Final Fantasy Turns Into Final Nightmare For Xbox 360

By Davis Freeberg

Over the course of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to live through the evolution of the video game industry. I’ve gone from the rudimentary graphics of the Commodore 64 to the powerful functionality of the Xbox 360 and it’s been a pretty amazing journey. During this time, I’ve gone through several console upgrades and have always gladly spent my money in order to get access to the latest technology. Almost every upgrade has been exponentially better then the previous console and as a consumer I’ve benefited tremendously from video games moving from the fringe to the mainstream with just one exception. The only “upgrade” that I ever regretted was when I sold my PS2 in order to buy the first Xbox. At the time, Microsoft was behind in the console war and they committed a lot of capital to promoting their new box. I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I managed to get sucked into the hype and gave up my new PS2 in order to be right on the cutting edge of video game technology.

At first I was actually pretty happy with my exchange. At the time, the graphics were very impressive and having access to Xbox live really changed the dynamics of how you play video games. It wasn’t until I went to buy my two favorite games that I learned the Xbox fatal flaw. The best games were locked up in exclusivity agreements with Sony. Somehow Microsoft had failed to secure the licensing rights to the Grand Theft Auto and the Final Fantasy franchises.

This was pretty upsetting to me because GTA 2 and Final Fantasy IX were two of my favorite games. I figured that Microsoft would end up at least releasing a couple of decent knockoffs, but the only good role-playing game for the Xbox ended up being Fable and even that fell far short of my expectations for an RPG.

Because of their problems securing games, I decided that the second time around, I wouldn’t fall for the hype and would wait for the PS3 to come out before my next upgrade cycle. I was pretty convinced that I’d be waiting one more year before my next upgrade until I saw that Microsoft had somehow convinced Squaresoft to cross license the game on their platform. As soon as I heard this news everything changed for me and Microsoft’s support of the Final Fantasy franchise ended up being the critical reason behind my choosing the Xbox 360 over the PS3.

When the Xbox 360 came out I was so eager to upgrade that I paid a scalper on Ebay just so that I could have the console before Christmas. I also started tracking the release date for Final Fantasy XI and waited eagerly for the game to come out. Unfortunately, there were a few delays with the game and every time I saw the release date pushed further out, it became increasingly frustrating after having waited so long. Finally, Microsoft settled on the release date of April 18th for the game and I quickly pre-ordered my copy from Amazon.com.

The closer it got to the 18th, the more excited I became about the game and when Amazon erroneously sent me an email telling me it had shipped a week early, I got really excited. When the game didn’t arrived I contacted Amazon and they told me that not only did the game not ship early, but that I’d have to wait until April 21st before their vendor would ship it and then 5 more days for it to arrive in the mail. Having already waited five years for the game, I couldn’t wait any longer and cancelled my order in lieu of buying it in a retail store on the day of the release.

On the 18th, I called Best Buy to see if they got their shipment of the game and they told me that the game had been delayed yet again for two weeks and that I needed to check back in May for the game. This didn’t seem right to me because the Xbox website still showed April 18th as the release date, so I immediately went into panic mode and started calling, EB games, Circuit City, Toy’s R Us, Wherehouse Music, Sears & Gamestop for the game. Each retailer gave me different information about the release information for the game and it wasn’t until I called Gamestop that they told me that the 18th wasn’t really the release date for the game, but rather the shipment date that Microsoft sends the game to retailers. This seemed a little deceptive to me because there was no way that consumers could actually play the game on the 18th. You would never say that the release date for a hot movie was the 18th and then have no theaters show the film, but apparently it’s Ok to say that a release date is the 18th, even though consumers can’t even buy or play the game.

At the very least it would have been nice for there to be better communication with the retail stores. If Best Buy would have told me that the real release date was the 19th, I would have been bothered by it, but wouldn’t have been frustrated. Instead I heard answers ranging from EB games telling me that it should have shipped on the 16th to Amazon telling me that it didn’t ship until the 21st. If it wasn’t for Gamestop’s amazing customer service, I would never have known that the 19th was the real launch date for the game.

Having waited this long for the Final Fantasy franchise you can imagine my anticipation when I finally got my hands on the game on Wednesday the 19th. As I put the disc into my Xbox 360 my hands were trembling with excitement over what I assumed would be a digital masterpiece. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be this easy. Despite having an actual disc of the game, I was forced to install a really crappy SquareEnix program called PlayOnline. I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t just go through Xbox Live instead, but it took me about 45 minutes to get the program installed and to register for it. With PlayOnline finally set up I was finally ready to do mortal battle with enemies of Vana’diel, but unfortunately, before I could play the game, I was notified that I would now have to actually install Final Fantasy XI onto my hard drive and play it from there. The installation process was tremendously slow and took over an hour and a half to complete, but with both SquareEnix’s program installed and Final Fantasy installed I figured I was finally ready to play the game.

This was when I discovered something very disturbing. Despite having just spent $60 to buy the game, 3 hours trying to get the game installed and years waiting for this moment, I was now told that I had to pay a $12.95 monthly fee plus $1 per character if I wanted to play the game. Now I’m not opposed to paying monthly fees to play video games. In fact I’ve used Gamefly before and really like not having to pay a big up front charge just to try something. I’m also not opposed to paying up front charges to get games that I know I will play over and over again despite how old the game gets, but this was clearly a case where Microsoft was double dipping and charging consumers both types of fees without disclosing this prior to the upfront purchase.

As a consumer, I feel deceived by Microsoft and think that they are using false advertising to promote the game. I never would have spent the up front money in order to buy the game if I knew that it was going to cost me more then $200 to play the game for the next 12 months. Even worse was that I found out after purchasing the game that there was no resale value to the game because only one license is granted to each disc. No where on Amazon’s website is this monthly fee disclosed and nowhere on the box does it tell consumers that they’ll have to pay $14 per month on top of the $60 to play the game.

The game did have a sticker attached indicating a free month of service in very small print, but this is more then a little misleading and I interpeted this to mean an extra month of Xbox Live wa
s included in the purchase price. As it turns out, not only do you have to pay SquareEnix $14 per month, but you also need to pay Microsoft over $4 per month for the Xbox Live subscription as well.

These fees are simply unacceptable to me and the fact that Microsoft makes you go through such a lengthy registration process makes it difficult to balk at the monthly fee when it’s finally disclosed. Had they properly disclosed the cost upfront, I would have saved myself the frustration of waiting and installing the game only to find out the true cost of playing Final Fantasy XI. Furthermore, most game stores have a policy of not giving rebates for opened games and once you install the game, you can’t resell it on Ebay because it contains a special one time use access code that is tied to the registration of the game. As a consumer you are faced with the choice of eating the $60 up front cost or agreeing to pay SquareEnix extortion fees of $14 per month on top of what I already pay Microsoft to get online.

Figuring I was out the $60 already, I bit the bullet and agreed to the ongoing charges, just so that I could try out the game for one month to see if the hype was worth it. It was at that point that I found out that Xbox needed yet another “update” before I would even be allowed to play the game. This update took an additional 2 hours to install and even after the update was completed. SquareEnix failed to honor the Content ID key that I had purchased. I would have called SquareEnix directly, but they disconnected their customer service lines prior to bringing the game online, so I had no choice but to wait until the next day in order to finally experience Final Fantasy on the Xbox 360.

After having played the game, I will tell you that it isn’t even worth the $60 up front to experience the game. The graphics are impressive, but the game play is terrible and interacting online is a real pain because you have to spell out what you want to say letter by letter on a virtual keyboard. Had not Microsoft and SquareEnix engaged in this deceptive advertising, I would have saved myself the trouble of spending the $60 up front and the five hours of my life that it took to get the game installed on my machine. Why Microsoft couldn’t just sell me a downloadable version of the game with the monthly fee only is beyond me, but if this is Peter Moore’s vision of cinematic gaming then I want nothing to do with the Xbox 360. It was hard enough to acquire the game to begin with, but to see extra charges disclosed only after 3 hours into the installation charges is just plain wrong. I expect more out of Microsoft am very disappointed that the company did not embrace a Final Fantasy solution for casual gamers who just want to pop the game in once a month and spend a couple of hours playing. Now I know that Microsoft needed Final Fantasy in order to gain market share in Japan, but the price they paid was far too steep and screwing your customers will only end up backfiring on them.

Freeberg Update
– After looking at the back of the box, it does say that there is a monthly fee required, so I apologize for misinterpeting what the sticker meant. I don’t think that this is false advertising, but I still maintain that this is deceptive advertising however, because they don’t disclose the true cost of the game until after the initial purchase. Also, I want to clarify that I don’t blame Microsoft solely for the lack of disclosure. I blame SquareEnix more then anyone, but I put a lot of trust into Microsoft and because they are a recipient of the up front cost, I think that they have an ethical obligation to disclose what the true cost of the game is, before a consumer makes the up front purchase. Maybe it’s not fair to hold Microsoft to a higher standard then other companies, but as a leader in the video game industry I expect more. I’d also like to clarify that the cost of the game is really $50, but with tax it’s almost $60. I did not include tax in $13.95 charge though.

Update #2 – It turns out that in Canada and in the UK online retailers are properly disclosing the actual cost of the monthly service charge. What’s strange about this is that Best Buy seems to feel that they can’t rip off Canadians, but it’s alright to fleece American consumers. It’s also worth noting that Amazon.com has done the responsible thng and has put up a product Wiki on their site disclosing the monthly service charge.

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93 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Huh?

    Ok seriously Thomas, I gotta wonder if you ever do research into products before buying thme. It hasn’t been a secret that FFXI would cost ot play online. The free beta was temporary.

    I’m not even interested in the game and I know that. How did you somehow miss this in every single preview or mention ofthe game over the last six months or so?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dude its an old game, maybe 3 years old. Everyone knows you need to pay a monthly 15$ for the game, you dont pay Microsoft , you pay Square and Sony Online.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree, though I suppose I might have a similar reaction buying blind, FFXI has been available to play for free as beta for a long time now. And there has been plenty of coverage of the game including the annoyance of it not being fully Live enabled. I gather from your anger over the monthly fee that this is also your first MMORPG. The only game that doesn’t operate that way (in the PC world anyway) that I know of is Guild Wars…

  4. First Off,

    Tom didn’t write this I did and it might be common knowledge to the hardcore gamers of the world, but as a casual gamer, I was shocked to find out about this. If this really is a common charge, then why not disclose the monthly fee on the front of the box? Why is it up to the consumer to have to dig through the fanboy gaming sites in order to not make a mistake.

    I can see a lot of parents buying this game for their kids and never knowing about these costs until after they give it to little Timmy for Christmas.

    The bottom line is that these charges are never disclosed at the retail level (where most people make their purchasing decisions) and if it was I never would have had to go through this experience. When I talked to SquareUnix about the game, the rep said that there have been a lot of complaints regarding this issue.

    All the fanboys might feel that I should have done more research, but I’ve been buying games for over 20 years and have never paid a monthly charge in order to own a game. If Microsoft wanted to open up their game library to unlimted rentals for a monthly charge that would be one thing, but if I had to pay a monthly charge for every game I’ve purchased, I’d pay more then what I pay in rent.

  5. Anonymous says:

    1) PlayOnline is a portal for Square-Enix – This is similar to Xbox live in that you pay a monthly fee for tons of online content. This is great for when Square-Enix launches additional online titles, as each title is much cheeper than having to pay for multiple accounts for different games. The cost for FFXI is $1 per character. Other games from Tetra Master to Front Mission Online have similar subscription prices. You might think it sucks, but I find it a much better business model.

    2) With the X-BOX LIVE SILVER subscription, you don’t have to pay for any additional fees to play FFXI. You are incorrect in saying that Microsoft is being deceptive. Perhaps you have the GOLD subscription or misunderstood? I never had to pay any money to Microsoft.

    3) There have been many problems with this release – I’m not sure what really happened but:
    PS2 – Multiple users have reported that the registration code for the expansion was not even printed in the book. Irronicly, on the bottom page where the codes are supposed to be, the manual indicates not to forget or misplace your registration code as it will not be replaced for any reasons.
    X-BOX – Some printed codes in the X-BOX manuals are not accepted by the registration server. I believe (but not sure) that emergency maintenance was done to the servers to allow the codes to be accepted, but I’m not sure if this problem was really fixed or not.
    PC – The post-update crashes are back. Some users are reporting that after updating/upgrading to the expansion the game fails to play. Error messages are vauge and widely different.

    4) Customization – FFXI was concieved and built for a Console and PC setup. The game offers litterally hundreds of ways to play. Mice, Controllers, and Keyboards setup in all kinds of manners, from the short keyboard setup found on laptops to configuring mice/controllers to operate in a ‘invert’ style like piloting. In addition, the game can be played in first person or third person view. You can set various keybindings, mouse speeds, among other things. Even if you dont have a keyboard or mouse, the game offeres an on-screen keyboard to type. In either case of using the real/virtual keyboard, there is an autocomplete/translation feature that will easily allow you to complete simple words and phrases with a push of a button. You obviously did not explore all the options this game has to offer. I have yet to meet someone online that cant play the game the way the feel comfortable in playing.

    5) Square-Enix is not Microsoft – SE made alot of the decisions on how it invisioned an X-BOX platform would go. Microsoft, knowing that without Square-Enix or the Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest Series support, hands were tied. Basically, alot of the things you seem to have problems with you blame on Microsoft. In reality, Square-Enix is the source for alot of the so-explained hardships. Everything from PlayOnline to (not) offering a download alternative was all decided by Square-Enix.

    On a side and personal note: I’ve been playing the game for 3 years now. I’d like to think that I’m very experienced in other MMORPG. This game is perhaps THE BEST MMORPG I have ever played. The launch may have been a bit rough, but you have to weigh the good it has to offer. FFXI is one of the best community demanding RPG’s I have ever played. It keeps alot of the idiots out and forces people to work together. It is much much much HARDER than your traditional MMORPG style and that is part of what makes it fun. FFXI has many complex insides that make the game very dynamic, and even the simplest things seem to have a part in how the FFXI world works. As for the actual gameplay and story, I cant really say a whole lot without giving away some of the good stuff – lets just say it has one of the best storylines I have ever experienced in any MMO and it keeps getting better with every quarterly update. Thousands of people have tried to leave FFXI for other MMORPG’s and many of them come back. Once you have touched FFXI, you will never look at another MMORPG the same way again.

    If you ever end up on Diabolos shoot me a tell. I’ll make sure you find the “Final Fantasy” in FFXI.

    You’ve been dugg!

    75WHM
    75BRD
    – Asmoranomar of Diabolos

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey bud, I’m researching this and will post it to Joystiq once I’ve gotten to the bottom of it.

    – Vlad (Joystiq.com)

  7. Thomas Hawk says:

    Yeah, Davis wrote this not me. Although I wasn’t aware of these charges but I’m a total non gamer.

    That being said I did buy an XBox 360 to use as a Media Center Extender unit and have suprisingly bought 4 games myself. I bought the Tiger Woods golf game, which sucks. I bought the Tony Hawk skateboarding game which I don’t like either. I love the Gotham Racing Game and my favorite has been Kameo.

    Kameo’s been my favorite most of all though because my 5 year old son is really, really into it. He can’t stop talking about it. We play together with me doing the battle parts that are too hard for him and he playing a lot of the other parts.

    I’m not sure it’s the best thing to be exposing my 5 year old son to and I’m hoping that I won’t permanently damage him but we have fun doing this together.

    Of course if they were going to charge my son and I to play Kameo together on a monthly basis then I’d definitely skip it, as much as we both enjoy playing the game.

    It’s a blast to hear a five year old saying over and over again, Dad, go to the WotNot book! Go to the WotNot book!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Davis,

    This exact game has been avialable for three years. If you wanted to avoid paying $60 and $15 a month for the game, you had THREE YEARS to read a review of the game.

    You’ve had the last several months to play the free beta of the game on xbox 360. You could have read about impressions from the beta on IGN or other websites.

    You didn’t do any of those things. $60 is n’t a guarantee that you will enjoy a game, no matter how much we want it to be.

    I’m honestly trying to figure out how you knew what the release date of the game was, without ever reading a single review or preview of the game, it defies explanation unless you only found all information about it from the poster at your local
    GameStop.

    In this particular case more than any other game avialable, you’ve had many opportunities to find out what it was like beforehand and skipped them all.

