Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. Directed and produced by Naoki Yoshida, it was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 in August 2013, as a replacement for the failed 2010 version of the game, with support for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and macOS releasing later. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original 2010 release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods' blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.
The original Final Fantasy XIV, released in September 2010, was a commercial and critical failure. In response, then-Square Enix President Yoichi Wada announced that a new team, led by Yoshida, would take over and attempt to fix the issues with it. This team was responsible for generating content for the original version as well as developing a brand new game which would address all of the previous release's criticisms. This new game, initially dubbed "Version 2.0", features a new game engine, improved server infrastructure, and revamped gameplay, interface, and story. The original version shut down in November 2012 and was followed by an alpha test for Version 2.0.
The game released to largely positive reception; critics praised the game for its solid mechanics and progression, and they commended Yoshida for turning the project around. After a poor 2013 fiscal year, Square Enix executives attributed the company's 2014 return to profitability in part to the game's strong sales and subscriber base, reaching a total of over 24 million registered players by October 2021, also becoming the most profitable Final Fantasy game to date. The game has had a number of post-release updates produced for it, including four major expansion packs: Heavensward (2015), Stormblood (2017), Shadowbringers (2019), and Endwalker (2021).