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Like all good things, this too must come to an end. For PS3 players still hanging on to various multiplayer-only games like Final Fantasy XIV, it should come as no surprise that there is bad news inbound for the last-gen system and Square Enix's popular MMORPG.
Over on the official Final Fantasy website they announced that Final Fantasy XIV will be shutting down soon for the PS3. Square will be holding special events leading up to the server closure for the seventh-gen system, which managed to put in a cumulative of four good years into hosting the online title, which isn't too bad, but certainly doesn't hold up in comparison to Final Fantasy XI's time on the market, which lasted on the PS2 for 14 years and ran for 10 years on the Xbox 360.
According to the site, the game will go free-to-play on PS3 for its remaining days, starting May 1st. The move will be a goodwill gesture from Square as they prep to close the servers for Final Fantasy XIV for good.
They have a detailed rundown of how to gain free access to Final Fantasy XIV on the PS3, and mention that this free campaign will only be in effect until the Stormblood expansion pack launches on June 15th.
This is not a crossover promotion, however, and you won't be able to gain free access to the game on the PS4 or PC. They do, however, have a special upgrade program that will allow you to upgrade from the PS3 version of the game to the PS4 version of the game.
They have a separate sub-site for the upgrade promotion, where players will be able to move over from the last-gen system to the current gen platform. The upgrade period is actually quite lengthy for those of you who have purchased game-time for the PS3 version of the game. You'll have from now up until December 31st, 2017 to upgrade.
And, speaking of purchasable game-time, Square has closed down the option to purchase more game-time for the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIV. So what you have is what you're stuck with until the game's servers shut down in June.
It's crazy that the PS3 is now the console being phased out, when it seems like, just a short while ago, the PS2 was the one wrapping up its servers and having support shut down.
Now Sony and other publishers seem to be moving in on the PS3 and closing up shop for the PS4. To be fair, though, the PS3 managed to get in a lengthy run on the market and the system did indeed last for just over a decade on the market while receiving support from developers.
In this case, Square Enix is going to be focusing solely on the current generation platforms from now on as they move forward with additional expansion packs and DLC for Final Fantasy XIV. If you've been playing the game on PS3 be sure to get in your time now as they prep to close down the servers this summer.