Update: A player-run nightclub in Final Fantasy 14 has removed billboards in Texas advertising an upcoming in-game event following backlash from the wider community.
One of Rain’s moderators explains on Discord that the decision was made out of “respect”, and that the team’s intention “was not [to] worry other communities, but broadcast a PR event to other audiences who might be interested in joining, who would otherwise ignore the normal spammy ads, which is normal.”
Speaking to News.com.au (opens in a new tab)the team further clarifies that no one has been banned and heard of Square Enix at the time of writing.
The billboard images quickly went viral on social media earlier this week, sparking concerns over apparent breaches of the terms of service. Not only is the Final Fantasy 14 logo included, but one of the characters is wearing what appears to be a datamined outfit from an upcoming event and has a hairstyle that you can only get through modding. Additionally, players discovered that Rain features erotic role-playing, which, while not uncommon in Final Fantasy 14, is not clearly advertised on the billboard.
Whereas Square Enix generally allows ERP as long as it is private and consenting (opens in a new tab)producer Naoki Yoshida warned players against altering their characters or mining information (opens in a new tab). While some sections of the community weren’t fans of the billboard stunt, others worried that it would lead the developer to further restrict modding. As it stands, players usually use mods to change their character’s appearance, whether they’re wearing a particular hairstyle or custom clothing.
Original story: Final Fantasy 14 players go to great lengths to promote their in-game parties, with some going so far as to use actual billboards.
As spotted on Twitter (opens in a new tab)and covered by news.com.au (opens in a new tab), a number of billboards across the United States are currently advertising an in-game party for fellow Final Fantasy 14 players to take place on July 9th. Billboards are apparently located in Austin and Houston Texas, and are more likely to go live today in other places like California. All commercials were arranged and paid for by the owners of Rain virtual nightclub.
A photo of one of these billboards was shared by Twitter user @AbyssalFel who also said, “On July 9th at 9:00 PM EST, Rain Nightclub will be hosting a beach party!! It’s our BIGGEST party yet, and my character Akiva Balthazar will be the Hype Host! Re-Tweet this and spread the word, please! We even have a LIVE BOARD!” display feature the phrase: “Rain nightclub presents summer bash” along with the event date and Discord server details for those wishing to attend.
According answer (opens in a new tab) to @AbyssalFel’s tweet, billboards weren’t that expensive to rent, which means it was worth it for the exposure this particular party and Final Fantasy 14 disco will now get. Although it’s likely only Final Fantasy 14 players will understand the gist of the ad.
If you didn’t know, Final Fantasy 14’s nightclubs are the real deal. Often run by selected players or groups of players, clubs usually have other players working there as bartenders, dancers, and DJs in exchange for in-game currency. So, although they only take place in the world of Final Fantasy 14, a lot of work goes into managing them, hence the importance of billboards.
Somewhere else, Final Fantasy 14 players have formed a human blockade to prevent access to an infamous role-playing server – yes, the same one the billboard is based on.