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Final Fantasy 14 will remain subscription-based because of promises to players, says director

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Square Enix is keeping the subscription-based model for upcoming MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn because use of the model was an initial promise to players, and the company wants to prove it will keep all promises with the rebooted title, director Naoki Yoshida said in a recent interview with VG247.

Yoshida explained that when the original version of Final Fantasy 14 launched for PC in 2010, it did not live up to expectations. According to the director, Square Enix lost the trust of franchise fans, something the company hopes to regain with A Realm Reborn.

"One of the promises we originally stated was that we would release the game with a subscription model," he said. "So to regain the trust of our players we must of course fulfill this promise. Right now we believe that to be more important than any kind of business decision."

Yoshida also noted that free-to-play models require investors to fund development. Use of a subscription model means costs rest entirely on Square Enix's shoulders, and if A Realm Reborn fails to take off the company won't be mired in investor debts.

"Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is a product that is independent to Square-Enix," Yoshida said. "All of the money's coming from us, so we had more time to put it into what we wanted to do. We're not in a rush to pay anyone back."

The original version of Final Fantasy 14 closed down on Nov. 11, and A Realm Reborn is set to release mid-2013.