Final Fantasy XIV now has over 5 million active players, Square Enix has announced.
That’s nearly as many as World of Warcraft, which has seen subscriber numbers steadily fall over the last few years. Last month, Blizzard announced that the long-running MMO had just 5.6 million active players – a nine year low.
It’s not known how many of Final Fantasy XIV‘s playerbase joined up following the release of the game’s first expansion, Heavensward; the number does exclude players on a free trial, however.
Final Fantasy XIV originally launched back in 2010, but it was a very different game back then. Unifinished, lacking content, and with a raft of bugs, Square Enix came under heavy criticism from players and critics alike. The publisher then took the game back to the drawing board – switching engines and redesigning the world and game systems from the ground up.
The game relaunched under the name A Realm Reborn back in 2013. The game fared much better the second time around, and eventually made its way first to PS3, and then to PS4 last year.
Heather Williams reviewed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for Continue Play, awarding Square Enix’s MMO a score of 9/10. “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a vast improvement on the original,” Heather wrote in her review. “With a solid storyline and some beautiful voice acting, alongside a gorgeous soundtrack, A Realm Reborn has everything it needs to become a very good MMORPG, and it’s well on its way to being a worthy successor to Final Fantasy XI.”
“It may not be revolutionary, and it may not be anything too different from the MMOs that we’re used to, but it is extremely addictive, satisfying and enjoyable to play.”