Thursday, March 30, 2023

Is The Latest Stormblood Givaway Really A Big Deal?

A couple of days ago, Square Enix announced it was giving away the Stormblood expansion to owners of the Standard Edition. For free! The campaign period runs from last Monday to 8 May 2023. 

During the campaign period, users will be able to add Stormblood to their account for free by obtaining it from participating retailers. Once redeemed, Stormblood will be registered to your account and will not be removed after the campaign ends. Note that an active paid service subscription to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online is required to play.

When adding in the Free Login Campaign is still in effect and one can see how Yoshi-P is attempting to boost player numbers.

Besides the idea that I now know when patch 6.4 will release, I began to wonder exactly how players acquire new expansions.

If you don't buy everything in the beginning

The sales campaign is designed to attract the players who were hesitant at buying the full game and just purchased A Realm Reborn and the first expansion Heavensward for $19.99. Perhaps that person would like to try Stormblood but doesn't want to pay for Shadowbringers and Endwalker

Why not let the person continue the journey? Does it really cost the company money to do so? Not really. If a player who takes advantage of the offer goes on to purchase Endwalker, Stormblood is part of the package anyway. And if the player decides after playing Stormblood the game isn't worth continuing, then at least the player helped populate the world for those who chose to continue on.

Financially, is the deal worth it for Square Enix? Let's do some quick napkin math. Assume 2 million active or semi-active players. Then assume 10% of those players only own the Standard Edition with ARR and Heavensward. Then assume 10% of those players then continue on to take advantage of the offer and go on to purchase Endwalker. That 1% conversion rate amongst active players nets $800,000 not counting additional subscription fees. So perhaps a chance at a million dollars is worth it.

I am guessing something is going to occur either on 8 May or the week after. Will the next expansion be announced? With the beginning of FFXIV's next story arc, will Square Enix add Stormblood to the Standard Edition? Or do players start coming back to the game on the x.4 patches so additional promotions are no longer needed? 

I didn't really answer the question in the title of the post did I? Sometimes I ask a question in the title because I really don't know the answer. I'm nosy that way.

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