At a recent media event where members of the press and influencer community got to go hands-on with the new Endwalker expansion (check our preview here), Final Fantasy XIV producer and director, Naoki Yoshida revealed some pretty big news. Final Fantasy XIV has officially become the most profitable title in series history, finally taking the mantle from its older brother and fellow MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI.
Considering Final Fantasy XIV’s immense popularity this was likely inevitable to some, especially anyone that is still somewhat new to the game and observing just how popular it has become. However, to anyone that has been following the game since its original launch, you’ll likely recognize that this is quite an achievement, and was anything but a forgone conclusion.
Final Fantasy XIV was not in great shape when it first launched back in August of 2010. It was panned by critics, reviled by many Final Fantasy fans, and a major disappointment to many that was looking to move on from Final Fantasy XI, a game that while still going strong, was past its prime at that point.
However, as is a legend now at this point, the leadership of the game was handed over to Yoshida and he and his team re-launched the game as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn back in 2013. This new version of FFXIV was far better received and would grow and evolve to become among the most popular and active MMORPGs.
Yoshida also shared exactly how this growth took place. After the launch of the game’s first expansion, Heavensward, Final Fantasy XIV had around 4 million players.
By the time Stormblood launched that number more than doubled to 10 million players. By the end of Stormblood, the player count hit 16 million.
And finally, as of a few weeks ago, Final Fantasy XIV by the end of Shadowbringers had surpassed 24 million worldwide players.
Congratulations to the entire Final Fantasy XIV team on this big achievement, and kudos to Final Fantasy XI for a long run at the top, passing off its title right before its 20th anniversary.
The game will likely continue to grow after its next expansion, Endwalker, releases on Nov. 23.