  9. I actually avoided reading reviews on the game because I didn’t want to find out any spoilers prior to launch. I found the launch date on the team Xbox site which makes no reference to the monthly fee.

    http://games.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/1178/Final-Fantasy-XI/

    You are right that $60 doesn’t guarantee that I’d like the game, but to pay $60 and not be able to play the game at all feels like a rip off. If squareunix wants to make me pay a monthly charge to get online it would be one thing, but you can’t even play a one player version of this game without paying the monthly charges which are never disclosed when paying the upfront costs. Now maybe I could have played this 3 years ago, but not on the Xbox which is what I use for gaming.

    The fact that I should have clearly better researched the game doesn’t negate the fact that the monthly charge isn’t listed anywhere on the games packaging or online sites where you buy it. If they did this wouldn’t be an issue. Microsoft has to know that if they disclosed the fee on the box that it would hurt sales and this is why I feel it’s deceptive.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to know where he gets his resources too. The website clearly stated the game would be shipping on the 18th, buyable on the 19th in most places, and online service enabled on the 20th. All you had to do was visit the main website.

    I also like to find out where he got “Microsoft had somehow convinced Squaresoft..blah blah”, as the referenced article makes no direct mention to this. Microsoft didn’t do any convincing. Square-Enix has always wanted to expand the platforms for their games. Mobile Phones, PS1, PS2, NES, SNES, GC, GB, DS, X-BOX, PC and now the 360 & PS3. Not to mention their Manga(Not many ppl know Full Metal Alchemist is a product of Square-Enix) and the transition into a TV Series and FMA Game. Music from CD’s, Ringtones, iPod Downloads to Concerts. Movies (nuff said). Works with other Game companies to make new and exciting titles (Kingdom Hearts anyone?). – So yeah, Microsoft didn’t do any convicing. If you read the history, Square-Enix told Microsoft that they were getting ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY from their online services. Microsoft tried to persue putting FFXI on X-Box GOLD, but failed. – The reason? Microsoft wants a cut of the Final Fantasy success. Part of the subscription would have gone to Microsoft. That would either have meant that Square-Enix would have either had to take a cut on all X-BOX subscribers, or raise the subscription prices. Instead, FFXI is sold at a bloated price so Microsoft can get an upfront cut on the price. The result?
    PS2 – $30
    PC – $30
    XBOX – $60 (actually its $50 here, but whatever)

    Oh, and one more thing – Aside from the fact that its been covered by multiple sources, THE BOX DOES INDEED STATE THAT PLAYONLINE IS A SEPERATE SERVICE AND DOES NOT INCLUDE OTHER COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR INTERNET PROVIDER AND X-BOX LIVE SUBSCRIPTION CONTENT.

    Learn to read and do a little reasarch sometime?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Davis,
    Sorry, but the “bottom line” is you made a series of really poor purchasing decisions (not least of which is overpaying for a console system you didn’t want to play a game that wasn’t released yet), and now your mad at the world.

    I could repeat the same factual points that you’ve dismissed as “fanboyism”, but since you weren’t listening there’s little point.

    My suggestion to you is to sell you 360 ASAP while there’s still a bit of a shortage going on and get the most for it you can. Then wait until all three of the next generation consoles are out with titles you like that are actually shipping before deciding which console to purchase.

    If you keep it, than at least pick yourself up a copy of oblivion. It’s not a japanese style RPG, but is an exeedingly well done american style RPG.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the so so wold of the MMO…with the acceptation of guild wars all MMO’s have a monthly fee and no resale value (you can argue if GW is true MMO). FF XI has been out forever, and I’m looking at the PC venison box (that I played for about a month and then shelved for the retched interface and so so world) and it clearly states there is a monthly fee and a credit card is required for play. Not sure why the xbox version is different, but I poked around and you are right none of the top level adds or requirements disclose on the xbox venison, there are additional fee’s. This is pretty inane and arguable fraudulent. Sad that they don’t take advantage of voip either… really sad, but this game is ancient by MMO standards
    Just to commensurate with your install woes, many PC owners could not even install the game original because it didn’t like certain DVD drives, we had to go through a multi hour process of ripping the games and doing various acts of voodoo sacrifice to make it work. And then had all the horrible mini UI issues and patching on top of that too. I liked some of the earlier FF games but after FF XI I sabbatical for the PC I decided it would be a very long time before I bought another Square product.
    Sorry you where so let down… again welcome the MMO world ;).

    To all those saying he should have known better I say STFU, try and take off the gamer eyes and look at the world from a casual gamer enthusist perspective. If your are not into MMO’s or a hardcore gamer there is no reason you should KNOW anything past what the marketing materials and boxes are telling you, and it is not listed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “try and take off the gamer eyes and look at the world from a casual gamer enthusist perspective”

    I don’t want to be rude, but take your own quote and put it in reverse…

    MMO Players dont want casual players.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Davis, if you can afford to spend 60 dollars on a game without ever reading a preview to find out what it is about (the team xbox preview listed on the same page you linked clearly details the costs), then quite honestly that is the risk you take.

    Assuming what the other person said is true about there being a note on the box about fees for playonline then truly I can’t sympathize with your plight at all.

    BTw, this game costs $50, not $60, i don’t know if you were including tax or maybe live in canada, but you may have been ripped off.

    Maybe you shou use best buy next time, they note a fee and internet connection is required for play, the same as they note for World of Warcraft
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7294714&productCategoryId;=pcmcat66900050002&type;=product&tab;=4&id;=1118841876912

    Also, the picture of the box on amazon.com says RIGHT ON THE FRONT a monthly fee is required.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ENW5W4/qid=1145656192/sr=8-4/ref=pd_bbs_4/104-4827481-8637510?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v;=glance&n;=468642

    Does it not say that on the copy you bought?

  15. Shawn Oster says:

    I’m curious, how does the World of Warcraft or City of Heroes packaging communicate with the consumer that there is a monthly fee? Was the FF packaging that different from those games?

    My biggest issue with the story is that Davis kept blaming Microsoft. Why? I don’t believe this was a Microsoft Studio’s game so they have zero control over what Sony/Square decided to do with their online component. Be mad at Square, be very mad. Live is one of the things that Microsoft has done very well and Square creating another process out of band is just annoying. Keep the tweaks and multiple services on the PC, which is better suited to such an environment.

    I’d cut it some slack if it actually worked better than Live but I’ve seen enough horror stories to know that they wasted time porting/reinventing the wheel and it doesn’t even roll very well.
    As an aside, whoever said MMO players don’t want casuals is only speaking from his little cliche. I know *many* “hardcore” MMO players that love playing with their more casual friends.

  16. You’re telling me that you can read that small print in the photo on Amazon from the photo? Even if I blow it up I still can’t make out what it says. The Best Buy ad doesn’t even allow you to blow up the photo to read the small print.

    When I bought the game retail, this small print “monthly fee” disclaimer was covered with a sticker that said one month free. It made it sound like the one month free was for Xbox live and that Xbox live was all that was required.

    Furthermore, the actual fee is never disclosed at the retail level. A $2 a month charge might be acceptable, but $14 a month on top of the $57.50 (including tax) that I paid is ridiculous. The $14 a month does not include tax by the way.

    As far as being able to afford the fee, that’s not really the point. $14 a month means nothing to me. What I’m upset about is that it’s not clearly marked on the front of the package and you don’t find out what the charge is until after you’ve spent 3 hours installing the game. They could have clearly made this fee much more visable to prevent surprises. I’m sorry that I’m such a newbie to MMO games but to be honest I didn’t even realize that this was an online only game until after I got home and tried to install it.

  17. I blame Microsoft, SquareUnix & Wherehouse, but I hold Microsoft to a higher standard because I trust them the most.

    When I called SquareUnix to complain they actually told me that it’s not their responsibility to let consumers know about the charges, but rather the retailer who took my $60. I don’t buy into this. I think if Microsoft is going to charge $60 for something that doesn’t allow you to do anything without paying additional charges that it’s unethical to take my money without telling me about this. I actually blame SquareUnix more then anyone because they basically held a gun to Microsofts head and said you let us charge these fees or else you’ll never be popular in Japan. A tough position for Softie. Frankly, I have no objection to them wanting to charge the monthly service charge, what I object to is the total lack of disclosure about what these charges are until it’s too late for the consumer to take it back.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The thing is – there is disclosure.

    It says it on the box. I can read it on the amazon.com blowup.

    It say it’s online only right on the box. if that was covered by a sticker, go curse out the retailer, they deserve it.

    No MMO game I have EVER bought states thefee on the box, because to do so would be stupid.

    No one in any industryo would do that.

    The resason is, what if they change the cost later? Then all the boxes would need to be changed.

    You could have found out the price at any time, and you specifically chose not to.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Davis,

    The company name is Square-Enix, not Square-Unix.

    Here you are, making your case concerning what is or isn’t clearly indicated on the box. And yet in this article you’ve gotten this piece of information (which is clearly on the box) wrong many times.

    Can you see how that looks not so good?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m so pissed! I bought this eggbeater, and the damn think won’t make waffles! I blame the Eggo company for false advertising.

  21. Thanks for the tip I misspell things all time. It’s terrebly embarassing. SquareUnix must have been how it was pronounced when I talked to their billing department.

    I also went home and looked at the box and buried in small fine print on the back, it does say “Add’l Monthly Fee & Broadband Connection”, but it also describes Xbox Live as follows “Paid subscription required for online multiplayer, co-op and some downloads. Some Xbox Live services require additional hardware (e.g. headset and camera) and fees.” of course the same disclaimer about Xbox Live is on my Fight Night Round 3 game which has no monthly service charges attached to it.

    Maybe I’m an idiot for not reading the back of the box, but quite honestly I made the decision to buy the game long before I even decided to buy my Xbox 360. Even with the “monthy fee” disclosed in the small print, I still think this is deceptive though because consumers never find out how much the monthly charge is until they are halfway through a 4 – 5 hour installation process. Even if you go to SquareEnix’s Final Fantasy website, I can’t find the fee information.

    http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/index.shtml

  22. Anonymous says:

    I just don’t understand how no one ever told you over the last several years that the game costs per month.

    If you had gone about this process the exact same way with WoW, you would have the same experience,

  23. Sorry, but none of my friends play video games. I only learned what Pwned meant a couple of months ago. When you are working full time you it’s hard to spend the type of dedication that you need for WOW. Between my Netflix habit and my internet time, I don’t really have the time to follow video games very closely. Maybe core games might have known about this, but the Final Fantasy franchise appeals to a much broader audience then WOW and there will be a lot of people who don’t realize that the game will cost $200 in the first 12 months that you have it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ok davis, now you’re just being obtuse. I work full time too, but I have the time to at least find out what something is before I buy it. A quick google search or even a skim of ANY summary at any time over the last 36 months would have resulted in you not making this post. Being “buusy” or “not a hardcore gamer” is not a valid excuse, you just purchased blindly on the square name and then were surprsed that whateveer game you had imagined (I’m still not sure what) wasn’t in the box.

    FFXI does not appeal to a broad audience. on ps2, you had to buy a $100 hdd attachment that only worked for this game to be able to play it.

    That is a very narrow audience.

    Finally, I can’t believe you said “fable” was the only good rpg on the xbox. It was easily the worst or at least most disappointing. Its obddly duplicitous of you to claim to know what the best of genre is on a particular system, and thne in the next breath claim you don’t have time to keep up with videogames.

    If you had purchased morrowind or kotor for the xbox, or oblivion for the 360, you’d be a much happier person right now.

    *shrug* I suppose you do represent a particular segment of the consumer base, people who expect everything to be what they want when they want, without ever checking to see if it actually is, and for that I thank you.

  25. Tim says:

    This whole thing is kind of weird.

    Even though I’m in the games industry, I don’t know a whole lot about FF games, because they’re exactly the sort of games I don’t like, but this is what I have gleaned from this thread:

    – Davis seems to have arbitrarily decided a couple of years ago to buy the next ‘Final Fantasy’ game. Whatever it was.

    – Whatever it turned out to be, Davis didn’t want to know, in case it ‘spoiled’ the game.

    – The FF game in question is online only.

    – Davis didn’t even know that it was online only.

    – Davis still bought the game knowing nothing about it.

    – Davis bought the Xbox 360 from an ebay scalper (at a presumably very high price), even though the game he actually bought it for wasn’t even out at that point. And it wasn’t due out for months, it seems.

    – Davis has a history of making blind purchasing decisions – e.g. selling his PS2 and buying an Xbox (seemingly just because Microsoft told him to), and then getting annoyed when GTA2 and FFIX aren’t available on the Xbox.

    – Instead of learning from this, Davis repeats the behaviour with Xbox 360 and the new FF game.

    – Even though Davis is ‘very busy’ and works full time so can’t find out stuff about the game he wants, he still finds time to waste in inordinate amount of time ‘panicking’ and phoning around retailers to find if the game is out on the 18th, 19th, or 20th etc. As if this really matters when you’ve been waiting a couple of years.

    – Even though Davis had not read a single preview or review of the game, or seemingly even talked to anyone about it, he ‘assumed’ that the game ‘would be a digital masterpiece’.

    – Davis had to install a load of SquareEnix crap on his 360, even (apparently) to the extent of installing the game on the 360’s hard disk. Here, I side with Davis. What the hell is this crap? He bought a console, not a PC.

    – The monthly charge wasn’t made obvious to Davis, and was only revealed after he had been through hours of install hell. Again, here I side with Davis – if he hasn’t been keeping up on video games, it’s quite possible he didn’t know that most MMORPGs charge monthly rates. After all, he didn’t even know FFXI *was* an MMORPG. Just about all of Davis’ points on this are valid. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not thinking about mainstream customers.

    – While we’re on that: I really can’t read the text on that Amazon box photo – can someone post a link to the actual jpeg where the text is readable (assuming you don’t already know what the text says, of course)?

    – Davis ‘trusts’ Microsoft (*stifled giggle*)

    To summarise: Davis really should have researched his purchase a bit more. There’s no real excuse for the developer/retailer being so coy about online charges, but there’s also no excuse for Davis not finding out if this is the sort of game he even wants to play. Especially considering his previous experiences with blindly buying a new console. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over but expecting to get different results?

    To summarise the summary: for God’s sake, Davis, don’t buy an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player. Otherwise you’re in for a world of hurt.

    In closing, I have often wondered why sequels to games/films do so well, even if they’re not very good. I think Davis has just answered this question for me.

  26. scragz says:

    Oh man, I lost over six months of last year to that damn game. Went all-out; red mage 75, cooking 100, bunch of other crafts, finally beat CoP. I quit cold-turkey in February and now I lead a happy, well-adjusted life (ok, I switched to Flickr, but at least photography is interesting).

  27. Anonymous says:

    hey btw only third party games charge 60 bucks i think,for what i understand microsoft charges 50 for their games right?.

  28. Its a shame to see that Amazon.com didn’t publish the subscription requirement, but Amazon.co.uk do:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BM3XP6/qid=1145724382/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_11_3/202-3421053-7002261

    “Please note: This game is played online only; you’ll need an Internet connection, plus a credit card for registration. The first 30 days’ play is free; after that you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee, payable by credit card.”

    Also, you mention that you have to pay for Xbox Live Gold to play FFXI – you don’t. A silver subscription will work – I’m guessing Microsoft don’t want people to feel double charged:

    http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/683/683723p1.html

    I had similar problems to yourself during the beta period – I spent half a day installing the demo. And once in the age of FFXI shows. Badly. It looks extremely dull and isn’t at all fun to play. Later that day I uninstalled.

  29. G. says:

    I’m a bad consumer who didn’t look at any information before making a significant purchase! Now I’ll blame everyone but myself!

    Look at me! Look at me!

  30. Anonymous says:

    I guess I am confused on what the big issue is here. If you had the PC version they also charge you a monthly fee. Most multi-player on-line games charge you a fee, with the final fantasy titles leading this for a number of years. This is really Square and not a Microsoft issue, though. What could Microsoft have done other than not allow the title to be released on their console? Also the install process on the PC is just as bad as it is on the 360. Like many people I installed the demo via OXM and then promptly uninstalled it. It was too long of an install and there are other much more fun games out there to play that are unique to the 360.

  31. Seifer says:

    Read page 9 of the Xbox 360 edition of the Final Fantasy XI manual. Seriously, if you won’t bother to look up even the smallest amount of information about a game, then all the more power to SE. Remember, people… there’s a fine line between being a casual gamer and being just plain stupid.

