Timed demos can make it hard to judge an MMORPG. They're meant to be played for untold hours--how are you supposed to know if you'll want to invest that much time into a game within a few days? Square Enix has apparently decided you can't, as evidenced by the announcement that Final Fantasy XIV will no longer offer a 14-day free trial, and will instead let you play to your heart's content without having to worry about any timers.
There are a few restrictions on the free trial. Square Enix won't let you progress beyond level 35--the current level cap is 60--and will restrict you to the first 10 layers of the 200-layer Deep Dungeon. But you'll otherwise be allowed to explore Final Fantasy XIV as much as you would like, and if you decide that the game is worth paying for, you can transfer your character from the free trial into the full version of the game whenever you so desire.
Lifting the free trial's time limit is the latest example of Square Enix's commitment to Final Fantasy XIV. Those demonstrations started with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which changed the game's story, engine, gameplay, and basically everything else; went on with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, which added a new race, areas, classes, and gameplay while also raising the level cap to 60; and will soon continue with Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood was announced in October 2016. The expansion includes two new jobs as well as new raids, dungeons, and other additions, such as the ability to swim and a level cap increase from 60 to 70. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is available for preorder for $40 now on PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4. (You can also get the Collector's Edition for a whopping $200 instead.) It's expected to make its public debut on June 20.
That's probably why Square Enix nixed the time limit on the free trial. The company will also let anyone whose trial expired take another stab at the game, so if you downloaded Final Fantasy XIV a few years ago but never got to experience the changes made in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, you'll be able to see if it's worth revisiting. That's extra useful given that you have to buy that version of the game to play the coming expansion.
The removal of the free trial's time limit applies to the PC, Mac, and PS4 versions of the game. Square Enix offers a variety of subscription options ranging from $13 per 30 days, which limits you to one character per server and eight characters total, all the way to roughly $78 for 180 days with eight characters per server and 40 characters total. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood are sold separately.
|Name||Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn||Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward||Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood|
|Developer||Square Enix||Square Enix||Square Enix|
|Publisher||Square Enix||Square Enix||Square Enix|
|Where To Buy|
|Release Date||August 24, 2013||June 23, 2015||June 20, 2017|