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What is Square Thinking?

I think Square is making a huge mistake with Final Fantasy XI. According to my calculations, to play that game just for the first year it will cost over $200. Now I don't know about you, but with all of my other games I pay fifty bucks just one time and I get to play the game as long as I want and as much as I want for no extra money. Xbox was supposed to be the system for the rich, but Square is making the Playstation 2 that way.

To play FFXI you obviously need to first buy the game, which is the usual $49.99. The HDD (hard disc drive) is also a must, which will probably be at least $50. Now you add in the $9.99 per month fee to play FFXI online (for only one character), and it's at least $200 for the first year for one character. Why is Square turning the video games industry into a money-sucking pit? Leave the big bucks for PC games like EverQuest.

I have talked to several people at my school who are huge Final Fantasy fans, and they all say that it is unlikely that they will purchase the next installment in the series because of the price. That extra $150 could buy three extra games in a year, plus you have to pay $120 for each year after that. If you play Final Fantasy XI for two years, you would have ended up sinking close to $350 on one game. That much money could have bought you six or seven other games.

Hopefully everyone remembers the Dreamcast and hopefully Square does too. The Dreamcast's online feature was totally free if you used your own dial-up account. I used the service and I never had any troubles, and it was online fun for free. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the PS2 is a free online game. Console games were meant to have free connections because the average console gamer has less money to blow on games than the average PC gamer. The average console gamer is younger and therefore they rely on parents (free money, allowance) for video game money, which is usually less. All other online games announced for consoles in the future are still free. SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals is free, so is Twisted Metal Black: Online, and all others announced so far. Why does Square have to be difficult?

If Square dropped these prices a little, then they would sell thousands of extra copies that they won't sell with the current prices. Just having the Final Fantasy name doesn't make you sell millions. Sure, most people who buy it will buy the game because it's Final Fantasy, but price is certainly a factor. The point is if Square was smart the online fee would be cut in half and the game disc would be cheaper. They are just hurting themselves and the gaming community otherwise.

By Nate Weaver - 05/15/02

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