Bringing the Game to Life: Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest

 

The Challenge

Final Fantasy XIV is a multiplayer online role-playing game first launched in 2010 by Square Enix. The game is based on ongoing subscriptions, so to keep fans engaged and to acquire more players, Square Enix releases a new expansion every few years, bringing brand new worlds and challenges to the fans. 

It’s vital to make this community of gamers feel appreciated and special. To accomplish this, Square Enix first turned to the team at GPJ to create the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in 2014, when they announced their first expansion. In 2018, GPJ produced the third ever Fan Fest at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with the goal of raising the hype for the next iteration of the game: Shadowbringers.

This was a huge opportunity for Square Enix to increase fan engagement and bolster loyalty, and GPJ rose to the challenge.

The Solution

GPJ helped the client craft two days of intense and authentic immersion for an audience of 5,000 fans in a venue nearly 100,000 square feet in size. We created a world that pulled environments and activities right from the game and brought them to life. The Kugane area was the perfect hang-out zone and photo-op spot, and the Gold Saucer area featured real-life carnival style games as you would find in the digital world of Final Fantasy XIV.

From the main stage, attendees were the first in the world to hear details of the new expansion, and were treated to panels throughout the weekend that included key members of the development team. Other highlights from the main stage included a cosplay contest and a featured esports event, The FEAST North American Regional Championship. Each night ended with a concert, and the closing night featured the game’s composer and his band, The Primals.

Attendees could explore the venue further to find exclusive merchandise, artwork and a gaming room set up with hundreds of playable stations where fans could engage in boss battles and other “you can’t do this at home” style challenges.

    

Results

The fan festival was a huge hit, as gamers from across the continent came together and shared their passion, walking away more loyal than ever to this extremely successful franchise. The festival tickets sold out in days and many proclaimed it as the best festival ever. https://gamerescape.com/2018/12/04/square-enix-held-the-best-fan-fest-ever-in-las-vegas/

Subscriptions for the game have increased exponentially with each expansion and Fan Festival. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, the game grew from around 10 million players to nearly 14 milllion players, and those are numbers (and fans) worth celebrating.