A new way to play Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is coming later this month. The 3v3 fighting game, featuring characters from Square-Enix’s massively popular Final Fantasy series, released in the West early last year for the PS4.
Now, a PC port is coming, with a new free-to-play option for both PC and PS4. The aptly titled Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Free Edition will give players a limited revolving roster of characters to try out each week, with microtransactions to unlock certain characters and items permanently.
The Free Edition was released in Japan last November, and will release worldwide March 12 alongside the PC port. According to Square-Enix, the Free Edition “offers players the opportunity to try out a limited roster of characters on a weekly basis.”
With microtransactions, players can purchase their favourite characters permanently, or play for free and use whichever characters the game allows that week. Interestingly, “players of the free edition can also play online against existing players of the full game”, which could mean a large influx of new players for the online multiplayer scene.
It is worth mentioning that with the Free Edition, “players can enjoy a sample of the full game and discover the epic multiplayer encounters only available in its unique online arena”. This implies that owners of the free game won’t have access to Dissidia Final Fantasy NT’s story mode or much of its single player portions. Admittedly, those aspects of the game were pretty threadbare anyway (it’s a port of an arcade game, after all), but it won’t quite be the same content as the full game.
It’s not quite certain what prompted this move by Square-Enix to create a free-to-play version of the game. It is possible it is a reaction from the enormous success of free games like Fortnite, and now Apex Legends, which have massive player-bases and income despite no entry fee.
There is also the fact that the sales of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for the PS4, itself a port of the Japanese arcade game, are allegedly below expectations, and thus a free version was commissioned to attract new players. It very well might; Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is certainly unusual for a fighting game, and reducing the financial barrier to entry could bring in undecided players and convince them to spend money.
Nonetheless, this could be potential good news for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Not only will PC gamers be able to play it, the Free Edition could be a great way of introducing new players, or enticing players who only want to pay for certain characters or modes.
This move comes after other embattled multiplayer games have gone free-to-play in order to attract new attention, such as Evolve. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for Evolve, but hopefully this will be just what Dissidia Final Fantasy NT needs to attract a larger player-base.