Square-Enix’s hit MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has officially launched a 14-day free trial period for those who want to try the game before buying into it. FFXIV follows a subscription model similar to that of World of Warcraft, and requires players to both buy the game and pay a monthly fee to access the servers. Previously, the only trial period existed as a 30-day pass after buying the title.
There are some limitations to what a player can do while on the free trial, with the details available on the website. Essentially, the players are limited to a cap of level 20 while on the trial and are mainly restricted in their ability to interact with other players. This means being unable to recruit others into parties, no trading, and a fewer chat options. The other catch is that this free trial period only applies to the PC version of the game.
Some have speculated that FFXIV could be attempting to transition into a free-to-play model, one that is more common within Asian markets. However, it appears that Square-Enix is happy with the revenue being brought in and is instead using the free trial to attempt to bring in even more subscribers. Especially as the company has also introduced a ‘Recruit A Friend‘ campaign at the same time.
Existing players can now gain extra in-game items and benefits if they manage to convince others to sign up. Those who get their friends to sign up for a 30-day subscription will be given a Friendship Circlet that boost XP gain by 20% as long as the player is below level 25; while a more convincing friend will gain an item to summon a Draught Chocobo, which is able to carry two players at a time.
[Source: Final Fantasy XIV]