Last year, Square Enix was so embarrassed by the performance of Final Fantasy XIV Online that the company made the game completely free. Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada didn't mince words and stated the truth that the game had "greatly damaged" the Final Fantasy franchise. We couldn't agree more.
In October, it was announced that Final Fantasy XIV would be getting the much deserved Patch 2.0 that is meant to give the game a literal Phoenix Down and revive it completely. And so after two free trial period extensions, we have finally received word on when the game will return to form.
Subscription-based billing for Final Fantasy XIV will begin on January 6, 2012 and will be reduced to $6.99/month from the standard $12.99/month fee until Final Fantasy XIV Version 2.0 is released. This doesn't include the $3.00/character fee. Of course, if you choose a service period of more than 30 days (say, 90 or 180 days), the standard rate per month drops even further.
Until Version 2.0, you will also have two Retainers at no extra charge. However, the pricing details for Version 2.0, including charater and retainer fees, remains unknown.
To make sure that you aren't billed without your notice, all accounts will be suspended on January 5th unless or until you've chosen a service option.