Betas – gotta love ’em

I got this in the mail this morning:

In preparation for the official release of FINAL FANTASY XIV on September 30, 2010 and the early release on September 22, we will be starting an open beta test to help put the finishing touches on the game. We ask that all users who can participate in the open beta test apply from the following website.

1.Access the following URL.
http://entry.ffxiv.com/
* The page will become accessible starting at 19:00 on Aug. 31, 2010.

I didn’t get into closed beta, but then I didn’t really expect to, having only followed this game from a very great distance (as opposed to, say, my frothing mania regarding The Secret World).

Even so, beta is beta and I am a self-avowed beta ho — and O. M. G. that game looks pretty, at least in the screenies — so off I clicked.

Oops.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test Postponed

FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, which is scheduled to begin at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010, will be postponed due to a confirmation of critical bugs. New schedule will be released at a later date.

Along with the postponement of FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test, the issuing of registration code for FINAL FANTASY XIV Open Beta Test will be postponed as well. With the download of client software’s installer, it will be suspended at 19:00 (PDT) on Aug. 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the way Square Enix seem to be saying “There’s Japan, North America and Europe — and the rest of the world basically doesn’t exist.” Sorry Africa. Sorry, gigantic tracts (and vast populations, even if most of them don’t have an internet connection) of India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea… Oceania? What’s the deal with Oz anyway, for this system?

It’s either really really thoughtless or it’s actually just plain callous. Sorry, you guys don’t have enough critical internet mass for us to want to even offer you our game. You’re just too freaking backward. Get modernised and maybe then we’ll talk, hai?

I really hope I’m wrong on this one, because that sounds pretty freaking cold. And yet… it’s the kind of thing large games companies — and not just the far Eastern ones — do every damn day. Someone remind me why, again, we still have server/region segregation in this day and age?

Follow the money.

And don’t even get me started on the whole “Thou shallt play this long and NOT longer unless thou shallt also log over to an alt” xp-throttling business. I actually think we’ll get used to that because, ultimately, if you want to play this game you’ll have no choice (assuming they don’t back down). That doesn’t mean I think it’s right. It doesn’t mean I think a game developer gets to dictate how and how often I play their game that I pay a MONTHLY subscription for.

But maybe I’ll rant about that tomorrow.

Anyway – betas. Gotta love ’em.