  32. Matt says:

    Quite the dilemma you have there. Let’s look at this some more.

    “Over the course of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to live through the evolution of the video game industry. I’ve gone from the rudimentary graphics of the Commodore 64 to the powerful functionality of the Xbox 360 and it’s been a pretty amazing journey.”

    That’s cool, I know what you mean. I’ve been through Atari to the 360, and it has been pretty sweet watching the technology change and improve.

    But then you said,

    “I called Gamestop that they told me that the 18th wasn’t really the release date for the game, but rather the shipment date…”

    How could you have been involved in video games since the Commodore 64 and never noticed that games are listed by their shipping date? It’s been like this for as along as I can remember.

    You already said you mis-read the part of the box that mentions the monthly fee and the free month of service, does the 360 version say you need a major credit card to play? I know the PS2 version does.

    All it would have taken, would be to ask the person at the counter about the monthly fee, post a question in one of many FFXI forums, or ask someone you know who plays the game, how much the cost is.

    It’s not a very hard concept to grasp, asking about things you don’t know about.

  33. Anonymous says:

    >> but you can’t even play a one player version of this game without paying the monthly charges which are never disclosed when paying the upfront costs.

    Final Fantasy XI (11): ONLINE.

    Read that, again until it sinks into your head. There is no single-player game.

    Also, it’s Square-Enix. Not Unix. Unix is an operating system. -_-;

  34. Anonymous says:

    You sir have to be the stupidist consumer in the entire world. People like you are the reason why we have to put warning lables on rat poison so they don’t eat it. HMMM.. look at this it looks tastey I think I’ll eat it… OH NO DON’T EAT THAT IT’S POISIN… oops darn should have read up on what you were “eating” before you bought it you asshat.

  35. Anonymous says:

    IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE

  36. Copperhead says:

    Of course he could just buy himself a new car to cheer himself up.

    Oh noes, this car requires fuel! And tires! And oil and stuff! It didn’t say that on the little sign I glanced at in passing as I ran through the dealership shrugging off any offers of help.

    Cocktard. I’m glad you don’t play WoW, we got enough people like you already.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Wait…

    I read your entire editorial and in all honesty I’m completely confused.

    1. – On the FF box it says you need to pay an additional fee to play online.

    2. – These MMO games have been around for almost a decade now. They ALL require additional monthly fees. It’s always been like that, I don’t know what you were expecting.

    3. – They have servers and employees to upkeep, that’s why they charge the additional fees.

    4. – Your story just makes no sense. In my opinion you come across as a money grabber who is looking for a reason to sue a company.

    This should be a non issue. You are in the wrong, the various companies involved did nothing wrong. No one got fleeced or tricked. They’ve done everything and more they are required to, you just made an ill informed purchase. I mean…come on. We shouldn’t have to patronize you and have to spell this out for you. Online games have been around for a DECADE! And you didn’t know they required a monthly fee!?

    Remember to research your purchases before picking them up, especially if they are a hardcore RPG game.

  38. Anonymous says:

    FFXI is a MMORPG.

    MMORPG have a monthly fee, you can play a month free.

    Sorry Thomas Hawk you are an idiot. You are the reason why McDonald’s has labels on their Coffee cup that say “HOT”.

  39. John Lucas says:

    I saw this story from Joystiq.com & I will repost my views on this matter here:
    http://www.joystiq.com/2006/04/22/gamer-feels-cheated-by-ffxis-sneaky-hidden-fees/3#c1428272

    “You know…the majority of the posts on this story signifies to me EXACTLY what is wrong with the game industry nowadays.

    This was OBVIOUS misleading on Square’s part. As some have said here the title of this game was “Final Fantasy XI”. Final Fantasy Eleven…as in the CONTINUATION of the before-known series of Ten.
    Those ten being games you pick & buy…..ONCE.

    On those Ten, no upgrading character fees & no monthly installments on a system that ALREADY has a fee to play online.

    This “he should have known” line is garbage. Nonsense.
    Nobody’s gonna know that going in unless they’re some obsessed game nerd.

    Yes, it SHOULD be LARGELY WRITTEN ON THE BOX that it has additional fees to play. Not some little blurb on the back or in the corner. UP FRONT & IN BOLD.

    But beyond this…to me I have a problem with this whole setup to begin with.

    Who in the HELL…who in the HELL pays EXTRA Money to play a game they already supposedly own???
    This is my first time hearing of this phenomenon. This MMORPG payment thing.

    I’m not talking about extra accessories they we buy after the game that enhance that game.
    I’m talking about paying tolls—that’s what they are—to play a damn game.

    That’s crazy to me!
    It’s like me having to send them a $20 just to be able to execute Mario’s triple jump! Or to write them a check for $500 to fight Bowser. INSANE!

    Once you buy a game that should be the end of your game purchase. This is unheard of. And there are MUCH better things I can spend my free money on besides tolls on a videogame.
    What? To ride the Chocobo I have to LITERALLY pay 100 GP (converted to 100 USD)?? Sick.

    You know I enjoyed the Final Fantasy series on the SNES. The ones us Americans got called FF II & FF III (which were actually FF4 & FF6). They were some of the games that got me INTO RPG’s. I especially liked 6 (Kefka was just a freak!).

    I have never owned a Playstation & therefore I missed out on the continuation of the series only hearing about it here & there. But I always said that when I pick me up a Sony system that I’ll catch up on those Final Fantasies I missed.

    But is THIS the direction Square has taken since those Super Nintendo days? If so, maybe it’s NOT such a bad thing I missed out.

    From what I said you can see people like to finish out a series. So it’s no surprise that when the guy saw “Final Fantasy 11” he assumed that it was just like all the OTHER 10 Final Fantasies only this time compatible with X-Box Live.
    He would know that X-Box Live has a fee & would have had no problem paying that. But to pay EVEN MORE AFTER THAT just to play the game? That’s fraud. And immoral.

    And THEN a game you have to install??? What IS this? This is supposed to be CONSOLE GAMING. Plug & Play. No fuss. This ain’t PC rigging. What the hell?!?
    And then it takes forever at that??? Ripoff!

    That’s like George Lucas asking you to pay scene by scene in the Star Wars Prequels. You go in assuming you’re just watching that backstory of the Star Wars series you have come to know & love only to be hit in the face with some obscene tolling. You’ve already paid for your ticket to get in and you STILL have to pay extra once you’re already sitting down in the theater??? I don’t think so.

    This is EXACTLY why I don’t want Microsoft or Sony at the top of the industry. They will ruin gaming ESPECIALLY Microsoft. They can be around but Nintendo should always be at the forefront of the industry because if they ever go, gaming will die.

    It’s a tough pill to swallow just to pay for X-Box Live much less anything after that.

    Davis Freeberg has every right to feel cheated. And gamers should be right with him in agreement if they’re smart.”

    John Lucas

  40. Anonymous says:

    Again,

    I just dropped by to see if there was a new development, but it looks like no.

    To the above poster. I say again we shouldn’t have to patronize you or the orignal poster, by explaining things step by step. Playing dumb to get some wierd point across doesn’t help at all, at least not in my opinion. I’ll reiterate one of my points above:

    – THESE MMO GAMES HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE 1996! A DECADE!

    – Because the companies run 24 hour servers that need maintance and upkeep, they must charge a monthly fee. Without that fee, there would be no world to play in. This is why there is a monthly fee.

    – So are you guys telling us that you’ve never heard of Everquest or World of Warcraft? Are you serious in saying that you had no idea there were MMORPG games out there that you had to pay a montly subscription to?

    – I refuse to believe any of your story (to the above poster or original) because it is all so far fetched.

    – What did you think you were getting into when you read the back of the box? It describes playing with thousands of other players in the same world. So what did you expect?

    – Here’s what I think happened…
    The original poster was very mildly interested in this game. He had heard about it a few times over the last 3 years and never really gave it another thought. It was just a name that kept popping up. Then all of a sudden there was a surge of interest the week before it came out, so he decided to pick up this Final Fantasy XI game because he heard some people talking about it.

    ***It is a consumer’s duty to research a purchase before buy it. A normal person would have heard people talking about it then, BEFORE buying the game would have checked it out really quick online or in a magazine, at least to see if it got good reviews. In doing so, this normal person would have realized its a MMO.

    – You skipped that integral step of investigating your purchase and bought it blindly.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Cry more noob

  42. Anonymous says:

    Cry
    More
    Noob

  43. Anonymous says:

    This is gonna be good
    ________________________________
    This was OBVIOUS misleading on Square’s part. As some have said here the title of this game was “Final Fantasy XI”. Final Fantasy Eleven…as in the CONTINUATION of the before-known series of Ten
    ________________________________
    It states on the box FFXI ONLINE

    _________________________________
    Who in the HELL…who in the HELL pays EXTRA Money to play a game they already supposedly own???
    This is my first time hearing of this phenomenon. This MMORPG payment thing.
    ________________________________

    Ever heard of Everquest?Came out in 1999 Online fee of $12.95US. This isnt a new concept. FFXI was my first MMORPG and even I knew of everquest and that it reqired an online fee.

    ________________________________
    But is THIS the direction Square has taken since those Super Nintendo days? If so, maybe it’s NOT such a bad thing I missed out
    _________________________________
    We dont want people like you plaing our game anyhow.
    _________________________________
    And THEN a game you have to install??? What IS this? This is supposed to be CONSOLE GAMING. Plug & Play. No fuss. This ain’t PC rigging. What the hell?!?
    And then it takes forever at that??? Ripoff!
    __________________________________
    Again MMORPG.Why do you think the HDD is there?Its not for looks. This is an online game , where you connect to a server and download info which has to be stored on the harddrive. This game as been around for 3 years which 3 different expansions. Thats 3 years of updating. FFXI is 6 gigs of information. Thats 6 gigs of weapons, armor, differnt zones , npcs’s player models. Do you really think you can stick 6 gigs of info on 1 disk. Get a clue.

  44. Anonymous says:

    As a soccer mom myself, I rather resent the original poster’s dragging my group into his complaint.

    I don’t need your indignation on my behalf, I can actually READ the box, and if something is not clear to me, I am not afraid of asking a question in a store. This is actually how many adults proceed when making a purchase.

    Really, if you would actually look at your own behavior, and understand that your problems were 100% preventable BY YOU, you’d learn a life lesson worth far more than $60.

    Good luck growing up.

  45. Anonymous says:

    PS. I must apologize, the comments regarding soccer moms were on joystiq, not made by the original poster but by some of the people who agreed with him that Square-Enix and Microsoft had not done enough to protect the stupid and impulsive from themselves. My bad.

  46. John Lucas says:

    Hmm. More of those smug & snotty type of folks who thinks everybody keeps up with everything in every aspect of gaming.
    You know I have never heard of MMORPG until last year. LATE last year. And I’ve been playing games for mostly all of my life.

    And certainly I’ve never heard of paying fees to play a simple game. That is just insane really.
    And yes I’ve been on the ‘net for 5 years now. Never heard of all this.

    Furthermore I think what everybody overlooks is not that he’s complaining about paying a fee but that he’s paying TWO fees due to misrepresentation on the box.

    Copy & paste this link into your address bar & look at that pic for a second:
    http://www.joystiq.com/media/2006/04/ffxi_box.jpg

    Look in the upper right corner of the box on the pic.
    It says “X-Box Live”….and on the main of the box it says Final Fantasy XI Online.

    Now with that being shown you’re automatically gonna believe that X-Box Live is the service used to run Final Fantasy XI Online. We know X-Box Live is an Online Service, so there’s no more need for “in-depth investigation”.

    When the man got ready to play he got dumbstruck by realizing that PlayOnline was the service that allowed FFXI online.

    But where do you see that on the box? Nowhere is mentioned about PlayOnline. And before you go any further here’s the pic of the PC version for comparison:

    http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000E2OBD.01-AIGI2YLZJE0LN._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

    You see that? In the upper left corner the PlayOnline logo is prominently displayed in sky blue.

    Now granted I posted my remarks by reading the story from Joystiq. After I read this blog in detail I could see that Davis can get a little caught up in hype, easily excitable, & probably doesn’t pay the closest of attention to detail.

    All that being said the box was misrepresenting itself. Seeing the online you assume that X-Box Live is that online. And don’t give me no guff about he should research through market studies & all that crap. The box should tell him enough to make a reasonable purchase. Nobody should ever have to become Inspector Gadget just to buy a damn game. This is not a car for God’s sake.

    And furthermore being named Final Fantasy XI (a part of the main series) you also assume that even IF it has an online that it can also play the old-fashioned way as well. Like some MMORPG’s are played “Phantasy Star Online for example. “Online only” should be written bigger just to make it clear.

    And who in the hell expects to take hours loading a game into a system? That’s F’ing insanity! Load times already suck but a full out download like we’re on a computer or something??? Craziness & there’s no other way to put it. This is supposed to be a console. Plug & play. Not configure & download for hours & hours.

    I’m glad I saw this story from Joystiq.com. It looks to me that the whole MMORPG thing is a rip from jump.
    Monthly fees to play a doggone game?? What is this crap? Monthly fees go to your student loan or your car note or your insurance or your credit card payments. Not a video game for heaven’s sake.

    Somebody said in reply to me & I quote: “We dont want people like you plaing our game anyhow.”

    Brother, you ain’t got ta worry ’bout that.
    You all can have the senseless waste of money that the realm of MMORPG brings.
    I mean paying money just to get to extra chapters??? Just to enhance your character??? On top of the initial purchase, online fee, & X-Box live fee???

    P.T. Barnum was right!
    Every minute one is born:
    A sucker.

    John Lucas
    (Thank God for companies like Nintendo! Folks like these would only enable ripoffs deals like these to become the norm)

  47. Anonymous says:

    No one can be this dumb. You have a BLOG! You must have a modicum of technical internet savvy – AND you were excited for the game! How then in all this time since it’s initial US launch of October 2003 did you NOT know it was a pay-to-play game!?

    Let me explain somethings to you.

    1)MMORPG fees are common. So common in fact that XB Live Gold is NOT required to play MMORPG games from a 360.

    2)The game costs 12.95 per month. This includes 1 character, and is more than fair since the only permanent choices you make in FFXI is race and sex. Every extra character you make is $1 extra per month, but there is really no need unless you simply HAVE to have two characters.

    3)Don’t be mad at Microsoft. They have no control over Square Enix’s fee structure. If you’re mad at someone, at least get the info RIGHT. Live and PlayOnline are completely seperate services.

    4)As far as online fees go, 12.95 a month is inexpensive. Most MMORPGs go for 14.95 a month. The only free “MMO” is a Guild Wars. And that’s after stretching the term MMO.

    I hate people who bitch about shit that they don’t even UNDERSTAND.

  48. Omega2k3 says:

    From now on, I’m going to explain everything I say, in extreme detail, to anyone I talk to.

    Garage sale:

    You: “Are these pants for sale? I’ve always wanted to buy this brand.”

    Me: “Yes, they are. Have you looked at the packaging, though? They might not fit.”

    You: “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve been wanting this brand of pants for YEARS. In fact, I bought a very expensive new belt specifically for these pants.”

    You go home and try the pants on. BUT, WAIT! They’re pants made for little girls! You won’t stand for that! Time to complain to everyone you know!

  49. Anonymous says:

    I’m with Davis and John Lucas. I’m a borderline hardcore gamer, and though I had heard of Evercrack’s addictive nature, it wasn’t until Planetside’s debut that I heard about these monthly fees. Apparently all the mags I read decided this was common knowledge.

    But it’s not common knowledge. If I were actively avoiding Final Fantasy info, I wouldn’t know that IX is an MMO. And since none of the official channels Davis explored disclosed the actual numerical amount, nor was he informed at retail exactly how much of an investment FFIX would be, I don’t see how any casual couple-times-a-month single-player RPG player would know such a detail. It’s like knowing that your taxes are due before April 15 or when Daylight Savings Time (in the US) begins or ends. No one’s assigned to officially inform you of these things. You have to be watching the news or something. (We always found out through our TV Guide in my house.)

    And it doesn’t exactly say Final Fantsy XI ONLINE, it’s more like FINAL FANTASY XI online. Would you look at how small that type is on the box? I thought it was part of that underline.
    And no game… NO GAME should take the literally hours to start playing that FFIX does. That’s a crime against humanity.

