Final Fantasy XIV recently received a major PvP update, but it nearly had an even bigger one, which would have introduced a battle royale mode.
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the biggest MMOs in the world right now, and its developers nearly tried to push it to the forefront of another trendy multiplayer genre: the battle royale.
As reported by Eurogamer, director / producer Naoki Yoshida recently discussed the development of Final Fantasy XIV‘s recently released Crystalline Conflict mode, a team-based PvP minigame, and revealed that it almost took on an entirely different shape. At one point in development, the new PvP mode was intended to be a combat-oriented battle royale mode for Blue Mages.
Blue Mages are a limited job in Final Fantasy XIV, meaning their role in the game at large is significantly smaller than any other class. Blue Mages cannot participate in main story quests or take part in Duties with other jobs (although Blue Mages can tackle Duties together). The proposed Blue Mage battle royale mode would have given the class a more prominent role in the game.
Battle royale modes have been a popular addition to games and franchises since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds popularized the genre. Fortnite, now best known for its battle royale mode, initially started as a single-player / co-op campaign. Likewise, Call of Duty: Warzone has become one of the most popular Call of Duty games since its release in 2020. Final Fantasy itself has even wandered into the battle royale space with Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldiera mobile-only battle royale prequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Whether a Blue Mage battle royale could have granted Final Fantasy XIV the same fate will likely never be known for sure. Thankfully, the game has enjoyed considerable success even without the help of a battle royale mode. In December of 2021, servers buckled so hard under the weight of incoming players that Final Fantasy XIV had to be taken off digital marketplaces to give Square Enix time to respond to the overwhelming demand. That shutdown coincided with the release of one of the game’s largest content expansions yet, Endwalkerwhich was met with overwhelming critical acclaim.
Players may not be able to take part in a 100-player PUBG-esque battle in the world of Hydaelyn, but they can still check out Final Fantasy XIV on PlayStation 4, macOS and Microsoft Windows. The game includes a free trial which includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime.