Role-playing game fans can find plenty of mobile Final Fantasy games on the market, with several more like Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius and Final Fantasy Legends: The Space-Time Crystal due out this year. On the whole, they range from re-releases of classics to mash ups of characters from various games to original titles bearing the Final Fantasy name. But there has never been a mobile Final Fantasy MMO in the vein of Final Fantasy XI and XIV… until now.
Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix and the Korean branch of Nexon Corporation (Maple Story) have announced plans to bring the first massively multiplayer online Final Fantasy — Final Fantasy XI — to mobile platforms in 2016. The mobile version will feature both single-player and online multiplayer gameplay.
Originally released on PC in 2002, Final Fantasy XI is Square-Enix's longest-running and most successful MMO to date. Nexon Korea plans to recapture that magic on smartphones and tablets while adding some improvements of its own:
- Improved single-player functionality
- Enhanced battle system
- Easier party organization
- New in-game events and features
- New character art style
Seeing as how Final Fantasy XI Mobile is still a long way off, much about it remains up in the air. The chief question is how it will be monetized. Existing versions of the game charge players a $13 monthly fee. Subscription models don't tend to work well (or at all) on mobile. But will the mobile game be entirely free to play, or will it be premium with in-app purchases?
Hopefully we'll find out well before Final Fantasi XI Mobile launches next year. The game will be released in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea, and parts of Asia.
In other Final Fantasy XI news, Square Enix plans to release a three-part final scenario to the PC game this year. After that, only bug fixes and content balance updates will be released. Additionally, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 versions of the game will stop being supported in March 2016. They've had a good run!