    And while I’m at it, I’ve come to terms with the concept of monthly fees, especially in games that are constantly updated/monitored, but not with the fact that one has to pay $50 or more at retail for the (certain-to-be-outdated) disc(s).

    As for having faith in Square-Enix’s ability to produce high-quality games, I suppose Davis is justified there.

    My friend says sue. The whole thing’s misleading since they don’t disclose the actual numerical costs involved with the game and the fact that resale/trade-in/return is impossible before the game is purchased, opened, installed, registered, patched, re-patched (apparently) and evaluated by the end consumer.

  50. Anonymous says:

    You really are a marketing man’s dream aren’t you? Blindly buying expensive products simply because they’re there, even going to the extreme of actively avoiding being informed about the things you are going to buy.
    Sheep.

  51. Tarage says:

    Then I can safely assume you learned your lesson? That you will do the research next time? That perhaps, you will find out what the costs are?

    If that is the ONLY thing you take away from this experence, I’ll be glad. God forbid another MMORPG comes out and I find you bitching about the same thing. Fool me once…

    And I do love your brand loyality. Next thing I know I’ll hear you say “lol cloud si teh win lolz!!!1112”.

    I am a video game programer. I spend my life making these games for people like you. Do you realize how long it takes to make a good game? Hell, screw the good part, lets just say a GAME in general. You don’t.

    The LEAST you can do is research what you buy. Would you buy a TV just because it looked pretty? Would you buy a house because you liked the way it looked on the outside? Stupidity is not an excuse. We have all been stupid once or twice in our lives. Most of us don’t go cry onto a blog.

    A normal person would have looked at the 50+ comments against you and said “Hmm… maybe I was wrong?” You, however, prove to be the exception of the rule. May I sugest the Darwin Awards?

  52. Lenwe says:

    All I can say to the console gamers is
    welcome to the world of PC gaming.
    “OMGWTFBBQ its not a pc game its a console”

    Yes I understand this, but its an MMORPG that has been around for 3 years now.Which means that there has been updates, patches and the like.Not to mention thats 3 years worth so yes you have to “INSTALL” and “UPDATE”. This isnt your typical console game. You dont run the game off of a disc. The game is ran off of the HDD. It has to load about 4-5 gigs worth of armor and weapons. Maps and zones, npc’s and player models. I understand that all this is a new concept and well , get used to it because its not going away. As far as the OP, purchasing anything blindly has never been a smart idea. It would of taked 5 min or less to google Final Fantasy XI and find out that its an ONLINE game that CHARGES a fee.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Wow that was a long complaint.

    20 years of buying video games and you’ve never heard of paying a monthly fees for something called Final Fantasy Online?

    Dont tell me you blame Microsoft every time your internet connection goes down?

    I hate to embarrass you further since everyone who wrote to this comment page already have done so.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Im not really adding anything new, but I did laugh to myself when I read the bit about

    “playing for 2 hours or so a month”

    I know that falls back to the not understanding the type of game it is, but it takes like over an hour to walk from Windurst to Sandoria including a 10 minute boat ride to Selbina. These are just the simple things.

    Two hours or so a month is what?

    Youd be like level 3 and only be killing rabbits?

    I checked my game time and I am by no means one of the hard core players but since I got it I have accrued 145 or so days of play. These games are a huge invetsment of your time. They are not suited to casual gamers. You will get no where, you will feel left behind and unless you have friends you will probably quit.

    Also to the people who say “who in the hell pays for these games”.. well rather a lot of us actually, and we are happy to.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Before you buy a Game, read the box. Hell, even if I buy a game I have been waiting for, and researched already, I still read the box.
    I can’t beleive you would know the release date if you didn’t know anything about the game at all. Just because you are not a “hardcore gamer” (though somehow you are an avid fan of the FF series, not exactly the most casual of games, and have stayed with gaming since god-knows how long) doesn’t mean you won’t know about MMOs having fees. Anyone who goes on the internet and plays games will know that MMOs require fees, unless you are unbearably stupid. Here is a bit from a forum college of mine on the subject:
    Tips for gaming and life:

    1) It’s ok to buy GTA for your child. All games are made for children. If a game is made for an adult, they need to tell you verbally as you should not be expected to read the rating.

    2) Every service should be free. Companies should not make money. People should only make complex games for you because they like you and it makes them feel better.

    3) Nothing in the tech industry ever changes. Most people are afraid of change and the unfamiliar is an unecessary burden. So if FFXI 1-10 was offline, then 11 must be too. That way, we don’t have the burden of variety and innovation.

    4) Never research what you’re spending your money on. Every deal in the U.S. is a good deal. The government say so. And this is why we never sell insurance. This is especially true in the tech industry where every product is the same and up to date.

    5) People shouldn’t have to be informed. We are too busy complaining about the previous deal we weren’t informed about. All products should be designed for the lowest common denominator.

    6) I should be every companies target audience. Everyone wants my business. I’m just that special.

    7) Along the same lines as 6, every product should be designed and distributed with me in mind. Don’t they know who I am???

    8) All people that “do something” have been doing it since birth. We never have to learn. Therefore, since we knew most MMOs have fees, We ALWAYS knew that. We never did the research once ourselves. Hard core gaming is genetic you know. Learning is a waist of time.

    9) If one MMO doesn’t have fees, none of them should…because they are all exactly alike and cost the same to maintain. Variety only means I have to learn more…and as we have already said, learning is a waist of time.

    10) Anyone that disagrees with me is a fan boy or a gamer with no life. The fact that I posted on a gaming site…….doesn’t count.

    /sarcasm

  56. Anonymous says:

    lolbifrons

  57. Anonymous says:

    This particular game was released in 2002 in Japan, and 2003 in the US, 2004 in the EU. It was originally on the PS2 in Japan, then later on PC. PC in US initially, then later on PS2 in US, and finally PC and PS2 in EU.

    You say you sold your PS2 when the Xbox came out, and … THEN you were disappointed to find out GTA and Final Fantasy weren’t on the Xbox.

    Failure #1: You didn’t bother to see which 3rd parties (namely Square, and Rockstar) were commited to Microsoft’s new console. Fault: You.

    Now, though you claimed you love GTA and Final Fantasy so much… you neglected over the next FIVE YEARS to purchase another PS2 so that you could enjoy GTA (though eventually GTA made it to Xbox), Final Fantasy X (or the love it or hate it sequel Final Fantasy X-2), and Final Fantasy XI: Online (you’ll also note, this is the FIRST, and so far ONLY Final Fantasy ever released with a subtitle). Nor the upcoming Final Fantasy XII (which will not be an online MMO).

    Failure #2: Not accepting that you made a mistake with the Xbox purchase, and at the very least purchasing a used PS2 so you could once again enjoy the two game franchises you claim to love. Fault: You.

    Warp ahead 5 years, it’s now 2006 and you hear about Final Fantasy XI: Online BEING PORTED TO XBOX 360. Meaning the game has been out for quite some time, on both PS2 and PC. You get excited that you’ll finally get to play another Final Fantasy game, so you go out and spend $1000+ on an Xbox 360 from an eBay scalper, just to play a game that’s not even out yet, and won’t be for some time (with a touch of bitter irony in the fact that the game is out now at a time when X360 availability in retail outlets is fairly common, thus no need to have spent that absurd scalper markup on eBay). Nevermind that you could’ve bought a used PS2 (as the new Slim PS2 does not have the ability to attach the hard drive necessary to play Final Fantasy XI: Online) for around $120, and a copy of Final Fantasy XI: Online + Hard Drive for $100… or simply bought the PC version of Final Fantasy XI: Online for $30 which includes the initial game, and the first 2 expansions.

    Failure #3: After enduring 5 years without Final Fantasy, at no one’s fault but your own, and having more money than sense, it seems… you purchase an X360 at a severely inflated price for a game that isn’t even available for purchase yet. Fault: You.

    Now, let’s take a look at this pay-to-play phenomenon. It’s certainly not unique to Final Fantasy XI: Online. In fact, it became mainstream with Everquest, released in 1999. 1999 – 2003 (Really 2002, but I’ll forgive you, Final Fantasy fan or not, for not keeping up with the Japanese releases of Final Fantasy) is 4 years and a number of games after Everquest (Dark Ages of Camelot, Asheron’s Call, Ultima: Online, etc, etc, etc) BEFORE Final Fantasy XI: Online. All requiring a monthly fee to play, even after the initial ~$50 purchase price. Most fees within the $12.95 per month range. Now it’s 2006. That’s SEVEN YEARS of wildly popular games, including 2004’s INSANELY popular World of Warcraft (5+ million subscribers to date. The game has become a pop-culture phenomenon, in that even if you don’t play it, you’ve heard about it and chances are likely someone you know plays it), and 2002’s Final Fantasy XI: Online. And you’re JUST NOW hearing about MMORPG’s? What… have you been living in a cave for the past 7 years? A coma maybe?

    Failure #4: Claiming to be a gamer, and somehow utterly failing to even hear about a new breed of games called MMORPG’s, where you pay to play the game after you purchase it. I can understand avoiding these games, but to not have even heard of them is beyond the point of comprehension. There’s been far too much coverage of these games in both gaming magazines, newspapers, online websites (both gaming and non-gaming alike), TV advertisements, in-store displays at both gaming centric outlets, as well as major retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and even in the pamphlets that are included with other video games. The only reasonable explaination for not at least being aware these games exist, is either you’ve been in a coma since 1998 or earlier, and you’ve just recently recovered. Or you’ve been living as a hermit in some remote cave. But you owned a PS2 and Xbox, so neither of those scenerios is possible. Fault: You.

    Now back to Final Fantasy XI: Online specifically. Not only have you failed the past 4 years to bother and look up any info about this game (such as WHY it has the subtitle “Online”), but you rush out the moment it’s available, and are appalled upon installation (yes, even in a console, when a game requires regular updating for new content and/or patching, it’s going to require installing, as there’s no way to retroactively update/add to a DVD other than requiring players to continue buying new DVD’s as new updates or more content is added to the game. Free updates via hard drive install, or periodic $10+ updates on new DVD’s every few months? Your choice.) You’re shocked at the 1+ hour patching … ignoring the fact this game has been out for 4 years now, and has gone through numerous content updates, and patches. The time a game goes Gold, and it’s discs actually reach market, is not instant. And especially with an MMORPG that’s also going through a brand new expansion where bugs/exploits are likely to be found within the first few days of the expansion’s implementation, requiring more updates and patches to the game… even that brand new disc you just picked up is at least a month old by the time it hits the store shelves, and you’re going to have new updates needing installation. Be glad you don’t have the PC version, where you’ve only got the game and first expansion, and actually have to download 3+ years of updates/patches. 1 hour is a godsend compared to reinstalling

  58. Jay says:

    This particular game was released in 2002 in Japan, and 2003 in the US, 2004 in the EU. It was originally on the PS2 in Japan, then later on PC. PC in US initially, then later on PS2 in US, and finally PC and PS2 in EU.

    You say you sold your PS2 when the Xbox came out, and … THEN you were disappointed to find out GTA and Final Fantasy weren’t on the Xbox.

    Failure #1: You didn’t bother to see which 3rd parties (namely Square, and Rockstar) were commited to Microsoft’s new console. Fault: You.

    Now, though you claimed you love GTA and Final Fantasy so much… you neglected over the next FIVE YEARS to purchase another PS2 so that you could enjoy GTA (though eventually GTA made it to Xbox), Final Fantasy X (or the love it or hate it sequel Final Fantasy X-2), and Final Fantasy XI: Online (you’ll also note, this is the FIRST, and so far ONLY Final Fantasy ever released with a subtitle). Nor the upcoming Final Fantasy XII (which will not be an online MMO).

    Failure #2: Not accepting that you made a mistake with the Xbox purchase, and at the very least purchasing a used PS2 so you could once again enjoy the two game franchises you claim to love. Fault: You.

    Warp ahead 5 years, it’s now 2006 and you hear about Final Fantasy XI: Online BEING PORTED TO XBOX 360. Meaning the game has been out for quite some time, on both PS2 and PC. You get excited that you’ll finally get to play another Final Fantasy game, so you go out and spend $1000+ on an Xbox 360 from an eBay scalper, just to play a game that’s not even out yet, and won’t be for some time (with a touch of bitter irony in the fact that the game is out now at a time when X360 availability in retail outlets is fairly common, thus no need to have spent that absurd scalper markup on eBay). Nevermind that you could’ve bought a used PS2 (as the new Slim PS2 does not have the ability to attach the hard drive necessary to play Final Fantasy XI: Online) for around $120, and a copy of Final Fantasy XI: Online + Hard Drive for $100… or simply bought the PC version of Final Fantasy XI: Online for $30 which includes the initial game, and the first 2 expansions.

    Failure #3: After enduring 5 years without Final Fantasy, at no one’s fault but your own, and having more money than sense, it seems… you purchase an X360 at a severely inflated price for a game that isn’t even available for purchase yet. Fault: You.

    Now, let’s take a look at this pay-to-play phenomenon. It’s certainly not unique to Final Fantasy XI: Online. In fact, it became mainstream with Everquest, released in 1999. 1999 – 2003 (Really 2002, but I’ll forgive you, Final Fantasy fan or not, for not keeping up with the Japanese releases of Final Fantasy) is 4 years and a number of games after Everquest (Dark Ages of Camelot, Asheron’s Call, Ultima: Online, etc, etc, etc) BEFORE Final Fantasy XI: Online. All requiring a monthly fee to play, even after the initial ~$50 purchase price. Most fees within the $12.95 per month range. Now it’s 2006. That’s SEVEN YEARS of wildly popular games, including 2004’s INSANELY popular World of Warcraft (5+ million subscribers to date. The game has become a pop-culture phenomenon, in that even if you don’t play it, you’ve heard about it and chances are likely someone you know plays it), and 2002’s Final Fantasy XI: Online. And you’re JUST NOW hearing about MMORPG’s? What… have you been living in a cave for the past 7 years? A coma maybe?

    Failure #4: Claiming to be a gamer, and somehow utterly failing to even hear about a new breed of games called MMORPG’s, where you pay to play the game after you purchase it. I can understand avoiding these games, but to not have even heard of them is beyond the point of comprehension. There’s been far too much coverage of these games in both gaming magazines, newspapers, online websites (both gaming and non-gaming alike), TV advertisements, in-store displays at both gaming centric outlets, as well as major retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and even in the pamphlets that are included with other video games. The only reasonable explaination for not at least being aware these games exist, is either you’ve been in a coma since 1998 or earlier, and you’ve just recently recovered. Or you’ve been living as a hermit in some remote cave. But you owned a PS2 and Xbox, so neither of those scenerios is possible. Fault: You.

    Now back to Final Fantasy XI: Online specifically. Not only have you failed the past 4 years to bother and look up any info about this game (such as WHY it has the subtitle “Online”), but you rush out the moment it’s available, and are appalled upon installation (yes, even in a console, when a game requires regular updating for new content and/or patching, it’s going to require installing, as there’s no way to retroactively update/add to a DVD other than requiring players to continue buying new DVD’s as new updates or more content is added to the game. Free updates via hard drive install, or periodic $10+ updates on new DVD’s every few months? Your choice.) You’re shocked at the 1+ hour patching … ignoring the fact this game has been out for 4 years now, and has gone through numerous content updates, and patches. The time a game goes Gold, and it’s discs actually reach market, is not instant. And especially with an MMORPG that’s also going through a brand new expansion where bugs/exploits are likely to be found within the first few days of the expansion’s implementation, requiring more updates and patches to the game… even that brand new disc you just picked up is at least a month old by the time it hits the store shelves, and you’re going to have new updates needing installation. Be glad you don’t have the PC version, where you’ve only got the game and first expansion, and actually have to download 3+ years of updates/patches. 1 hour is a godsend compared to reinstalling the PC version (at least until this new expansion), where it’d take 4 – 6 hours just to update after installing the game. And beyond that, you’re shocked that Final Fantasy XI: Online is *gasp* an online only game. Not only that, but it requires a monthly fee to play. What? You expect all the servers required for the game, and the staff to maintain the servers, and work on new content, and new expansions, and the GM’s needed to assist players with problems/glitches they may be experiencing… you just expect all that to be free? That some company would just donate thousands of computers, as well as continue to donate new computers and upgraded computers as needed? That hundreds of people would just volunteer their time to watch over these servers, or spend time finding and fixing bugs, or working on new content between expansions, nevermind the team that rivals the size of an actual game design team working on the new expansions as needed? That GM’s (Game Masters, in-game equivalent to Customer Service Representatives) would work 8+ hours a day, taking hundreds of calls both in-game and out, answering player questions, dealing with glitches where a player might fall through the game map and get stuck, investigating reports of people cheating, ad nauseum… they’re going to volunteer their time? Obviously you’ve never worked in Customer Service, if you think ANYONE would do that for free, you’re completely off your rocker.

