FFXIV: 4 million ‘registered accounts’

Square Enix, in announcing 4m players, continues to troll all of us with their use of the term ‘registered accounts‘ in a world where F2P exists and the Turbines of the world announce number of characters created as an example of success.

As stated before, for whatever reason Square uses ‘registered accounts’ instead of subscribers, but they mean subscribers. So 4 million before the release of the game’s first paid expansion is rather historic; only WoW ever hit that mark, and if we are tracking growth since release, the chart for FFXIV looks very similar to WoW in 2004-2006.

With the expected sub dip for WoW coming ‘soon’, the question comes up once again; when will FFXIV have more subs than WoW? I think the safe money is just after the launch of the expansion, especially if it launches during one of the many and very long content lulls that WoW is infamous for, that FFXIV continues to show is more Blizzard being lazy than any real constraint in terms of content delivery pace/quality.

The other interesting question is at what number will WoW officially be dethroned? It dropped to 7m or so subs before, but perhaps it drops further this time around? Will the number be 6.5, 6, 5.5? What will FFXIV be at after the expansion? I’d put my money on the number being around 5.5-7 million. I think WoW will drop rather sharply, and I think a lot of those players, if they haven’t already, will head to FFXIV.

Either way, interesting times. FFXIV in many ways is a modern vanilla WoW; fitting that the ‘WoW-killer’ will be a game that is, in many ways, WoW’s best version that it itself has moved away from that their own expense. There is a very solid lesson in that for the genre, so I’m all for it.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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20 Responses to FFXIV: 4 million ‘registered accounts’

  1. Matt says:

    Registered accounts sounds like exactly what it says, people who have registered.

  2. tsuhelm says:

    I am happy for FFIV fans that SQUARE finally nailed it but am unsure WOW will lose the MMO crown, time will tell I suppose! And makes for interesting times :)

  3. Percy says:

    Why does this make me so excited? I mean.. I like WoW, I still play it today. But man, I’m just thrilled to see a possible change the top spot.

    Will be fun to watch happen! I wish ffxiv luck.

  4. coppertopper says:

    lol ok….or maybe they mean registered accounts like they said? I bought the game for$15 and played the month out but did not subscribe. Which makes me a “registered account”.

    • SynCaine says:

      The link in this post explains why that’s not the case.

      When they had 2m ‘registered accounts’, they had a daily concurrence of 500k players. That’s literally impossible to have if the 2m is in fact every single person who bought the game ever.

      • coppertopper says:

        Read that earlier post of yours and the comments posted by Azuriel and don’t think its possible that in 2013 all 3 Square games had a total of 1 million subs (per Square financial report ), then suddenly in 2015 FF XIV has 4 million on its own. Even given console launch its unlikely they more then quadrupled sub numbers just for the one game alone. So still thinking registered users is just what it says.

        • SynCaine says:

          In two years WoW more than quadrupled subs, and that was without launching on consoles and in other regions.

          That aside, explain how the game can have 500k daily players if the 2m ‘accounts’ number is everyone who ever bought the game, and not limited to people currently playing/paying?

        • SynCaine says:

          Also, per Az:

          “Yeah, as I was doing more research just now, I saw the Polygon “correction.” The whole thing is confusing as hell. I do now see multiple sources confirming 2m actual subscriptions circa Sept of 2014. Everything makes sense if this PDF was released in March 2014, and Polygon/Massively are letting the interns post articles while the editors are on vacation.”

          Old Massively copy/paste mistake from Poly keeps on giving though, even here.

        • Coppertopper says:

          You got me! That concurrancy number does suggest bigger sub numbers. Or maybe they are trying not to combine US/EU actual subs vs the Asian method of time cards and internet cafes, thus the useage of “registered accounts”? Can a big corp be tbat ho est nowadays?

        • SynCaine says:

          Only thing that really makes sense is the sub vs china split, since even console players pay a sub, so they go with ‘registered accounts’ when talking total number of ‘active players’. Would be interesting if Blizzard did this as well, since then we would have a more even comparison. Without it, we just have to assume the ratio is the same across both games.

