Final Fantasy XIV has to be one of the biggest comeback stories in video games. Its initial release was received poorly by fans and critics alike. However, in 2013, Square Enix launched Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, a complete overhaul of the game that garnered a much more favorable reception. As it turns out, Square Enix announced today that these efforts have been fruitful: Final Fantasy XIV just crossed 10 million total players.
This brings the game near the top of the list for MMOs in terms of total players, although it’s important to note that Square Enix’s number doesn’t necessarily mean subscribers. Players are able to try out the game for free in a limited free trial, and the 10 million number presumably includes those players. For comparison, in 2015–the last time Activision stated World of Warcraft numbers–the game sat at over 5 million subscribers, although an absurd 100 million people have created accounts.
FFXIV’s milestone comes at the beginning of the in-game Moonfire Faire event, which features new quests and gear. According to Square, "Players can take part in an all-new series of quests, including facing off against Ultros and his uncontrollable tentacles. Triumphant adventurers can obtain event items to ring in the celebrations, including a dyeable Faire version of a popular set of equipment."
The game’s latest expansion, Stormblood, launched in June, helping buoy Square Enix’s financial report last quarter. Stormblood received an 8/10 from GameSpot, with critic Ginny Woo writing, "There are some annoying post-launch issues regarding instanced areas, as well as a new policy of kicking players in high-population worlds at peak times. However, Stormblood has already gone above and beyond the experience delivered in Heavensward, and there’s no doubt that Final Fantasy XIV now has the content and longevity it needs to keep players engaged."