Riddle us this — if a game only requires its own subscription to play on PC and PlayStation platforms (with a generous free trial to boot), does this mean its Xbox version will work in the same way? The answer, according to Microsoft, is no.
As it turns out, fans will need a Game Pass subscription to play Final Fantasy XIV on their Xbox devices, on top of paying the monthly cost for the highly-acclaimed game itself. The announcement is tucked into a blog post revealing details about the open beta, which begins on 21 February.
“The Free Trial version, including the open beta test, will not require an Xbox Game Pass (Core or Ultimate) plan to play,” Square Enix said. “However, the full Xbox Series X and S version will require an Xbox Game Pass (Core or Ultimate) plan to play.”
Depending on the type of subscription, that amounts to an additional US$14.99 for 30 days, US$41.97 for 90 days, and US$77.94 for 180 days. In contrast, PlayStation players don’t have to own a PlayStation Plus subscription to play the game.
Naturally, the baffling decision has drawn flak from the community, especially after a similar attempt with Phantasy Star Universe back in 2006 — which also followed in the footsteps of Phantasy Star Online on the original Xbox. “Greedy move,” said Yam’s on Resetera. “Not like you have time to benefit from a GPass sub while playing a MMO.” Toumari agreed, chiming in with: “Requiring 2 subscriptions to play one game is hilarious. Xbox is just trolling its users at this point.”
The announcement also confirmed Final Fantasy XIV will fully release on Xbox immediately after the open beta ends, but no exact date was given. Previously, the port was slated for a Spring 2024 release, and will include the upcoming Dawntrail expansion.