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The Future of Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI has performed brilliantly since its launch and has become one of the leading games of its kind. There are going to be plenty of exciting developments for this title in 2006. Its release on a new platform shall see its audience grow even larger. A third expansion is also coming and will add new content to its world.

Final Fantasy XI has already established itself as a success. The decision to take the Final Fantasy series into the realm of online gaming was a bold move, but it paid off. Vana'diel is a community that has flourished and brought many players into its world.

It has built up a massive subscription base, accumulating more than 1.5 million game characters by the close of 2004. Final Fantasy XI will preserve its popularity as it moves through 2006.

It is clear by this point that it is a game with long-term appeal. There is great depth and invention to its gameplay and players have responded well to it. Its developers update the game regularly and include new content to keep people interested. It is extremely likely that its player base will grow even further in the course of this year.

The main reason for this is that it is due to be launched on a new platform. Final Fantasy XI is going to be released on the Microsoft Xbox 360 console. This is planned for the spring of 2006. The launch should be a great success. Square Enix have more than three years experience of running the game and they know how best to present it. This move will help it to reach an entirely new audience.

Moreover the Xbox 360's power will heighten the whole feel of the game. The ability to play it on this platform will make it especially appealing. A possible complication comes in the form of Final Fantasy XII. The twelfth game in the series will be released in Japan on March 16. The question is whether players will drift away from Final Fantasy XI towards the charms of this new title.

It seems unlikely, as Final Fantasy XII is not an online title and so it will not be a direct rival to its predecessor. Instead it will be classic in approach. The two games will be able to co-exist in harmony, each offering something different to players. There is going to be another expansion for Final Fantasy XI. The Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion will be released on April 18 2006 in Japan.

This is the third expansion pack to date and will offer a great deal of promising new content. The expansion will reveal a new continent of Vana'diel, called Aradjiah. There are going to be new careers available in the occupations of Blue Mage and Corsair.

New opponents such as Imps, the serpent-like Lamia and the gigantic Marid will feature. Treasures of Aht Urhgan looks like an excellent expansion to Final Fantasy XI's world. The first two expansions have both been great titles and the third looks every bit as beguiling. The planned new continent will be refreshing and will broaden the game world nicely. The new careers and opponents are strong additions and should rejuvenate the gameplay.

The purpose of an expansion like this is to bring some new energy into Vana'diel and it looks like it will accomplish this task admirably. The outlook for Final Fantasy XI is bright. Its release on a new platform is sure to increase its popularity. A further expansion will also broaden its horizons and make the game even more compelling. All in all, the world of Vana'diel has a promising future and will continue to soar and prosper.

Hunter Crowell is a researcher, marketer, and an avid online gamer, including Final Fantasy XI and also the creator of FFXI Gil Price List, a web site setup to help players find the cheapest place to buy their FFXI Gil.


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