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Square Enix denies Final Fantasy XI shutdown rumors as game turns 20

A milestone: Final Fantasy XI–the Final Fantasy series’ first MMO–turned 20 this week and remains playable online. With new content coming, the game’s developers have indicated that won’t change anytime soon despite the explosive popularity of its successor.

In an interview with Famitsu this week, the producer and director of Final Fantasy XI dispelled rumors that Square Enix was planning to shut down the aging MMORPG this year. Those rumors may originate from the cancellation of the mobile port last year.

Final Fantasy XI originally launched on PlayStation 2 and PC in 2002, and on Xbox 360 in 2006. However, Square Enix took the PS2 and 360 versions offline in 2016, and the game has since been PC-only. The cessation and cancellation of support for different platforms don’t signify the end of a game’s life, though. Despite the runaway success of the more recent Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix still releases new content for Final Fantasy XI.

Square Enix executive Naoki Yoshida

For the anniversary, the company released a new installment of the latest expansion and is offering rewards to players who log in this month. Square Enix also launched two anniversary websites for Final Fantasy XI and will hold a Reddit AMA with its developers on May 23.

Final Fantasy XI isn’t the only MMO still going after multiple decades. Runescape is just a year older, and EverQuest has operated continuously since 1999. Among the oldest still-playable MMOs are Ultima Online (1997) and Meridian 59 (1996).

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