To update: A player-run nightclub in Final Fantasy 14 has torn down billboards in Texas promoting 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 it wasn’t the intention of the team [to] other communities, but spreading an RP event to additional audiences who might be interested in joining who would otherwise ignore normal spam ads, that’s the norm”.
Speaking to News.com.au (opens in new tab)The team further clarifies that no one has been banned, nor have they heard anything from Square Enix at the time of writing.
Images of the billboards quickly went viral on social media earlier this week, sparking concerns over apparent violations 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 achieve by modding. Additionally, players noted that Rain offers erotic roleplay, which while not uncommon in Final Fantasy 14 is not clearly advertised on the billboard.
While Square Enix usually allows ERP as long as it’s private and consents (opens in new tab)Producer Naoki Yoshida has warned players against modifying their characters or data mining information (opens in new tab). While some sections of the community weren’t fans of the Billboard stunt, others feared it might lead to the developer restricting modding further. As things stand, players typically use mods to change their character’s appearance – be it a specific hairstyle or custom clothing.
Original story: Final Fantasy 14 players go to great lengths to promote their in-game parties, with some even going so far as to use real-life billboards.
As sighted Twitter (opens in new tab)and covered by news.com.au (opens in new tab), a number of billboards across the US are currently promoting an in-game party for other Final Fantasy 14 players, scheduled to take place on July 9th. The billboards are apparently based in Austin and Houston in Texas and are more likely to go live in other places like California today. All ads were organized and paid for by the owners of the virtual nightclub Rain.
A photo of one of these billboards was shared by Twitter user @AbyssalFel, who also said, “On July 9th at 9pm EST Rain Nightclub will be having a beach party!! It’s our BIGGEST night yet and my character Akiva Balthazar will be the Hype Host! Retweet and share, please!! We even have a LIVE BILLBOARD!!” The billboards will include the phrase: “Rain Nightclub Presents Summer Bash” along with the date of the event and Discord server details for those who wish to attend.
Corresponding An answer (opens in new tab) According to the @AbyssalFels tweet, renting the billboards didn’t really cost that much, meaning that for the attention this particular party and Final Fantasy 14 nightclub will now be getting, it was totally worth it. Though it’s likely that only Final Fantasy 14 players will get the gist of the ad.
In case you didn’t know, Final Fantasy 14’s nightclubs are the real deal. Often run by select players or groups of players, the clubs usually have other players working as bartenders, dancers, and DJs in exchange for in-game currency. Although they only take place in the world of Final Fantasy 14, a lot of work goes into their operation, hence the importance of the billboards.
Elsewhere, Final Fantasy 14 players have formed a human blockade to prevent access to an infamous roleplaying server – yes, the same one the Billboard House is based on.