Square Co. has announced that its network service, Play Online, will be fee
based. That means that, at least in Japan, the highly anticipated Final Fantasy XI experience
will be a pay-for-play situation.
Monthly membership in Play Online is slated to cost around 500 yen
(roughly $5.00), and a monthly user fee of 1000 yen (roughly $10.00).
While this may seem pricey compared to other online memberships, the cost
will be offset by the low purchase price of Final Fantasy XI, rumored
to be under 1,000 yen (roughly $10.00).
Square expects to begin to release PC and PlayStation 2 software as
early as next spring, expecting to garner over two million Play Online
users. Final Fantasy XI, sometimes called Final Fantasy Online, is planned
for a fall of 2001 release on the PlayStation 2. This game will be the
first to fully utilize the Play Online Network.