of people lining up to pay full price for past games in the series like Final Fantasy VII and the recent Final Fantasy XIII, it still pays more to have a smaller, devoted group of people throwing fresh cash at you every month. 

Most of these profits likely come from Southeast Asia and Japan where the game was able to find a much stronger audience than it did in the United States.

Now we're curious to hear how these numbers stack up against the relatively disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV.

12 comments

  • Tyrlanae - June 25, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    This makes me happy, I have a lot of really fond memories of XI - though I left before Wings of the Goddess, which I heard changed a lot of things.
  • Cyberninja - June 25, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    This doesn't surprise me if they are only talking about the money they make on the base game, but if they are talking about everything related to one game then its really surprising.
  • lkchevrolet021 - June 25, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Wow, this makes me sad. The online final fantasy games are the only ones I refuse to play.
  • SiPod - June 25, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    I've got some fond memories of FFXI. I'm glad that it's performed well for them.
  • BladedFalcon - June 25, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Ironic, seeing how FFXIV has turned out...
  • SentientSquidMachine - June 25, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    Well release XIV 2.0 then slowly start shutting down XI's servers, and in 10 more years Square-Enix's top brass will hope they still have jobs.
  • sketchymofo - June 25, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    considering that there adding a new expansion i doubt they will start shutting down servers.
  • SentientSquidMachine - June 25, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    If anyone is going to be playing FFXIV regularly, it's the people who play XI. I doubt very many people are willing to pay for 2 subscriptions, so SE is going to need to think of a way to push everyone over to their new shiny toy. I didn't know about the expansion. I guess initially having 2.0 go free to play might help. I do want to try the new version of XIV when it comes out, but I cant see myself spending $15/month to play 1 game.
  • Tyrlanae - June 25, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    I'll grant you XIV had a disastrous launch - it was downright embarrassing. However, Naoki Yoshida is turning that game into a pheonix from the ashes with the 2.0 patch coming later this year. I can't hate on it too much, just with the changes he's made already the game has become exponentially more fun to play, and it only looks to get better. He's basically working on making it more of a successor to XI by bringing the two more in line with one another in playstyle.
  • BladedFalcon - June 25, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    I'm not arguing about the game eventually coming together to be good and fun. But that wasn't my point. My point was that it's ironic that FFXI is considered the most profitable FF ever, when in contrast, FFXI's succesor, FFXIV is probably the company's biggest disaster and money sucker after the FF: Spirits Within movie. The game might turn out to be good after the 2.0 patch. But i seriously doubt it will ever turn around to be half as profitable as FFXI has been. At most, it might just be good enough to pull them out of negative numbers.
  • Tyrlanae - June 25, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    Yeah, probably. XI was sort of a surprise success for Square at the time. XIV was by far the one of the biggest mistakes they've made to date, going so far as to come out and say that it had severely damaged the Final Fantasy brand. Your irony definitely isn't lost on me, especially being someone who played XI religiously for 4 years and bought the CED of XIV... >.< I guess I'm just fairly excited to see the new direction, and to see SE taking real action (read: removing Tanaka from the project). I have hopes that it will become at least as successful as XI after the re-release and PS3 launch.
  • BladedFalcon - June 25, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    That's optimistic. Considering that while raction to FFXI has always been mixed, people that got into it, REALLY got into it. With FFXIV, there is the problem of broken expectations, and a massive loss of trust between the customer. Even if the 2.0 patch turned the game into the most amazing MMO ever, I can guarantee that a lot of the people that for turned off by it initially won't be willing to give it a chance anymore. It's basic business. Regaining a lost customer is far harder than acquiring new ones.

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