Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few MMORPGs that manage in this day and age to survive with a subscription-based model. That is amazing, especially considering that the game recovered from a disastrous first version that Square-Enix's CEO commented to be having "greatly damaged the Final Fantasy brand". Those days are long past since FF XIV: A Realm Reborn just hit the 4 million subscribers landmark. The publisher decided to celebrate this target by offering former players some free game time to see themselves how the world of Eorzea changed in their absence.
Players who played in the past on any eligible platform, but have not renewed their account, will have the chance to play again for free starting from the 27th of February until the 9th of March. In order to be eligible for this offer, you need to have bought and registered the game previous of the 27th of February and your account must be inactive for the duration in order to enjoy the free game time. That means no bonus for current subscribers, sorry.
This move from Square Enix is obviously aimed to trying to get old players again in the game, by showing them all the new stuff and better sugar coating that Final Fantasy XIV happened to receive in recent times. And with good reason. Just few days ago, the 2.5 patch hit, adding to the game the Manderville Gold Saucer of Final Fantasy 7-esque memory. Even if you disregard the rest of the patch notes, the Gold Saucer alone adds tens of hours worth pf playing time... in minigames. There's everything from scratch to win tickets, Triple Triad card game from FF8, Chocobo races and Chocobo breeding from FF7 and, generally, it's an absolute paradise for those of you who love this kind of amenities.
Even before the latest patch, previous updates made the end-game explode, extending the main storyline and adding new bosses, primals, raids and challenges.
Former players, especially ones that abandoned the game long ago, will surely have enough material in their hands to consider subscribing again. If you're a new player, instead, you can download a 14 days free trial of the game and try it. Of course you'll have limitations, like the fact that you can only play up to level 20, but 14 days will be enough to have a taste of what the game can give you and see if it's something you'd like to pay for.
Also, the Gold Saucer is available from level 15. Just saying.
Are you a current or former FFXIV player? Do you think that this new content will be enough to entangle new and old players alike in the game? Let us know in the comments.