In the face of overwhelming criticism of the game's current state, Square Enix is extending the free trial period for Final Fantasy XIV Online from 30 days to 60 days, and they have outlined plans to make the game more user-friendly.
If you've been following my weekly Final Fantasy XIV MMO logs leading up to next week's review, then you know that the game has some serious issues. Targeting is difficult. Thousands of players are selling wares, but there's no way to search for a particular item. The menu system is unnecessarily complicated. The chat functionality is severely limited. Monsters are few and far between. I could go on.
Square Enix has heard the complaints, and now it's taking action. There's an Ask the Devs article detailing the upcoming changes being made. There's a mesage from game director Nobuaki Komoto detailing more changes and thanking players for their patience.
And then there's this:
Since the official launch of service on September 30, 2010, we have received a wealth of constructive feedback from the FINAL FANTASY XIV community, and the development and management teams would like to take this opportunity to express their sincerest gratitude. For those who purchased the collector's edition and began to play one week before official service began, the month-long free play period is drawing to a close. Considering the nature of much of the feedback we received, however, and the current state of the game, we have decided to extend the free trial period for all users.
That's an additional 30 days for every account created before October 25, so if you really want to give the game a try and haven't yet, now would be an excellent time to do so.
It's great to see Square Enix taking feedback and putting it to constructive use. For their sake I hope it's not too late.
Here's a music video that neatly sums up Square Enix's message.
FINAL FANTASY XIV Free Trial Period Extension [The Lodestone - Thanks Shadowcatt]