    Failure #5: Not realizing, despite the abundant amount of resources available over the last 7 years, that a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, such as Final Fantasy XI: Online, would require an additional fee beyond the purchase price, and would also require you to install it, and update it both intially and periodically. Not only is the box clearly marked “Final Fantasy XI: Online”, “Hard Drive Required”, “Online Only”, “Additional Monthly Fee”, etc… ALL ON THE FRONT OF THE BOX. Forget that you can’t read the small pictures online… it’s on the box you picked up at the retail outlet. If there was any question as to the nature of this game at that point, you negle
    cted to inquire with the retailer what all that stuff meant. Fault: You.

    This goes for you Davis, and John Lucas, and even to Annonymous who’s friend says “sue”. You are a trifecta of clueless morons, and you have the gall to call yourself gamers. My MOTHER knows about MMORPGS, and she’s not played a game since Tetris came out on the NES. She even asked me if I wanted this new “Everquest” game back during Christmas in 1999, that she’d get the game and pay for a year of service. I told her it wasn’t something that interested me. What is of note in that example, is that I’d never talked with about that game. She’d heard about it in a TV ad, and again when one of her friends mentioned her son was playing it. Knowing I was a Final Fantasy fan since I got the first one on NES, she even asked me if I was getting Final Fantasy XI: Online when it came out. This coming from someone that doesn’t play games, nor read gaming sites, or gaming related magazines, or news stories related to gaming, but hears about upcoming games from advertising on TV, or sees the display as she’s passing by the games section on her way to the electronics section of Best Buy. This is a person truely not in the know about gaming. A true Non-Gamer. And she knows about MMORPGS. Even knew that Final Fantasy XI: Online would require a monthly fee. Yet somehow you… a self-proclaimed gamer, are completely oblivious to this genre of games over the last 7 years.

    How do you function in society?

  59. Pablomaldito of Unicorn Server says:

    Most of the things that you are complaining about are normal characteristics of the MMORPG genre in general. You have to understand that MMPORPGs are constantly updated with fixes and new content for their customers. The reason why it takes so long to install is because A) there is a lot of data to transfer to the hard drive and B) MMORPGs are constantly updated with fixes and new content for the customers. Therefore, the intial install requires you to download every update that has occured between the day your discs were manufactured and the day you install your program.

    As for the monthly fees, $12.95 a month has been the going rate for a FFXI subscription for as long as I can remember. It has nothing to do with your XBOX live subscription. In fact, I believe there is a a free XBOX live service level. FFXI is not only an XBOX game. It is also available for the PC and PS2, and the servers are not segregated at all. It doesn’t matter what region you’re from or what system you’re playing on. In fact, you can log in to your same character on any machine that has Final Fantasy XI installed. I frequently switch between my PC & PS2. I noticed one of the comments mentioned that the XBOX 360 version was a ripoff because it costs $60 instead of the $30 that is being charged for the PC version. However, the XBOX 360 version comes with the latest expansion – which PC & PS2 users have to buy separately for – yes, $30. In no way are you being ripped off compared to anyone else playing the same game on any other system. You don’t have to pay any more than any other Final Fantasy XI player (that extra money you shelled out for the XBOX live subscription was unnecessary). As far as MMORPGs go, there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about Final Fantasy XI’s subscription fees.

    My advice to you is to buy a keyboard for your XBOX (a virtual keyboard is a very bad idea for any MMORPG, since you will be doing lots of chatting in-game), and ride out your free month. If you find it to be worth the $13 a month, then great. If not, then at least you now know how MMORPGs operate. It’s a great game, and after playing for over 1 and a half years, I have yet to see all the content that was already there before the latest expansion came out in April 18th.

  60. John Lucas says:

    To Jay,

    Clueless moron, huh?
    Sorry son but my entire being doesn’t revolve around videogames regardless of how much I play them. And I do play them a lot so I consider myself a gameplayer. (I don’t like using the term “gamer”; just not my style)

    There’s a lot of things I’ve never heard of. Yes, I’ve read AND OWN game mags like EGM, GamePro, Game Informer & online gaming resources as well.
    But that does NOT mean that I know EVERYTHING that is on the scene.

    ESPECIALLY if it doesn’t pertain to the gaming interests I hold. It’s like when you’re driving your car down the road & you tend to notice cars that look like ones you drive or have driven/ridden in the past more than the other cars. The rest you ignore or overlook.

    You’re not gonna run this sumg game on me. I can’t help it if you’re a game nerd who’s on top of the gamebeat like a cat is on a mouse. Everybody is not you. And there are those who could not tell you what a MMORPG is much less how long the genre has existed.

    The packaging was faulty & misrepresentative. And I’ve detailed why earlier.

    To end this note I’m gonna leave you with my last comment on the joystiq.com commentary to drive the point home.

    It looks to me that those who live in the MMORPG realm have a warped sense of reality so it explains the bulk of these types of comments like Jay’s.

    (Davis Freeburg you are right in feeling cheated despite what these others have to say here. But what do you expect from people who willingly pay tolls to play games anyhow?)

    Read on, son:
    http://revolution.joystiq.com/2006/04/22/gamer-feels-cheated-by-ffxis-sneaky-hidden-fees/4#c1431057

    “One more point I want to make.

    I have the Nintendo 64’s Perfect Dark.
    A game that could NOT be fully experienced without the Expansion Pak.

    ON THE *FRONT* of the box—it says:
    “EXPANSION PAK REQUIRED FOR MAXIMUM GAMEPLAY! (see back for info)”
    And yes the exclamation point was part of the quote.

    And this WAS *NOT* in some easy-to-overlook small fonted black lettering either.
    This was written in YELLOW with BLACK trim & BOLDED where it could NOT be possibly missed unless you were Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles.
    Large font. Easy to read font.

    ALSO they even showed a picture of the mentioned Expansion Pak which separated the phrases “EXPANSION PAK REQUIRED” and “FOR MAXIMUM GAMEPLAY! (see back for info)” all with a starshine/starlight effect behind it to FURTHER bring the eyes to the disclaimer.

    On the back they went in FURTHER detail about the capabilities of the Expansion Pak Vs. Without.

    All of this pre-hand research line is a load of bunk. Google it? What? Read trade mags? WTF?! The box is supposed to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to make your informed purchase. If it doesn’t then you’re dealing with shady folks business-wise who are looking for an angle.

    I’ve seen Gamecube titles that have specialized accessories like the Microphone & the DK Bongos and it was explicitly mentioned on the box FRONT in clear lettering if the game required the special accessory AND/or if the accessory was included. It left no mystery & it was always on the front of the box.

    There’s simply no excuse for the X-Box 360’s version of Final Fantasy XI & how it represented itself. This “grow up” line is empty air. I’ve already detailed in earlier posts why the guy had a problem with not realizing X-Box Live WASN’T the online service for this game. Anybody would coming in from the outside.

    The problem with many gamers I see is that they only see things from the world perspective they live in. They forget that everyone is not them.

    In Donkey Kong 64 there was no way that you couldn’t know that this game wouldn’t work without an Expansion Pak because the box made it crystal clear.

    The PlayOnline logo was explicitly mentioned on the PC version but not the X-Box version. And if it was on the back then that’s not good enough because X-Box Live was on the front. PlayOnline should have REPLACED X-Box Live on that box to be truthful. And also make it clear that it has nothing to do with X-Box Live.

    The reason these laws were enacted to force companies to be explicit in their packaging is to prevent hustle on the consumer.
    No, it’s not the same as the McDonald’s person complaining that the coffee was hot. A person has first hand experience with a coffee and really can’t be surprised.

    And fees SHOULD be mentioned more than just saying “additional fees apply” on the BACK of the box.
    They could leave a price logo blank & let the retailer fill in the added price if you talk about prices changing.

    There’s simply no excuse. I’m not even gonna go any further with the whole product with downloading & such on what is supposed to be a console. Utterly ridiculous.

    It seems like some people don’t mind paying tolls to play games & that’s fine. More power to ’em.
    I just hope the practices of MMORPG ~*STAY*~ with MMORPG because they’re honestly a load of bull as far as I’m concerned. We don’t need these practices spreading out to the rest of the game industry.

    And a difference between paying for gaming & paying for internet is that with internet I’m doing a multitude of things besides one thing. E-mail, IM, Web surfing, download, chat, newsgrouping, networking & each of these things are multi-faceted and seemingly infinite. Plus tech support.
    And it’s one flat fee of service. I don’t have to pay tolls for each 10 pages I surf or every 20 e-mails I send.

    X-Box Live—though I’LL never use it—is the same. One flat fee spread out through a year with unlimited access after the fee has been paid. Pricey but reasonable.

    But frankly I think this whole paying bills for gaming thing is bizarre to say the least. To each his own. I’ll stick with the one-time initial purchase method.

    John Lucas
    (and that permanent install/no refund crap is bad. I truly think I hate MMORPG’s now after reading these things)”

  61. Jay says:

    John, you are the epitomy of retarded.

    You say you’ve got subscriptions to numerous gaming magazines. I call bullsh*t on you not ever seeing any of these games. I know they’ve been covered from Everquest on through to Dungeons & Dragons Online, the past 7 years. Walk into any GameStop or EB and you’re assaulted with 5 dozen gaming magazines with their covers plastered with the next big game coming out. Hell Best Buy even had window decals on their stores here to advertise the releases of Everquest, Final Fantasy XI: Online, and Everquest 2. It is incomprehensible that anyone in this day and age, that claims to play video games, can not be aware of MMORPG’s, and that you have to pay to play them. WAY too much coverage of them the past 7 years… whether they interest you or not, you have to have seen them.

    You also utterly failed to explain how my mother could be aware of these games, without my intervention, and without any gaming magazines. Hell, the woman can barely figure out how to use Windows, much less surf the web.

    You assume I’m some game nerd that’s “on top of the gamebeat”. In the past 5 years, I’ve bought about 8 games. One being Final Fantasy XI: Online, one being World of Warcraft. The rest being Gamecube games. I railed against the idea of paying to play games, when Everquest was released. I couldn’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to keep paying a monthly fee to play a game they already spent $50 to buy. The idea was utterly foriegn. That is, until I decided to try and find out what the point of the fee is.

    You keep going on about how you pay a “toll” for certain things, like $10 for another 5 levels, or $200 for an item. Here, your stupid shines through. It’s one flat monthly fee. In the case of Final Fantasy XI: Online, that fee is $12.95. In one month of play in Final Fantasy XI: Online, you can reach level 50+, build a crafting skill up to a reasonably profitable level (with the in-game currency. This is a persistant world, not something that ceases to exist when you’re not playing it. The in-game economy functions much like the real-world economy), explore a large portion of the available areas, especially after you start riding chocobos, and get to rank 5 through missions in your starting city and ride the airship to other cities as you please. All that for $12.95. Or, if this happens to be the first month that you get free… then you just did all that having paid nothing more than the initial investment in the game.

    Now, let’s talk a little bit about cost to content ratio. In your typical game, you spend $50. One time, no monthly fee. You get about 3 days to maybe a couple weeks worth of enjoyment out of it. By then, you’ve either beaten the game numerous times, or you’ve just gotten bored and moved on, maybe at some later point you’ll come back to it. So now, you’re presented with the delima… no game, or go buy another one. At $50. So, to continue having a relatively satisfying flow of gameplay, you’re paying typically $50 per month on new games. Occasionally you’ll hit upon something really good that may take you a couple months to complete. But, on average, $50 per month = $600 per year. Say you re-sell some or all of them, and get $15 – $20 per title. Let’s be generous and say $20, and you resell all of them. So you spend $600 per year, but you get back $240, for a hypothetical grand total of $360 per year.

    Now, on the flipside, you’ve got MMORPG’s. The typical MMO is not “one or two weeks of content before you get bored”. The typical MMO can easily keep the player satisfied for years. Now, the typical MMO player will buy their MMO of choice. Let’s use Final Fantasy XI: Online as an example. $50 + $13/month with the first month free. The first year will cost $193. The second year will cost $156. Now we’re starting to get into the realm, after 2 years of enjoyment, the amount of money the typical Non-MMO player will spend PER YEAR. And the typical MMO player might occasionally look at other games to purchase, maybe one or two a year for the really A-list titles. So let’s factor 2 A-list games per year for the MMO player. That’s another $100, for a grand total of $293 in their first year, and $256 in their 2nd year. Still less by about $100, than the average Non-MMO player will spend per year.

    MMO’s are not out to nickle and dime you for ever little minor thing. They provide a persistent world, and that world takes lots of hardware to keep it running. And that hardware takes lots of people to keep it running. And the player base will eventually see all their is to see in an MMO, so new content must be added. This new content is free, as it’s not adding anything major to the game, just more or less mini-games, or side quests, or new events. Then about once ever 1 – 2 years, an expansion is released (typically for about half the price of the actual game). This expansion is not “required” to play the game. You don’t have to buy it. But, if you want to see the new things added by the expansion, then you must purchase it. Think of it as the non-MMO gamer buying a new game, or a sequel to a game franchise… only getting the new game for half-price. Expansions generally add new areas, new quests/missions, items, races, classes, and opportunities for ever further mini-updates until the next expansion a year or two down the road. These expansions require a design team equivalent to many typical “traditional” game design teams. Artists, animators, composers, programmers, script writers. They’re all there. Then you have the tech support and customer support for these games. All of this… server upkeep, upgrading, network staff, content designers, tech/customer support… all of that is paid for with the $12.95 monthly fee. You want to talk about tolls? That “flat fee” Xbox Live subscription you’re touting… you might want to look into the “credits” system. “Credits” are exactly what you’re describing as “tolls” for every little thing. Want to play some classic style game? 200 credits please. That’s equivalent to about $5 (yes, that’s in addition the the Xbox Live subscription fee). Want this cool new saddle for your horse in Oblivion? 200 credits please. You claim SquareEnix is nickle and diming with their $12.95 flat fee for all the content available in Final Fantasy XI: Online from the past 4 years, and on into the future, but you fail to see how Microsoft is the one nickle and diming their customers by charging these “credits” for additional content beyond the Xbox Live subscription (content that you have to have a subcription to Xbox Live in order to even have access to in the first place)

    You’re locked into the realm of the set-in-stone game. You buy a typical game off the shelf, and you get exactly the same experience, every time you play it. Once you’ve beaten it, there’s little incentive to continue playing it other than maybe years later for nostalgia purposes. MMO’s are constantly changing, constantly evolving. The day to day experience is never the same. The game is never the same. There’s alwys something new to see or do.

    If you’re happy with spending the money to buy a new game every month or so, that’s fine. But realize you’re spending more than the typical MMO gamer that’s paying a small monthly fee to continue playing one game that continues to hold their interest for years. You scoff at the idea of paying a monthly fee to play a game… but what the hell do you think you’re doing by buying a new game every month or so? I think Davis mentioned Gamefly. So you spend $20 / month to play games. Sure, it saves you the $50 purchase, but it’s still $240 a year, to play games. And that’s right about what the typical MMO player will pay, if you include 2 A-List games per year into the equasion. And that’s being generous.

    You’ve really got no argument. Whether you play MMO’s or not, you’re still paying to play games. You’re paying the fee to continually play new games for n
    ew content. MMO players are paying the fee to play the same game, but continually get new content to hold their interest.

    The fact is, Davis bought a game that he had no clue what it was about (somehow he neglected to look up anything on this game over the past 4 years of it’s existence. That’s right FOUR YEARS. People that started on day one, are still playing this game. 4 years later.) With any purchase, it’s buyer beware. Anyone who blindly purchases something deserves any greif they may encounter as a result.

