Final Fantasy XIV’s ‘free game’ is a great way to experience Square Enix at its worst

Square Enix’s Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images For Square Enix)
Square Enix’s Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images For Square Enix) /

With Final Fantasy XIV going free, enjoy this story of dealing with Square Enix customer service.

Recently many game developers have been doing their part to give out a free game or two to all the people who’ve been trapped inside during this insane time. Usually it’s older titles but, honestly, free is free and it’s usually an awesome thing. Unless you’re Squaresoft.

Squaresoft has recently to jump on the bandwagon and give out a free game. Is it the remaster of Final Fantasy 8? Nope. Final Fantasy 15 which has died down so much that they cancelled all future DLC and the online mode is pretty much shut down? Too easy.

Nope, their “free” game is Final Fantasy XIV. I put free in quotes because there is a monthly subscription you need to pay for to play this game and it is absolutely not free.

But beyond the game itself, playing Final Fantasy XIV lets you experience something the likes of which I have never seen in any other game on a level unparalleled by any other company I’ve ever discovered. That’s Square Enix’s technical support.

To explain, let me tell you a story.

A couple months ago I purchased Final Fantasy XIV at full price. You can thank me for the game going free because everything I buy on PlayStation ALWAYS goes free shortly after without fail. You’re welcome?

Anyways, I purchased it and went to bed as the download was gigantic. The next day I work up and finalized the game and opened it. It asked me to log in — not create an account. Then I remembered that about 10 years ago I tried two months of it when it first came out.

I tried the log in I used in the day and it worked — for a second. Apparently my account was locked out a few years ago for suspicious activity. Cool. So I had to reset my password. The problem was, the email I used was attached to a private server that, along with its domain, no longer exists.

So I started the process of contacting Square’s customer service. After a few days they finally got back to me and explained that my email tied to the account had been changed a few years back, it now started with an H. I have never had an email that started with “H”. Cool, the people that hacked my account must have changed my email.

I explained this to them and about a week later they responded. They explained to me that there was nothing they can do as I need to access that email to change the password. I responded “Listen, I’m willing to start from scratch as I’m playing a completely different game anyways. Can you just delete the account so I can start fresh?”

About a week later I got another reply. They don’t do that, for reasons they would not explain.

However, they had a work around for my issue! I’m going to preface this by telling you to really relish in their usage of the word “simply”.

“Simply delete your main PSN account from your PlayStation 4 so that they account won’t be recognized by the game. Create a new PSN account, purchase PlayStation Plus and then just buy another copy of Final Fantasy XIV as, unfortunately, the other one is only tied to your main account and cannot be used on multiple accounts.”

Their simple fix was to ask me to delete the PSN account I’ve had since PlayStation Network was released on the PS3, pay another 60 bucks for a year of PSN on that account and purchase an entirely new copy of their game as well.

Best part is, after I realized that that wasn’t for me I just deleted it and tried to get a refund. Apparently, the fact that I was on hold with their customer service emails for so long and the fact that I opened the program to try to log on both disqualified me for a refund.

Long story short, getting Final Fantasy XIV might not be worth the free they’re offering it for right now. But that’s just my take.