Having recently surpassed the 60% point (120,000 subscribers) on the road to breaking even, Square's Final Fantasy XI seems to be picking up steam. A PC version is set for release in Japan on November 7, and recently, Yoichi Wada, president of Square, has confirmed the game will be available in the United States. Wada did not, however, state exactly where the game would appear, or when.
This vagueness has led to speculation that the game may not end up coming out in North America on the PlayStation 2 at all, but would rather see a PC-exclusive release. This would make sense from a number of standpoints for Square. For one, the company experienced no end of grief upon the game's release when there was insufficient supply of PlayStation 2 broadband adapters to accomodate the market for FFXI. A repeat of this scenario would likely be a costly one for Square, and using pre-existing PC structures would likely be much less of a headache. Secondly, Square has lined up promotions and sponsorships with nVidia and Dell in recent weeks, deals with two of the biggest names in the PC market. While both arrangements remain exclusive to Japan at this point, it will be interesting to see if this decided PC influence has any bearing on the game's North American release.
Whatever the case, nothing aside from what Mr. Wada's general statement offers has been revealed yet. Even though Square showed Final Fantasy XI at E3 this year, it did not state that the game would be coming to North America, at least not officially. In this light, Mr. Wada's comments should be viewed as good news.
According to GamePro.com, Square president Yoichi Wada stated that the PC version of their MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, which releases in Japan on November 7th, will be coming to the U.S.
However, no concrete plans were laid for a U.S. release. The game originated on the PlayStation 2; it's been available in Japan since March. FFXI appeared at May's E3 show in L.A. -- on display in Sony's booth -- but no plans were ever announced to bring the game to the U.S. As time passes, the release of the PS2 version seems ever more unlikely.