Heavensward, the first major expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, will be officially released on June 23rd for PC, PS3 and PS4, Square Enix has announced.
While Final Fantasy XIV has received constant updates over the last year – the most recent saw FFVII‘s Gold Saucer added to the game – they’ve all been released via free content patches. Heavensward will be a full-blown expansion with a price tag attached to it (though the publisher hasn’t confirmed just what that price will be as yet).
So, what do you get for your money? Quite a lot, as it happens. As well as expanding the existing playable area of the game, Heavensward will add an entirely new region, flying mounts, 3 new jobs, a new race, new dungeons and raids, a new loot system, and a higher level cap.
In fact, Heavensward apparently contains so much content that the publisher has taken to describing it as a standalone expansion, though as far as we can tell, you’ll still be required to have the original Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn installed. Heavensward is being released in three flavors – as a standalone, in an all-in-one bundle with the original Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and as a shiny collector’s edition with all manner of physical and in-game goodies. The expansion can be preordered from March 16th.
Final Fantasy XIV had something of a rocky start in life. The original version of the game was hyped as the successor to the still-popular Final Fantasy XI, but was rushed to release in a distinctly unfinished state, with missing or unfinished content and a raft of technical problems. Such was the mess that the game launched in that it led to a formal apology from Square Enix and the firing of the game’s then-producer, Hiromichi Tanaka. The publisher then went back to the drawing board, redesigning the world, the jobs, all content, and even going as far as to change the entire game engine – something practically unheard of in MMO’s, which are already a hugely costly endeavor.
The results, however, speak for themselves. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was hailed as a tremendous success by players and critics alike when it finally launched in August 2013. Described by many as the game that Final Fantasy XIV should have been at launch, it’s now a serious contender in the MMO genre, with plenty of regular content updates, a healthy playerbase which continues to grow, and has seen the game successfully launched on Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
To give you a taste of what to expect, Square Enix has released a new video for the expansion, titled “A Tour of the North”. You can watch it below.