    Despite your attempts to claim deception, let’s take a look at the front of the box for this game.

    http://dragonsguild.hypermart.net/pop_01_ed.jpg

    Blurry, and pixelated as it is, you can clearly see “This Game Requires Hard Drive” (no mistaking that it will need the hard drive to install), “Online Only” (no mistaking an offline/singler player option), “Additional Monthly Fee” (the “clarification” says “Additional Online Fee”, but you can clearly see the trailing “y”, thus the packaging acutally states “Additional Monthly Fee”), “Final Fantasy XI Online”, where online is over the underline in “Final Fantasy”, but the underline fades to white well before it reaches “Online” so there can be no mistaking it as part of the underline as Davis tried to claim. I’ll give you the Xbox Live logo. Blame Microsoft for that. Any game that uses any minor feature of Xbox Live, is required to display the Xbox Live logo. For Final Fantasy XI: Online, Xbox Live is used as the dashboard to run PlayOnline, so you can use it to check your friends list, use voice chat, and listen to music all while playing Final Fantasy XI: Online. However, Xbox Live logo or not, it is clearly marked in high contrasting black letters over a white/silver-white field “Additional Monthly Fee”. There can be no mistaking that means an additional fee, whether you’ve got Xbox Live Gold (paid) or Silver (free).

    Your entire argument fails. Again I state, you John Lucas, along with Davis Freeberg, and whoever that annonymous twit was with the friend that cried “sue”… you three are a trifecta of stupid. You have no grounds to base an argument. You’re defending some douche that failed to even bother getting ANY information… forget about getting all the information possible… ANY attempt at looking up information about this game would’ve shown him that there’s a fee required to play the game. There always has been. The game’s been out 4 years. And that makes you all the more an imbecile.

  62. Xyon says:

    1. playonline.com or squareenix.com, you’d find more info than on xbox websites, which would be stupid to check anyways for ffxi information.

    2. this game has been out for almost 5 years, if you were really excited about it, you would have done more research.

    3. you are paying $50 for the main game, and three expantions, all at once, not a bad deal.

    4. its $13 a month for 1 character, which you will only be using 1 character anyways for a while when you start. Not $13 a month plus $1 per character.

    5. xbox live silver is required to play ffxi online on xbox 360, xbox live silver is free.

    6. really… checking the websites of the people who sell the game, but not that of the actual game itself, or game developer, really… c’mon.

    7. there should be a usb port or some other port on your xbox that you CAN PLUG A KEYBOARD INTO!! so that you can use that for typing.

    8. I agree on the instalation and update times, they are a drag, but updates are few and far-between and instalations are a one-time deal (untell the next expantion) its part of all MMORPG’s that everybody has to deal with.

  63. 6. really… checking the websites of the people who sell the game, but not that of the actual game itself, or game developer, really… c’mon.

    Check the FAQ, I went straight to PlayOnline as soon as I heard about the charges. Please show me where they tell people that it costs $12.95 per month. I can see them admit to paying a $1, but nowhere could I find the actual fee. Could be I’m blind, but if it’s in there it’s buried because nobody else seems to have found it yet.

    http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/index.shtml

  64. Reeree says:

    This one time, at bard camp, there was this guy who gave up his ps2 so he could get an xbox. Only he couldn’t play Final Fantasy on the xbox, and so he hated it. Then when he could play Final Fantasy on the 360 he bought it without having paid attention to the world for of MMORPGs for like 5 years, and so he didn’t know he had to pay a subscription fee to Play Online, and it was so funny!

  65. Anonymous says:

    Hey all,

    As someone who’s worked in the industry for the last few years I can tell you that there are reasons besides profit for these fees. The main ones are the fact that Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games require a rather vast amount of hardware, bandwidth, personel, and support that have to be upkept and upgraded over the lifespan of the game. Saying that however it is not a practice I agree with since companies have made a practice of inflating that fee for a nice profit percentage in addition to the box price.

    Now it seems there have been a good many rude comments made by several posters who are under the impression that people should already know certain things about MMO’s. One point is that MMO’s are for hard-core gamers only, which is true, of all the people I know who play MMO’s most play at least 20 hours a week, however almost all are played on the PC. FFIX, on the other hand, has now been released on the Xbox 360, which in itself IS marketed mainly to the casual gamer and so you end up with a very large percentage of their consumer base being not as familiar with certain Hardcore genres, such as MMO’s. The whole idea of paying additional fee’s for a game IS alien to a great many people I know, and yes Microsoft should have done something more to make that clear since if you look at it from an outsiders perspective their packaging really is rather amibiguous unless you know what to expect. Specially with all their marketing centred on Xbox Live as being THE only thing for online gaming in their eyes. And yes that part of the equation IS Microsoft’s fault since they are the ones who have say over all the packaging for first And third party games.

    However now that you have been informed, rudely in some cases, you can now avoid or embrace any future MMO’s in which ever way you see fit.

    As the soccer mom said. This whole thing is a valuable life lesson with a great many points you can think on.

    Have a good day,
    Chris

  66. Anonymous says:

    HAHAHAHA!

    There has only ever been a single free MMORPG, EVERY other MMORPG no matter WHAT PLATFORM has had monthy charges. How could you not know this? I mean, I’m amazed. It’s not like it’s new to the XBox series either. MMORPGs on the original XBox did the same.

    Honestly, I mean, wow.

  67. Anonymous says:

    You god damn retard, Thomas, just about every single human on this planet, even those who don’t play FFXI, know that there are monthly fees for this game?
    You’ve been waiting for this game 5 years and didn’t know this?
    What’s your damage?

  68. John Lucas says:

    Smug bastards like this Jay character I like to put in their place.

    Where did you read that I said I have subscriptions to game magazines?
    That wasn’t said, you idiot.

    I said I OWN game magazines. I stopped buying them regularly within the last 3 or 4 years (actually bought a couple this past summer) but at one time I had every single EGM out. Along with a few others.

    And I don’t remember any talk about MMORPG. It is not until I came to the site Joystiq.com that I heard of it.

    As for your mom I COULD say some insulting remarks but I’ll leave it alone for now.
    Well if your mom knows what a MMORPG is then she heard about it from someone who plays them. Because if she IS as clueless about computers and all this as you claim she SURE as hell ain’t gonna know what a MMORPG is.

    That’s a bullshit call for ya, punk.
    You’ve lived on planet earth all your life and there’s a-PLENTY of things that happens on this planet you’ve NEVER heard of and haven’t the faintest clue of so don’t pull that game on me.
    Things that go on right in your own damn neighborhood you can’t fathom. So take that shit to ya mama.

    Now take your ignorant smarmy ass & listen to what a person who WORKS IN THE DAMN INDUSTRY who tells you many people have no idea what an MMORPG is much less about its fees & such.

    And he agrees that the packaging was faulty & misleading.
    Just like there are so many fools willing to usher in the era of pay-to-play (and it will be this way if companies see the people accepting it willingly) there are the same total who think everything in their own little world represents everything in the real world.
    Myopic arrogance.

    Those with sanity left know that companies are supposed to be more explicit with their packaging & that a box should tell you everything you need to know CLEARLY about a product. I’ve already shown examples so my point was made.
    It’s a game not a car like I said before.

    And it IS a toll at least with Final Fantasy XI online, clown. You can’t upgrade a character until you pay a dollar, fool!

    Reading the majority of these posts I realize how tunnel-visioned many gamers have become & why the industry is the way it is.

    In closing, as a matter of fact I informed a friend of mine about this very article. He plays games & has an X-Box 360. He’s never heard of the term MMORPG. Now he’s seen some of the games but when I told him that term he had no idea. Most people simply think of that as “online gaming” & outside of X-Box Live’s basic fee service they are not cognizant of extra fees.

    I warned him about Final Fantasy XI & he would have been caught up JUST LIKE Davis Freeberg if I hadn’t have told him. He wasn’t aware of downloading & registration & all that MMORPG jazz. He simply knew games where someone would be fighting & someone else in real time & space would be seen fighting over in another place nearby him on the TV screen.

    NOBODY with any sense goes into archives & trade mags just to get a game. The box should say it all. And most times it does.

    With a proven name like “Final Fantasy” Davis would be UNDERSTANDABLY expecting a good experience without doing loads of “research”. I don’t read much about Mario games because I know they’re good & I’ve never been let down yet. Same with Zelda. The brand name IS the selling point in those cases & Final Fantasy fits that mold.

    I read a thread on a forum querying “Online gaming…the new crack?”

    Judging by most of the hostile responses to Davis like Jay’s I would say yes.

    John Lucas

  69. Jay – Maybe your Mom knows about the fees because she’s the one that has to pay $12.95 per month. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal when all of your expenses are taken care of, but once you enter the real world being able to spend 40 hours a week in a fantasy video game world just isn’t realistic and paying $13 per month is pretty expensive if you are only spend a few hours a month playing the game.

  70. John Lucas says:

    Oh and one more thing, Jay.

    One-time purchase VS. monthly fee.

    I can play my games forever & ever with no further time restraints on getting all my play in within a month & I often replay many of my games.

    AND I tend to buy games with long-lasting value. Games that have so much replayability that they can NEVER really get old.

    I have a diversity of games for every mood. And I have enough imagination to make the game fun BEYOND what the programmers intended.

    I buy one time for an experience that can last a LIFETIME.

    I’m not the type who throws away his games after he beats or gets bored before I beat them. I enjoy my purchases FULLY.

    I bought Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2002 and am STILL playing it with joy in 2006. And all I paid was a mere 50 bones.

    I’ve been playing Animal Crossing since 2002 & I STILL haven’t got bored with the game YET (just played it yesterday as a matter of fact). A friend gave it to me as a gift & I imagine he paid between 40 to 50 dollars for it.

    In the N64 era I played the living HELL out of those ASMIK/AKI/THQ wrestling games. Years straight & almost endless enjoyment.

    And you’re trying to tell ME that paying fees for games are BETTER?
    If that’s your choice, fine. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks. But that ain’t my bag. My money is too valuable to fritter it away endlessly on a damn game. I work for a damn living. I have priorities even IF I’m a gameplayer.

    After I grace the gamestore by opening up my valuable wallet and paying the ONE TIME initial purchase I expect to own the game for as long as I see fit. And enjoy it as long as I see fit with no cost to me outside of the electricity it takes to run the gamemachine.

    And if I was the selling type (which I’m not; still have all the games I owned in the NES era) I could take my investment & sell it or give it to someone else who THEN can do as I once did & enjoy it for as long as THEY see fit.
    Can’t seem to do that with MMORPG’s.

    AND what makes X-Box live BETTER than MMORPG fees is that even though it’s a steep price to pay once you got the service you can play EVERY SINGLE GAME under the X-Box Live banner endlessly as long as your subscription lasts. Not just one single game. A host of games to pick & choose from at your leisure within the subscription limit. Similar to the Sega Channel of years past.

    Still not my bag really but it’s better than this MMORPG setup where you pay monthly for just one game. I don’t care if the world is dynamic. It still a sucky experience as far as I’m concerned.

    But it’s a free country & if you feel this is better, power to ya baby.

    But the “set-in-stone” era as you put it should never die because pay-for-play as the mainstream can only class-stratify & eventually kill gaming.
    Though those who think “we don’t want you playing our game anyway” seem to want it that way.

    Myopic.

    John Lucas

  71. Anonymous says:

    LOL

    Why’d you spend $60 (60!) on a game you don’t know anything about? You really have noone to blame but yourself. Next time, do some research before spending your money.

    Shrugged, Hades
    -75 BRD

  72. kneeb says:

    This game was never intended to be played for 2 -3 hours a month. Its simply not that type of game. As others have said it really isnt suited to the casual gamer. Someone touched upon the “we dont want casual gamers” and what I think they mean is that all the equipment and items in game has a in game currency value. This money is gained through quests or killing monsters etc (or even taking up a craft if you prefer). One night a week for example people may play purley to make money in game to outfit thier characrer. A more casual gamer may want to play the more exciting aspects of the game and not want to put the time in aquring money (in game). They then turn to 3rd party websites that SELL In game currency for real money to people too lazy to get it themselves. This is against the terms of service of Final Fantasy and is frowned upon, however the more casual player may see this as the easy way out. Unfortuantely these players (or gilbuyers) upset the delicate econmoy of the game. This was particulary notable over the Xmas period where several game currency websites had “xmas sales”. This meant the value of in game currency dropped significantly and prices of items sky rocketed. Eventually the games masters banned several hundred accounts of those selling this money in game removing over 300 billion gil form the economy. This in game money was worth approximate FIVE MILLION US Dollars in real terms.

    Anyhoo I digress

    I am 27, I work. I am happy to pay $13 or whatever it is (Im European) to play. I play on average 3-4 hours a night and more at the weekend. I go to the gym, I have bills, motorbike running costs and the like and I still believe that $13 for the AMOUNT I PLAY is perfectly reasonable. Since I purchased the game several years ago I have purchesed only TWO new games.

    Also the $1 to upgrade a characrer isnt what you think it is. You pay the fee for one character. That is more than enough for most people seeing as you can play as any jobclass whenever you want (unlike WoW where you are stuck to the job class on a character).

    I have my main character and an additional 4 characters I use either for storage or to play. These are not required. I CHOOSE to have these and paying $1 for this is nothing. I am not paying to “upgrade” my character as you say it.

  73. Jay says:

    “Smug bastards like this Jay character I like to put in their place.”

    Thusfar, you’ve completely failed to do such. But you go ahead and keep on trying, sport. What is it they say about someone doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result?

    “I said I OWN game magazines. I stopped buying them regularly within the last 3 or 4 years (actually bought a couple this past summer) but at one time I had every single EGM out. Along with a few others.”

    Ah, forgive me for equating “own” with “subscribe to”. Usually someone that regularly aquires magazines (gaming, or otherwise) would logically subscribe to them, as it’s much cheaper to do so, than buying them off the shelf. Most people tend to realize when a magazine costs $6 off the shelf, and a subscription costs $24, that it’s financially more intelligent to get 12 magazines for the price of 4.

    Then again, you are cerebrally challenged.

    That’s quite the accomplishment there, owning all the EGM’s and other gaming magazines in existence at one point. You want a cookie?

    “And it IS a toll at least with Final Fantasy XI online, clown. You can’t upgrade a character until you pay a dollar, fool!”

    No, clown! It’s $1 for ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS. $12.95 is the subscription to the service AND ONE CHARACTER. Unlike other MMO’s, in FFXI: Online you can change jobs at will, change allegiance at will, so with ONE character, you can see all the content the game has to offer. With other MMO’s, if you want to try out different jobs, or see the story from other factions, you have to create new characters to do so. With FFXI: Online, the only reason you’d ever need to create a new character is if you wanted to try out a different race for some reason. With your ONE character and $12.95 a month, you can take all 18 jobs to the max level of 75, get rank 10 (max) in all 3 of the cities (not sure yet how the new cities added with the recent expansion will function), complete all the quests and missions in the game, and get the best gear for each job. Where exactly are you having to pay $1 each time you want to upgrade your character, fool?

    This miasmic diatribe is doing nothing to bolster your argument. In fact, your complete ignorance is doing more harm to your own arguments, than good.

    “As for your mom I COULD say some insulting remarks but I’ll leave it alone for now.
    Well if your mom knows what a MMORPG is then she heard about it from someone who plays them. Because if she IS as clueless about computers and all this as you claim she SURE as hell ain’t gonna know what a MMORPG is.”

    Ah yes, thinly vield threats of “your momma” jokes. You’ve obviously never grown out of your adolescence. Or are you still 12?

    The fact that my mother knows about these games, speaks volumes as to how much coverage they’ve gotten in mainstream media. And it speaks volumes as to how someone like you, who claims to play video games… often, I might add, can be so completely clueless to their existence. Ostrich syndrome at it’s finest.

    “Now take your ignorant smarmy ass & listen to what a person who WORKS IN THE DAMN INDUSTRY who tells you many people have no idea what an MMORPG is much less about its fees & such.

    And he agrees that the packaging was faulty & misleading.”

    Working as a clerk in EB, and working at an actual game design company are two entirely different things.

    As for packaging… lets take a look at the covers of other MMO’s.

    Everquest: http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/everquest/cover-art/gameCoverId,25182/
    Everquest 2: http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/everquest-ii/cover-art/gameCoverId,50703/
    World of Warcraft:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/world-of-warcraft/cover-art/gameCoverId,38593/
    Asheron’s Call:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/asherons-call/cover-art/gameCoverId,10608/
    Anarchy Online:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/anarchy-online/cover-art/gameCoverId,7810/
    Dark Age of Camelot:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/dark-age-of-camelot/cover-art/gameCoverId,20134/
    Shadowbane:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/shadowbane/cover-art/gameCoverId,22272/
    Ultima Online:
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/ultima-online/cover-art/gameCoverId,3077/

    And finally, Final Fantasy XI: Online: http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/final-fantasy-xi-online/cover-art/gameCoverId,26486/

    Notice anything? Perhaps the lack of giant flashy text indicating fees to play the game? Perhaps the lack of a definitive amount for the monthly fee?