    • Tehol Bugg says:

      Sometimes I wonder if you are not just trolling your own website. While FFXIV is my favourite themepark MMO, it is quite the logical stretch to jump from registered accounts and equate it with subscribers. Square have never outright confirmed their number of subscribers at any point. The closest is their quote about concurrency but that was a while ago. Since then they have stuck to using registered accounts and not clearly elaborated on what that means. In the case of this announcement and its timing with a free trial, I think it is safe to assume registered accounts is just that, registered accounts. The trial is obviously an attempt to convert some of those accounts (hopefully) into subscribers. Until Square themselves come forward and decide to be more specific, you are speculating.

      Also, you are wrong about WoW. Within six months of release it was already in the USA, Europe, Australia and South Korea. It launched in China ten months after commercial release in North America.

      • SynCaine says:

        Right, FFXIV is in all those regions. WoW launched in Brazil in 2007.

        The 500k concurrent number was announced at the same time as the 2m ‘registered accounts’. Again, explain how 500k players can be online in one day, if the 2m is indeed all of the game’s sales ever?

        • Tehol Bugg says:

          Your point about regions was in relation to WoW and was wrong. WoW grew so quickly because it launched fast in most of its major markets. Since when is Brazil a major market? Most of WoW’s decline has been attributed by Blizzard to China. Your half-baked attempt to justify FFXIV’s supposedly huge subscriber numbers by claiming it mimics WoW’s slow expansion by region doesn’t work.

          Secondly, the onus is on you to explain how 4 million registered accounts equates to subscribers. Quoting some nonsense about concurrency doesn’t prove anything especially as that was not used in relation to this registered account announcement of 4m by Square. Square’s strategy is also not in line with a company with a game with such a huge subscriber base. I have only been in the game three months but have seen trials and free offers for old members at least three times. They are obviously trying to convert some of these registered accounts into paying subscribers.

          Again, the game is obviously a success but until Square outright states subscriber numbers, you are just speculating.

        • SynCaine says:

          “Since when is Brazil a major market?”

          Have you remained under a rock since the Y2K bug?

          And I have explained why when Square says ‘registered accounts’, they mean active players (or what WoW calls subs, despite china not being ‘subs’ as we think of them); you can’t have 500k people playing in one day and think that 2m ‘registered users’ is total sales. That just straight up doesn’t work, unless again you want to explain to me how you think it does? Even having 25% of your current user base online on any one day is a crazy ratio, so to suggest that ratio is in fact much higher is pants-on-head thinking.

        • coppertopper says:

          “And I have explained why when Square says ‘registered accounts’, they mean active players (or what WoW calls subs, despite china not being ‘subs’ as we think of them)”

          Ahem – a little credit where credits due. You called their term “registered accounts” subscriptions, whereas I pointed out your error – that they are probably combining subs and asian time card users to come up with a term that means ‘active players’.

        • SynCaine says:

          True. I’m using ‘subscriptions’ here in WoW terms, since the comparison in parts is to WoW.

  5. Corelin says:

    I am currently playing the game (like literally logged in and waiting on a queue) and LOVE what they have down. They’ve slowed down combat, brought in enough story, and told the PvP community that they come in 4th or 5th on the devs priority. The fights are fun and interesting, the content is coming in a steady stream and the community is GREAT.

  6. Chris says:

    For many years on this blog, you claimed that WoW’s success was a one-time fluke that would never be reproduced by any other MMO, due to the intrinsically niche nature of the MMO market. It’s amusing then that now, as soon as another MMO comes close to WoW’s numbers, you actually predict further growth without any indication that this conflicts with your prior claims. Is it possible for another MMO to reach WoW-like numbers, or not? Please make up your mind.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is this article a troll?
    Wow has 8-10 million SUBSCRIBERS.

    Registered accounts just mean people that bought the game, vast majority of those are not subscribed.

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