At long last, Xbox owners will soon get to enjoy the MMORPG PlayStation players have enjoyed for nearly a decade. Final Fantasy XIV is headed to Xbox Series X/S in spring 2024 after being a PlayStation console exclusive since 2014.
Producer and director Naoki Yoshida made the announcement on stage at the game’s 2023 fanfest in Las Vegas, NV alongside Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. The Xbox Series X/S version will offer 4K graphics and faster load times, like its PlayStation 5 counterpart. While the full release is still almost a year away, an open beta will be available for players to try much sooner when patch 6.5x arrives in the months ahead.
For those who have been living under an adamantoise shell, Final Fantasy XIV has you complete fetch quests, dungeons, and raids across the dazzling world of Hydaelyn, full of political intrigue and mythical wonder. The game was one of the first live-service disasters when it first launched in 2013, and was even entirely shutdown for a time before re-releasing as A Realm Reborn.
It’s recieved increasingly excellent expansions ever since, each introducing new characters, classes, and conflicts. And while it’s an MMO, a Duty Support system lets you play solo with AI-controlled NPCs. By the time Final Fantasy XIV comes to Xbox Series X/S, Square Enix says the feature will enable players to complete everything from the start of the game up through its most recent Endwalker expansion without ever needing to interact with another human being.
Why did it take so long to get FFXIV on Xbox?
The story of how we got here, however, is a long one. Yoshida was asked as early as 2013 why the game wasn’t on Xbox One. His answer at the time was that Microsoft’s stance on crossplay was too restrictive. “The main reason from our side is that I don’t want the community to be divided; to be split into two or more. For example, one player might be on the PC version, another might be on the PS4 version, and I’m playing the Xbox version – but we’re not able to join the same game servers,” he told RPGSite at the time. “That is just… I just don’t like the idea. I disagree with it.”
That was back when Microsoft was the company seemingly standing in the way of crossplay between the two consoles. Years later, roles were reversed, with Sony pushing back against crossplay for games like Fortnite. Yoshida repeated his requirement for crossplay in a 2017 interview with Kotaku, and things seemed to be progressing in that direction not long after.
Spencer publicly promised to bring the game to Xbox at the X019 fanfest event in London. “We have a great relationship with Yoshida-san and we’re working through what it means to bring a cross-platform MMO, that they’ve run for years,” he told VGC at the time. “It will be one of the games that’s coming and it’s something that I know our Xbox fans will be incredibly excited to see.”
No deal immeidately materialized, however. Yoshida was asked again what the problem was during a 2021 interview around the time Final Fantasy XIV came to PS5. “So I feel bad for saying the same thing every time,” he told Easy Allies. “But we are still in discussions with Microsoft and I feel like our conversations are going in a positive tone.”
The positive tone of those conversations seemingly wasn’t enough to finally get Sony to agree to crossplay though, until now. The two companies also recently reached a 10-year agreement for Call of Duty to keep coming to PlayStation after Microsoft’s acqusition of Activision Blizzard is finalized. Purely a coincidence, I’m sure. Sony, Microsoft, and Square Enix did not immediately respond to requets for comment.