Does Final Fantasy XIV Have the Key to MMO Longevity?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Does Final Fantasy XIV Have the Key to MMO Longevity?

For those out there who play “Final Fantasy XIV,” there's something exciting coming up. It recently started up, and will be running until February 16. Known as “Valentione's Day,” it's a parallel of the real-life Valentine's Day event set for February 14, and it's going to offer up some special deals for the player base. But while this isn't a totally original idea, is it perhaps one of the bigger ideas in gaming?

Valentione's Day will bring with it the Paramour Chocobo barding system, a tabletop cake, a heart / firework thing, and some outdoor furnishings. Those who want to run the table in as rapid a fashion as possible will find the whole thing takes a little under an hour, according to reports, and to kick it all off, simply proceed to the Old Gridania Amphitheater.

This isn't the first place I've heard of this kind of thing going on; “World of Warcraft” has likewise enjoyed its special events, and back in 2014, several games got Halloween events going from “League of Legends” and its pumpkin carving contest to “The Secret World” and it's “The Broadcast” special event featuring missions built around Dave Screed. Again, not new; “World of Warcraft” runs the “Love is in the Air” event annually around Valentine's Day, and several others are on hand as well. But is this perhaps one of the ways to add life to an MMO with the use of real-world event connections?

It would make sense, on a certain level; why not offer those connections to the real world, to give the gamers in question—who may not have a lot of real-world affiliation to turn to during these special seasons of the year—the opportunity to better forge a community online? The best properties out there, be they movies or video games or books or anything else, build a community. Allowing people to get together for special events that they might not otherwise celebrate, might not enjoy celebrating in the real world, or even enjoy celebrating in the real world and then want to celebrate again with online friends is a smart idea, and one that builds that valuable sense of community.

Is that enough to give an MMO longevity? Not necessarily. But it certainly doesn't hurt, and may well help tip a few scales to get some of the fence-sitters into the “stick with it” camp. Call it a fringe benefit, call it community building exercises, call it whatever you like, but the key point remains: it's a positive boost that should have some kind of positive effect in the end.

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