    The X360 cover for Final Fantasy XI: Online is no different than any other MMO. There’s no deception, just Davis’ stupidity, and your defense of his stupidity.

    “NOBODY with any sense goes into archives & trade mags just to get a game. The box should say it all. And most times it does.”

    ANYBODY with any sense should at least read reviews and/or previews of games that they’re interested in playing. There’s no excuse for Davis not at least looking at a review of Final Fantasy XI: Online. Had he made that minimal effort, he would’ve learned not only that the game would require a fee to play, but many reviews of MMORPG’s also disclose the amount of the monthly fee.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q;=final+fantasy+xi+review&btnG;=Google+Search

    Blame Amazon for not disclosing the fact there’s a fee involved. They do for the PC version, but not the Xbox 360 version. However, even in the Amazon image: http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000ENW5W4.01-A1NDBS7YGOPBD6._SCLZZZZZZZ_V53969872_.jpg

    You can see as I pointed out in the previous image: “Online Only”, “This Game Requires: Hard Drive (Sold Seperately), Additional Online Fee, Broadband Connection”. This is a grainy, pixelated image, that’s certainly not as clear as having the actual case in-hand at the store when he went to pick it up, and you can still read that information that’s clearly printed on the FRONT cover.

    “Davis Freeberg said…

    Jay – Maybe your Mom knows about the fees because she’s the one that has to pay $12.95 per month. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal when all of your expenses are taken care of, but once you enter the real world being able to spend 40 hours a week in a fantasy video game world just isn’t realistic and paying $13 per month is pretty expensive if you are only spend a few hours a month playing the game.”

    Quite the clever one, aren’t you? Perhaps $13 a month is pretty expensive when you’re working at McDonald’s for minimum wage, and trying to buy other games as well. But then, when you live with mommy and daddy and don’t have to worry about paying actual bills, why would anyone need to make more than minimum wage?

    But, to quell any allusions you might have, I’m 27, I have my own home and car, I make more than enough money for mortgage, car, insurance, utilities, groceries, gas, internet, satellite TV… and I can feed my DVD and music habit, go out with friends regularly, buy games impulsively when something catches my fancy… and yes, still somehow manage to scratch $13 a month together to afford to play Final Fantasy XI: Online. (please note the sarcasm in that last statement).

    “And if I was the selling type (which I’m not; still have all the games I owned in the NES era) I could take my investment & sell it or give it to someone else who THEN can do as I once did & enjoy it for as long as THEY see fit.
    Can’t seem to do that with MMORPG’s.”

    Sure you can. Take a look at eBay and do a search for any MMO. After calling it quits with these games, people turn around and sell their accounts. Sure, you can’t take it back to the gamestore and re-sell it… but, try that with any PC game and see how far you get. Console games are unique in their ability to be resold, something that Sony is reportedly att
    empting to kill off with the PS3, with their proposal to lock games to the first console they’re played in. If they get their way, gone is the used game market. Gone are the days of taking your disc and memory card to your friends, now you’ll have to take your machine as well. Gone are the days of video game rentals (bye bye Gamefly).

    Instead of being shocked that MMORPGs with their persistent, and ever changing worlds have the audacity to charge a monthly fee to play… what you should be worried about is Sony getting their way in the upcoming console generation.

    “But the “set-in-stone” era as you put it should never die because pay-for-play as the mainstream can only class-stratify & eventually kill gaming.”

    It’s not an “era”. The MMO “pay-to-play” model doesn’t work with “set-in-stone” games. You don’t seem to be getting that. MMO’s are constantly changing, unlike traditional games.

    Let’s use Animal Crossing as an example. Big game. No doubt. But, ultimately, eventually you’ll experience everything the game has to offer, and any subsequent play will result in just doing the same things over and over. That’s a set in stone game. A game that doesn’t continue to grow, get new content, persist even when you’re not playing it (don’t be fooled, turning the machine on a couple days after your last playing session and the game calculating changes based on how long it’s been since you played, is not a persistent world. If you don’t believe me, try this simple trick… play the game. Turn the machine off, and when you boot back up, change the time and date to 20 years in the future. Start the game up, and see the massive changes that happened to your “world” within the last 2 minutes.)

    An MMORPG is a persistant world. You can log off, change the time and date to 20 years in the future, then back onto the game, and find out … 2 minutes had passed in the game, not 20 years as would be the case with something like Animal Crossing. Say your with a group of people fighting a “boss” monster, and in the middle of the battle, your power goes out. You get booted out of the game. A short while later, the power is back up, and you’re back in the game, and you log in to see the battle is almost over, or maybe it’s already over and everyone’s resting after the hard work. They pat you consolingly, understanding that you had no contol over your power dropping out, and sorry you missed out on the battle. Had that been Animal Crossing, you’d have just started it back up to your last savepoint before the power went out (or whatever caused the game to shut down), having to re-do everything up to that point. There’s no re-do’s in MMORPG’s much like there’s no re-do’s in life. You can try again, but you can never start over.

    Super Smash Bros. Melee was the first game I bought for my Gamecube in 2001. I still play and enjoy it to this day as well. But, I’ve beaten it at ever difficulty, I’ve unlocked every character, and I’ve learned all the little tricks and strategies to avoid being knocked off the playing field. I suffer no illusions that the game changes everytime I play it. It’s the same game as it was in 2001.

    I bought FFXI: Online when it came out for PC in 2003. I played it through the end of 2004, when I stopped playing, and bought World of Warcraft. I played WoW through early 2006, and I’ve now re-activated my subscription to FFXI: Online, and picked up my character where I left off. The game is VERY different now, than it was in 2003. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t *have* to spend 40 hours a week playing these game. Yes, there are people that do (and more). They’re insane.

    “And you’re trying to tell ME that paying fees for games are BETTER?”

    How you managed to conclude that from my statements thusfar, is beyond me. It shows an obvious lack of reading comprehension. I’ve never once stated that paying to play games is better. I’ve said the reason you pay to play MMO’s, is becasue of the all that goes into maintaining an MMO. Companies have to pay their employee’s salaries. Do you expect all the Customer Service representatives for Dell to work for free? What about the people that maintain Dell’s website, and servers to host their websites? What about the technicians that come fix problems with Dell’s computers? Should they all work for free, because you don’t think you should have to buy a new computer every few years as hardware and software become obsolete?

    MMO’s require a number of people, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep the servers up and running, fix servers that are down, GM’s to answer support calls from players, in addition to a design team that comes in daily to work on new content to add to the game periodically, and occasionally a larger design team to come in to work on a full blown expansion.

    You think these people are going to just volunteer their time?

    “I don’t care if the world is dynamic. It still a sucky experience as far as I’m concerned.”

    Because you’ve never bothered to try it. It’s like people saying a book, or movie sucks, without having seen it. You have no clue, and no grounds to base that opinion on. You can say you don’t want to pay to play a game. That’s fine. You can’t say it’s a bad experience… namely, because you haven’t experienced it.

    “I work for a damn living. I have priorities even IF I’m a gameplayer.”

    Congratulations! So does the rest of the world.

  74. Taimou says:

    Gah, just read the rant and about half of the comments… and laughed my ass off in the process.

    Really, David.. GET A GRIP!
    Not the gameindustry’s fault that you’re stupid, maybe you should ask your mom if she dropped you when you were little.

    Anyways, have a nice life.

    PS.
    “Knowledge is power.”
    – someone I can’t remember.

  75. John Lucas says:

    Well this comment board just proved to me that MMORPG players are a generally weird bunch. Much like many types I’ve run across since I got on the internet.
    Or maybe just too much leisure money & nothing constructive to do with it. Either case, freaky.

    My points were proven against that jackass Jay (whether he admits it or not) & as my coda I leave these links that show proper packaging of a product.
    Remember MMORPG players everybody doesn’t live in a virtual gameworld 24/7 (which explains the light new buyings of games I believe). There ARE those who have no idea what this MMORPG thing is all about. It is not ‘mainstream’ (so to speak; hate that word) yet.

    Davis was right to feel cheated. Better packaging would have solved that dilemma. Hopefully this article will inform others in the future.
    (the way these cats go on & on they act like someone who listens to music heavily will know of every single music style that exists in the world today. What? Are they supposed to read a music trade mag first? LOL!)

    •Nintendo 64’s The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. (requires Expansion Pak to play)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:ZeldaMMbox.jpg

    [note the large easy-to-read bolded font colored in bright yellow trimmed with a line of black. Marvel at the starshine effect to draw the eye to the disclaimer & the prominent circle that makes the caption just that much more distinct. also check out the actual image of the required component in the midst of it all]

    •Nintendo Gamecube’s Mario Party 6
    (requires Microphone to play)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Marioparty6.jpg

    [note at the bottom of the package the cutaway of yellow that highlights the caption informing the consumer that essential piece is included in package. Again picture of said device shown for extra credit]

    •Sony Playstation 2’s Sega Superstars
    (requires EyeToy to play)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Segasuperstarsbox.jpg

    [note at the upper right corner the stylish yet informative & easy-to-read lettering. The black-on-white/white-on-black disclaimer makes it a cinch to read unable to overlook. Also note picture of said product shown just for added measure]

    •Sony Playstation 2’s Guitar Hero
    (requires guitar controller to play)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Guitar_Hero.jpg

    [though the shape of the box is pretty much self-explanatory towards the contents the packaging STILL identifies clearly for the consumer what the package entails. Hard to see on this scale of pic but look toward the bottom right portion for a pictorial & textual description of package’s contents]

    •Nintendo 64’s Perfect Dark
    (Expansion Pak important but not necessarily essential for gameplay)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Perfect_dark_box.jpg

    [thoroughly discussed in earlier post. bold yellow lettering with black trim & a host of effects to draw eye to disclaimer]

    •Microsoft X-Box 360’s Perfect Dark Zero
    (compatible with X-Box Live online service)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pdz_boxshot.jpg

    [X-Box Live logo stylistically noted in upper right corner. Which I assume is standard for any X-Box Live compatible product. also the exclusivity disclaimer is well noted too “Only on X-Box 360”]

    ~COMPARE~

    •PC version Final Fantasy XI online
    (requires PlayOnline service to play)
    http://www.giochipc.com/new/upload/finalfantasyonline_pc.jpg

    [the PlayOnline logo is well highlighted & designed in the upper left corner. Not just some plain black text saying “playonline” but rather a colorful stylish LOGO. That’s how business is done, folks. also makes disclaimers on what processor it runs best on. Even tells you free subscription for 30 days in a nice gold sticker on *front*. Good letter size. I assume the small print on that sticker says details on back. That’s how you package things, ladies and gentlemen. Clear with cues to let you know if anything special is needed for the product]

    •Microsoft X-Box 360’s Final Fantasy XI online
    (actually requires PlayOnline to play though X-Box 360 has a built-in online service called X-Box Live)
    http://www.joystiq.com/media/2006/04/ffxi_box.jpg

    [console gamers are a different breed from PC gamers as consoles are for ease of use while PC’s are for the “ham radio” type. “Online only” though there is written in the tiniest of print. Should be a bit bigger as to warn unsuspecting customer precisely what type of product it is but not the major problem. A host of text on upper left that can’t be made out on this scale of pic. I imagine the text is equally easy to overlook on the full scale package as well. Other than Siskel & Ebert-esque 10/10 ratings text shouldn’t be so small on a product if it has important *essential* information. X-Box Live standard logo is in upper left; ONLY that X-Box Live is *NOT* the service to operate game. So why is it there? If its use is only for a few features of product then it should be made explicit with a disclaimer. Where is the PlayOnline logo? Why isn’t it on the front? The front is the part you see first so most important ESSENTIAL info should be highlighted *THERE* on the *FRONT*. The back is to get further introductory information about product to make final decision. It is to be a summary of important info & a descriptive about game content. If space/design constraints prevent full display of important info on front a *special disclaimer* should be made on front that tells customer to read ESSENTIALS on back. And it should ALWAYS be made easy-to-see. No mention of subscription or fees anywhere. Not even a little gold sticker this time. The package is intentionally misleading & faulty. A non-expert or any general consumer can be easily mistaken about this product.]

    If there’s STILL any doubt to the correctness of my statements & scenarios, take a look at those ESRB ratings on each of those pics.
    T for Teen; M for Mature; E for Everybody as so forth.

    EACH ONE is prominently displayed on FRONT unmistakably. EVEN the PC example I put up.

    If they were to write that ESRB rating in tiny plain black text off to some obscure corner or the back, you can bet your bottom dollar it wouldn’t fly. Hence these ratings are made iconic logos or stamps if you will where anybody from a distance can make out the information they are trying to relay.

    Why should any OTHER important information be held to a lesser standard?

    Enjoy ignorantly trying refute this truth, folks.
    I’ll check you cats later. I got games to play & people to meet.
    Buh-bye. (David Spade-style)

    John Lucas

  76. I’ve got to say I’m pretty surprised at how passionate people have felt about this issue. All I really wanted was to see better disclosure by Microsoft and by retailers. The box does say addl’ monthly fees in the smallest print on the box, but nowhere does it disclose the ACTUAL subscription cost until you are 3 hours into a 5 hour download process. Furthermore, if you look at the way the game is being sold online, there is no disclosure about any monthly fee let alone the actual $13 per month subscription charge.

    If you read the early Amazon complaints, you can see that people are upset. Amazon added a wiki half way down the page disclosing the fee, but only after my complaint.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ENW5W4/qid=1145656192/sr=8-4/ref=pd_bbs_4/002-2311157-6292033?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v;=glance&n;=468642

    Best Buy amazingly enough discloses the actual charges on their Canadian
    website, but seems to have no problem ripping off less informed Americans.

    I think that Circuit City is probably the most misleading and if you look at their marketing of the game, you will see that they actually say
    “Play online with Xbox Live™ (sold separately)making it sound like this is all you need to enjoy the game. This is the closest to outright fraud that any of the retailers get because as many have pointed out you don’t need to buy Xbox Live seperately and the game doesn’t run on Xbox live it runs on PlayOnline.

    http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Final-Fantasy-XI-Online-Xbox-360-/sem/rpsm/oid/148549/catOid/-13223/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

    Of course Circuit City makes no mention of the additional costs that
    consumers will incur when they get the game through the mail. This might hurt their sales and they wouldn’t want to do that. Target
    doesn’t even mention Xbox live or PlayOnline in their ad for the game.
    They just make consumers think they are getting a new 360 game for $50
    instead of $60.

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=1-9/qid=1145928995/ref=sr_1_9/602-0054403-6422205?%5Fencoding=UTF8&asin;=B000ENW5W4

    Our good friends at Walmart even try to make the PlayOnline software that
    Square Enix makes you use sould like it’s an enhancement. Trust me it’s
    terrible.

    “Includes the PlayOnline Viewer software that contains communication
    tools, access to support, customization tools, and games including the enhanced online version of the Tetra Master card game from FINAL FANTASY
    IX.”

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4756822#Accessories+to+Buy

    It’s funny that someone at Walmart.com took the time to learn about the Play Online system, but didn’t feel that it was neccessary to say that the game won’t work without $13 per month in service fees.

    Now I might be new to this whole online gaming thing, but I still think consumers (even dumb ones like me) have a right to know about all the costs before having to make a payment for something. Retailers can try and ignore these fees in order to boost sales of the game, but I think that they have an ethical responsibility to be up front with their customers about the true expenses associated with this game.

  77. Jay says:

    John, you never cease to continue making a fool of yourself. The X360 box for FFXI: Online is no different to how other MMO’s are packaged. And that, my friend, is a truth you can’t refute.

    I’ve already explained the Xbox Live logo. That’s Microsoft’s thing. It’s not some giant SquareEnix conspiracy to hide the fact that PlayOnline and FFXI: Online would need to be installed. The game has been out 4 years. It had to be installed on the PS2. It had to be installed on the PC. Why would anyone think it would be any different for the X360?

