Despite all its talk of cross-play and condemnation of Sony, Microsoft’s Xbox regulations remain fairly draconian. At least, that’s the picture painted by Naoki Yoshida, director of the popular Final Fantasy XIV MMO.
After a very shaky 2010 launch, FFXIV won its way to gamers hearts with its Realm Reborn re-release on PS4 and PC. At the time, players were unhappy with the lack of an Xbox One version, and that remains present as Square Enix builds up to the release of its next major expansion, Shadowbringers.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Xbox One fans will receive good news any time soon. In an interview with WCCFTech, Yoshida said he talked to Xbox head Phil Spencer two months, and found him unwilling to budge.
“Two months ago, I discussed with Phil Spencer. I have explained this before but we are prepared to do crossplay at any time. To play an MMORPG, there are 2 regulations for Microsoft which stand in the way of making crossplay feasible. Unless these regulations are rejected, there is no meaning,” Yoshida said.
“One of the regulations is that players with different platforms cannot chat with each other in-game. Then how do you play an MMO? The other regulation is you cannot make a community with plays on a different platform. You can’t form a guild, you can’t enter into a link shell, [and] no free company.”
The Xbox Live Gold Conundrum
Essentially, FFXIV’s vision has always been an interconnected MMO. It wants its players to inhabit one massive world, rather than being fractured across platforms. Unfortunately, he believes Microsoft’s policies make that impossible without cutting the features that give it an MMO status.
Of course, other cross-platform games do appear to support text chat and guilds. Rocket League is one example, as is action RPG Dauntless. However, both of those titles utilize Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, and so require that subscription.
FFXIV has its own infrastructure and subscription model and doesn’t require PlayStation Plus on PS4. It’s unlikely players on Xbox One would be willing to pay for gold and the title’s $12.99 per month membership to play.