Update, July 6: FF14 nightclub Rain, has removed its billboards advertising an upcoming event following attacks from a number of trolls, in a response the owner called “50/50 love and hate”.
Staff at the in-game FF14 nightclub paid for billboards to be put up in both Austin and Houston, Texas, in order to advertise its upcoming beach party event on the Balmung server. More billboards had apparently been ordered for California, but these never emerged. The Texan billboards have now been removed, after being up for less than two days.
On Twitter people were speculating that developer and publisher of Final Fantasy 14, Square Enix, had been involved due to the billboards use of its characters. Others questioned if staff at the club would be banned from the game, as the club’s website shows mods prohibited by the game’s terms of service.
This was reportedly not the case. Speaking with GLHF, one of the club’s owners Revarious said that Square Enix had not been in contact with them, neither about the billboards, nor concerning mods and bans. It was decided by staff that the billboards would be taken down following feedback from the community.
Discussing the decision to have the billboards removed they said, “We took down the boards of our own free will,” they continued “We kinda listened to the actual FF14 community and we don’t want to stress anyone else in the community out about them staying up and forcing Square Enix’s hand on the matter”
He went on to talk about the effect that trolls had on the team and the event, “A lot of the trollers joining our discord are not part of any other FF14 discords, and are literally just joining from Twitter to troll.” They explained they were concerned about harassment “I think the worst part about all this is one of the DJs is getting attacked, and it really makes me sad. She isn’t part of Rain nightclub or the billboard design idea. We only requested her to play songs for our party.”
People have been speculating the cost of the billboards, with some estimates going as high as $12,000. However, Revarious confirmed that the whole endeavor cost the team $160 total. The billboards were hired on a day rate and were removed within 48 hours. As the Californian billboards were cancelled before they went up, no cost was incurred.
Original story, July 5: A FF14 player has purchased billboards in both Texas and California in order to advertise their in-game beach party.
The owners of the FF14 nightclub Rain, live on the Balmung server, have purchased four billboards hoping to attract players of the Final Fantasy MMO to their beach party. As announced on Twitter, two billboards are already live in Austin and Houston, Texas. According to the club’s discord server though two more will go live later today in California.
Club events, such as the beach party, are common in FF14. Much like real club events, they take place every night across the world, with staff paid to host in the in-game currency, gil. These events are streamed on platforms such as Twitch, in order to promote the clubs.
Aside from the Discord and Twitter pages, Rain also has its own website where it promotes upcoming events. Paying out for whole billboards in order to advertise an event from an MMO is fairly irregular though.
While it is not illegal to advertise FF14 parties in the real world – as long as no real money changes hands – there may be some issues from publisher Square Enix. Some of the characters on the club’s website have been created using mods, which goes against the game’s terms of service. The advertising also uses Square Enix’s own characters and properties, presumably without consent.
One of the club’s owners, Revarious, thinks the billboards are more than worth the money. Speaking to GLHF they said, “I giveaway more things to the community off the [in-game store] in two weeks than this whole billboard thing cost us, and we are also still doing all those giveaways at the same time,” they continued, “We just happen to have a lot of very amazing people at Rain where we can do these things and giveaways for the community.”
The timing of the event is perfect for Rain, as the 6.18 patch just dropped allowing players to move between data centers. This means more players will be able to attend the event. You can find out the five biggest changes from the 6.18 patch here.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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