    “The box does say addl’ monthly fees in the smallest print on the box, but nowhere does it disclose the ACTUAL subscription cost”

    Davis… I see you’re trying to come to some compromise. I understand. You made a mistake. You’re upset that you made a mistake, and you thought you’d get some sympathy by posting about it on a blog. Instead, you got a whiplash of people, not only NOT offering sympathy, but also pointing out in no uncertain terms, *your* mistake. It’s not the retailer’s fault. It’s not SE’s fault. It’s not Microsoft’s fault. It’s you. You’re the one that made absolutely no effort to find out any information about this game before you went out and spent your money on it.

    The issue is not that there’s no mention of how much per month it’s going to cost. Take a look at all the other MMO’s box art I posted. This is not something unique to SquareEnix. No MMO in their 7 year history, has ever had the monthly fees disclosed on the box. Pointing out that they don’t disclose the fees, isn’t going to raise any eyebrows. Most consumers know to research a product before they buy it.

    It was your responsibility to do this. You didn’t, and now you’re stuck with the consequences. Hopefully you’ll take this with you into the future, and learn one of those “life lessons” from it.

  78. Anonymous says:

    The monthly fee is not 14 dollars. The initial 13 dollars includes one character. If you want additional characters, then it is 1 dollar extra.

  79. Anonymous says:

    GOD shut up. Fools and their money bro, read up on something b4 u buy it. I’m kinda glad I won’t be seeing u in there I don’t think I could put up with you

  80. Jay you never cease making a fool out of yourself. You seem to keep coming back to “my mistake” for not researching the game, but this is a BS argument. How about instead of attacking my lack of research you at least try to respond to some of the issues with how the game is being sold. Are you telling me that you are against making companies disclose the subscription price on the front of the box? Is there something really wrong with my wanting consumers to know the facts at the retail level? Is this really such a controversial concept or are you so hung up on the fact that I somehow never knew that FFXI was a MMORPG that you can’t even acknowledge any of the real issues I bring up?

    The consumer only carries so much responsibility in society, that’s why we have truth in advertising laws. Now Microsoft may have techically fulfilled their obligation to disclose that a monthly fee was included, but they havent’ fulfilled their ethical obligation to make consumers aware that the fee is more expensive then the game. You want to focus on my poor choice as a consumer, yet your refuse to even address the fact that Circuit City is still fraudulently selling the game online by saying that it runs on Xbox Live. You and I both know that this is false, FFXI runs on PlayOnline which costs extra fees. Take a look at their ad and you’ll see that they are clearly indicating that Xbox Live is the addl. monthly fee and make no mention of PlayOnline. If retailers can’t get this right how do we expect consumers to know much better?

    Furthermore, you have yet to show me where on the Playonlne website that they disclose the pricing of the game? It may have been in the manual, but my first instict was to go online to find out how much this was going to cost me. I couldn’t find it and I couldn’t call them because they took their phones down on the day of the launch. I didn’t even think to check the manual because I rarely look at them. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the controls on Fight Night Round 3. What I want to know is why didn’t square disclose the prices at the front of the install instead of three hours into it? Are you trying to tell me that this was acceptable on their part? Square did everything they could to make it as hard as possible for someone to know what the cost was until they had sunk considerable up front time and money into the game. Only then do they launch their trap and ensnare the consumer in their fee. You can say that all games do it this way, but that doesn’t excuse Square’s behavior. It only brings up the point that this issue goes deeper then just my experience with FFXI. It is no less acceptable for other game publishers to do this. By forcing them to disclose their true costs at the retail level, it will put pressure on the publishers because consumers could more effectively comparison shop. As a hard core gamer you would win out with lower prices and better disclosure to the casual gamers who might accidently pick it up thinking that it was a cool game.

    You keep coming back to me as the consumer, but your blind loyalty to your MMORPG addiction prevents you from seeing the truth. The publishers don’t disclose the actual fee because they know that it will hurt sales. The reason that it will hurt sales is because when consumers know about this cost, they will balk at the price of it.

  81. Anonymous says:

    You must be the stupiest gamer in the WORLD!!!!
    If you like a game that mutch you would read everything there is about it on the web.
    Go play guildwars, that sound’s more like a game you can comprihand.

  82. Jay says:

    “How about instead of attacking my lack of research you at least try to respond to some of the issues with how the game is being sold. Are you telling me that you are against making companies disclose the subscription price on the front of the box? Is there something really wrong with my wanting consumers to know the facts at the retail level?”

    What issues with how it’s being sold? It’s how EVERY MMO is sold. There’s no issue there. The issue is your lack of research.

    Yes, I’m against them disclosing the actual fees on the box. As long as they make it known there ARE fees, it’s up to the consumer to inquire about such fees, either to the retailer, or go online and find out.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting the customer to have all the facts at the retail level. That’s not something SquareEnix or any other company can regulate when you’ve got kids making minimum wage behind the counter that could care less about whether or not the customer has all the facts.

    “Furthermore, you have yet to show me where on the Playonlne website that they disclose the pricing of the game? It may have been in the manual, but my first instict was to go online to find out how much this was going to cost me.”

    http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/topics/060324_360_2.html
    http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/polnews/news7182.shtml
    http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/polnews/news7401.shtml

    … Perhaps if you couldn’t find it on the site directly, you could’ve just googled “playonline monthly fee” … I just tried it, and the first two links both go to playonline.com, and both link to information regarding exactly how much it’s going to cost for the monthly fee.

    Seriously, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out.

    “You keep coming back to me as the consumer, but your blind loyalty to your MMORPG addiction prevents you from seeing the truth. The publishers don’t disclose the actual fee because they know that it will hurt sales. The reason that it will hurt sales is because when consumers know about this cost, they will balk at the price of it.”

    They don’t disclose the actual fee on the box, because they can change the fee at will (perhaps if you’d read the User and Liscense agreements, you’d know this). I’ve never heard of an MMO that raised their fees after initial launch, but there are plenty that have lowered, some have even gone to a free-to-play model for the original game, but you have to register and pay-to-play if you want access to the expansion areas (Anarchy Online is currently doing this).

    Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is currently the most expensive per month MMO, at $15.95 (though Blizzard does offer tierd pricing if you want to pay 6 months or a year in advance. $14.95 / month paid 6 months in advance, or $13.95 / month paid 1 year in advance). WoW boasts the largest subscriber base (5 million + and counting. Most MMO’s are considered successful if they can maintain 100,000-500,000 subscribers. FFXI has around 500,000). Doesn’t seem like too many people are balking over the fees.

  83. Anonymous says:

    I’m calling shenanigans on the original post. No one is honestly that naive and dense. He did a good job sounding sincere though, as he sure got a lot of people riled up.

  84. Anonymous says:

    That’s crazy to me!
    It’s like me having to send them a $20 just to be able to execute Mario’s triple jump! Or to write them a check for $500 to fight Bowser. INSANE!

    That’s not the Western and Japanese MMO billing model you are describing. It sounds more like you are describing the Korean model.

    Western and Japanese MMOs charge you a flat fee per time period to play, and the service is up almost that entire period, except for regularly scheduled maintenance. FFXI is up most of the month except for about 8 hours of patching the game, and about a day of maintaining the registration servers at the beginning of the month. You’re paying for a persistent world that progresses even when you aren’t active, and them constantly adding content to the game that extends the playability to thousands of hours or tens of thousands of hours, versus the static content in an offline game that provides at most a couple hundred of hours, but more often in the tens of hours.

    If you want to see insane billing policies, try looking at some Korean MMOs, like Maple Story. There’s no monthly fee for that, but they have two forms of currency in the game, GOLD and CASH. GOLD is dropped by monsters and earned through quests and normal gameplay. CASH is only generated by you paying the company that runs the MMO real money. Stores sell items that are buyable with either, but also exclusive items that are only buyable with one or the other. Wizet recently released an accessory in Maple Story that eliminates the experience loss from dying, but it only stays in your inventory for a limited amount of real time, and is only purchasable with CASH. I’ve been told the cost equates to about $10 per item for that accessory, and it only lasts about 2 weeks. I’m not even sure if it breaks when you die, instead of you taking the experience loss. I’ve seen this tactic in other Korean online games, such as Gunbound. The Western model is much more reasonable. Most Western MMOs outlaw the sale of in-game items, entities, and currency for real currency in their service agreements, so you just pay the flat rate and invest your time to get any items the game has to offer, and it’s relatively less expensive for how much you spend per hour you play, assuming you get into it and play it like they intend you to.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Just so you know Davis, on the PC and the PS2 you also have to pay $14 a month…

  86. Anonymous says:

    Fuck all you idiots that say I’ve had a chance to play the Beta and the game has been out for years. Like the general consumer, not the fucking geek, I go to the damn video game store, see what’s new, and buy what I like. Fuck Final Fantasy XXISAEOIAFOI 11 whatever the fuck it is in Roman. It is total bullshit to pay for a game, pay for XBL, and pay 12.95 a month to play the fuckin thing. I make more money than probably all of you. And I bought it, got drunk and installed it for 3 hours, got fucking annoyed, and am returning it tomorrow. NO ONE SHOULD BUY OR PLAY THIS STUPID ASS GAME.

  87. Valheru says:

    ok some of these poitn have been brought up and some good and bad points have been broughten up… one he made a bad and ignorant decision to buy a game that has been out for 3 years… of course ont he flip side, the FF 1-10 were all NOT online, and guess what… FF12 isn;t gonna be online either. But the monthly fees that are charged for MMORPGS are there for a REASON… they keep people employed on the game fixing anybugs and updating the game and constantly balancing the game so it doesn;t become so corrupt and full of hackers like many many other online games endup…

    Something should be made more obvious, and actually the annoyiong thing is this game is so old… i figured on xbox360… it comes with a hardraive and is supposed to be a better system, ok why the hell can;t the graphics look better, it takes a simple program to redo graphics and touch them up… yeah the ps2 system can;t see the new graphics, but hey. the ps3 could. but the game was cheap compared to PS2, where you had to buy the harddrive with the game, but unlike what people say the the harddrive was not ONLY made for the game… if you could wireup another harddrive, you could buy the comp version, borrow a ps2 version from a friend and install it using your codes.

    But the fact that you are a gamer and have NO gamer friends…. how the hell do you consider yourself a gamer, the only reason i play games is to play with friends. or in a few cases i play them solo.

    i also got FFXI but i did know about the fee before hand, cause so many people were talking about it. i stopped playing the game.. unless you JOIN the game at the same time as some friends i just found it not to be worth it. i had a friend who was really into the game, lvl 75 in a few jobs and gonna be soon in others… my top job is a lvl 34 whm.. and bl;m lvl 24 i don;t mind playing with new people, i had some great times. but if you start the game NOW. well it has been out too long. there aren;t many low lvl people out. i am hoping Square-enix will let this game die sometime, and make a new FF some future version that is also an MMORPG like this one, and i plan on joining it at the beginning. but the monthly fee is a huge thing with the game and so many peolple here are either complaining ir saying it has always been like that… BOTH sides are ebing stupid here, it is a new thing… srry D2 (diablo2) still gets some updates and it is free to play online. of course they don;t put that much work into it. now FFXI has a lot of people playing the game… they have to keep all servers bug free and everyhting. quite often something goes wrong and without a FULL support team this game could be going offline for days at a time, as it is they tend to fix the glitch within a couple days, and leave the rest of the game running. and server is down for maybe 8 hours during maintence… sometimes longer when they are putting in a patch. and by the way, 2 hours patching is nothing for what you got… i’ve had friends who had 10 hrs of patching when they got the game cause they happened to get it when some new update was put out and EVERYONE was patching… so they would turn it on, instlall it, let it patch and go do SOEMTHING ELSE… srry but if you have a life period. you can start your game patching and FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO… in my case i read a book… but then i really liek to read. you could go play basket ball, run, practice breakdancing or well anyhting.

    also i heard some insults directed at lower ages, i am a CASUAL gamer, not hardcore. i don;t play many gamnes and one of my favs is super smash bros melee, cause i can play with my friends… but i skim the web when i’m bored and find lots of stuff that is obviously untrue or true and twisted… or just plain stupid… after reading the comments i think “John Lucas” had the best points over all, and the playonline service is FREE yeah that what i said, FREE.. and INCLUDED WITH THE GAME. so the fact that you need tos ign up for it shouldn;t matter much at all. and the sticker says ONE MONTH FREE ONLINE PLAY.

    ok i started rambling and repeating my self… ok so quick bullet points.

    1. MMORPGS cost money to upkeep and upgrade, common knowledge if oyu consider yourself ANY kind of gamer and at all levels hell even many non-gamers know about these

    2. yeah packaging shoudl be more explicit and more obvious but mby legal law it doesn;t have to be
    … ever heard the saying “READ THE FINE PRINT”
    yes it is REAL advice and a good thing to ALWAYS keep in mind

    yes ONLINE may be considered fine print, but hey, play attention to anyhting, jsut glicing at it, i could tell it was text and i read it. in most cases it is a title for the game, for a fake example,

    Something 2:
    the return of something (the resturn of something whould be in small text just like online is, even framed witht he same style line. usiong the main title as a selling point and the secondary line is the actual name of the game.

    another thing someone brought up, NINTENDO, yes they are cool, and they said nintendo should always be there or gaming will die. well guess what from the runble feature to the joystick, NINTENDO did ti FIRST. so if you really want good games. lets all buy NINTENDO’s and if everyone does… al the good companies with switch back top nintendo cause they will have all the money. i’m doing my part are you doing yours? (yeah the last one was random but hey. it’s true)

    oh yeah another random fact. THE AVERAGE AGE OF GAMERS IS… take a guess 18, 19? WRONG, it’s 29!!! wow that means that approx HALF of gamers are over 30… wait a second… how many of those gamers are living with mommy and daddy? not many, most of them have GOOD fullt ime jobs and pay for everyhting, guys a FULL tiem job is 40 hrs a week, you have 24 X 7 hrs a week, which is 128 hrs of extra time that you AREN:T working. each week!. yeah some of that is sleep. but you don;t need 10 hrs of sleep. and you don;t have to play thins game 40 rhs a week, i got to lvl 34 by playing maybe on average 6 hrs a week maybe 6, most of the time i would play a coupld hours on sat and maybe a few fri or sunday thoiugh most of the time i was hangin out with friends. doing other stuff.

    thanx and bye, and i won;t check this again, i was actually looking to see if there were car decals with ffxi images on it and this poped up in google… and i read it. and put in my 2 cents and guess what. i learn a lot of stuff this way. but for everything in life. even if it is proven ask others if they thought it was good. NOT FOR SPOILERS, just Yes it was good, no it wasn;t, no i had to pay a stupid monthly fee. etc. those would be your answers… honestly.

  88. rtrhed says:

    As a parent i don’t play these games and Microsoft and the SE bunch are manipulative and sneaky with the added fees. It ought to be posted on the fricken box’s front cover. Even the gamer geek at WalMart didn’t know it needed a monthly fee. I see a class action lawsuit brewing for decseptive advertising. I can only say that companies that aren’t up front and wait until hours of installing are done is bull. This taught me to do my research and not buy that crap from them again.

  89. rtrhed says:

    As a parent i don’t play these games and Microsoft and the SE bunch are manipulative and sneaky with the added fees. It ought to be posted on the fricken box’s front cover. Even the gamer geek at WalMart didn’t know it needed a monthly fee. I see a class action lawsuit brewing for decseptive advertising. I can only say that companies that aren’t up front and wait until hours of installing are done is bull. This taught me to do my research and not buy that crap from them again.

  90. Garithas says:

    I got my Xbox 360 for christmas, something i really did not expect so as you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled about it and rushed to play it. One of the games I got for christmas for the Xbox 360 was Final Fantasy XI, a game I had been wanting for a while now.

    I rush to play it, sign up to all this crap that I hadn’t expected only to find out that I need to install the game. As you can imagine, this annoyed me, but i thought “ok whatever, i’ll just leave it on while I do something else, it isn’t a big deal” so after about an hour, I get the install running.

    However, I keep running into a problem. The problem being that it won’t install. every time it gets to “50 minutes remaining” it comes up with an error saying “an error has occured, the installation will now exit” or something along those lines. It’s done this 4 times now and it’s always at the same point. I’ve searched everywhere and nowhere does it say what to do.

    Also I signed up to Xbox live and Play Online just so I could try this out, only to find that I can’t play the game so I am now paying for 2 things that I don’t even want just so I can look at an installation screen over and over.

    Has anyone got any ideas on what to do? I want to finally be able to try out this game on my 360 so I can see what it’s like. Any help would be great.

    Thanks – Garithas

  91. Trias says:

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