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Thousands of Final Fantasy XIV Players Upset Over Las Vegas 2018 Ticket Outrage

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 Frankfurt  
Greatly anticipated tickets went live today for the Las Vegas Fan Festival for the popular MMO Final Fantasy XIV which boasts over 10 million+ adventurers. Within 20 minutes of going live, the tickets were completely sold out, leaving even those who reserved a spot to purchase one, out in the dust even to those who didn't reserve a spot at all

On Final Fantasy XIV's Official Twitter account it was promised that they were working on 'monitoring traffic and steadily increasing the amount of tickets available to be purchased' about 1 hour ago when tickets went live. 
For the past half-hour, outraged fans who were treated with "We're sorry, the Las Vegas show is completely sold out." have been taking to twitter to air their thoughts, some immediately mentioning my own thoughts as well which relate to the show's desperate need for a larger venue.
This sort of thing can be expected of infamously large events like San Diego Comic Con which caps its attendance at about 250,000. 
Normally conventions and fan festivals have a limit to how many tickets can be sold roughly based on legal city building capacity limits, which usually say that too many people in one area is a fire or health hazard. That's why they need to pick a bigger venue. 
As someone who's been involved in the convention industry since 2004, I can tell you there's a lot of planning and thinking that goes into the process of making an event happen. 

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 Frankfurt

Some of my thoughts have been that Square Enix is set on Las Vegas because of how much activity Los Angeles receives during the summer's heavy "con-season" with events like E3 and Anime Expo nearly taking place back to back. That's also not to mention the humongous list of California's events related to video game and anime pop culture which occur throughout the year. Its still not an excuse but a thought. Why I mention LA is due to how close the relations are between anime and video game companies and California, and while there are many great venues throughout the United States, I can't imagine Fan Festival in NYC, Texas, (Maybe Chicago, they sure like to keep putting Distant Worlds there, but that's a concert), or Washington, even though the location for PAX WEST wouldn't be too shabby for Fan Festival. 

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 Frankfurt

I still think Square Enix could fit Fan Festival in somewhere else in Las Vegas, or in California, because there are other conventions run by much less financially backed sources that house triple the attendances of Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival. 

I find it very screwed up that Square Enix allowed people to reserve a spot to buy tickets and allowed others without reservations to purchase them anyways, as if one person who was in charge just hit a big red "GO!" button with lots of cash in their mind, and no care for those who got screwed, who truly wanted to go. Combine that with poor venue planning, research, and the present state of their mindset about it all which includes a message saying "Tickets are all SOLD OUT!" with a party popper emote (which just adds insult at this point) and no other replies. 

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 Frankfurt

Here's some of the tweets going around that speak the minds of many others just like them: 

@Cleeeees "Hey, maybe you should consider getting a bigger venue if you sell out before people can get through the queue" 

@siverstorm "The amount of people I've seen who have played religiously since launch and couldn't get past the queue only to see the sold out message is pretty unforgivably bad." 

@re_motts "I'm legitimately considering ending my sub over this. I have no desire to pay money to a company that so blatantly does not care about its loyal customers." 

@zensandgarden "I never thought I'd say this but I'm in the same boat. It just seems like they don't care at all. This was so haphazard." 

@AndroidSophia "What are you going to do about the hundreds of people who's significant others couldn't get tickets because your queue goofed up?" 

@LillacTyanu "Some people in my fc needed the code on the hour while on mobile, the pc ones didnt"

@umaikaze "I still hate how theyre probably not going to address it." 

Apparently within the first minutes of the fiasco, Square Enix released special codes to help the process along which mostly proved useless. 

Twitter users have stated that mobile buyers had to use a code, while those on PC didn't need one. Another tweet boasted about having a 'Slot Bot' that purchased 20 tickets, and others are concerned about friend-groups, carpools, and family who are now split between those who got a ticket and those who didn't, foiling the plans of hundreds. 

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival 2017 Frankfurt

Others have begun arguing that the Rio hotel venue where the event is located, should be able to fit upward of 20k attendees, while others debate the true number of tickets sold which is rumored to only be around 1,000. It also seems that some Twitter users are calling out ShowClix, the company that is beginning to appear partially responsible for the travesty. 

Many feel it is unlikely that Square Enix will even address the issue or make any amends whatsoever. 

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival will also commence in Paris, France in February 2019, and finish with Japan in March 2019. 
The festival is most-known for being the live event that announces the name and first details of Final Fantasy XIV's next expansion and upcoming content, as well as being an event for Final Fantasy XIV cosplayers and fans to meet up, see exclusive panels, play carnival-style mini-games based on FFXIV, and buy merchandise. 


UPDATE 11/13/2018: 
We've had some great feedback on social media and in Final Fantasy XIV communities, and have thus updated the title of this post to represent that thousands have now been effected by the situation. 
I know that not everyone experienced the glitch, but I feel there's still no excuse to host Fan Festival at a venue where only around 2k reported fans will be allowed to attend such an established event for a game with a reported 14 million active players. That makes no sense.
Blizzard's World of Warcraft saw record breaking numbers topping 10 million players yet provided venues like Anaheim, California's BlizzCon which saw 8,000 attendees at its very beginning in 2005, and 35,000 today. BlizzCon may celebrate other Blizzard titles like Diablo, Starcraft, and now Overwatch- but Fan Festivals for Square Enix are as old as Final Fantasy XI Fan Festival which Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival has all but replaced entirely in present times. 
FFXI Fan Festival first began 12 years ago in Aneheim, and at its start saw 2k in attendance which grew until FFXI's twilight years arrived and the XI festivals ended.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Fan Festa is taking place this December in Long Beach at the Long Beach Convention Center, which houses 13,000 people.
I would hate to think so, but its possible that Square Enix may have prioritized resources for their microtransactions Gacha Game over FFXIV. I'm aware that Square Enix has different divisions, but its just so strange that Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival would be held to the same statistics and projected outcome as events the company hosted more than 10 years ago. 
Throughout FFXIV's life-cycle, both game-wise and with the whole brand generally, the developers have put strength into innovation and adaptation to the present world, in both technology, social media, communication with the community and fans, and more. Did they underestimate the interest for Fan Festival? Maybe. How or why doesn't really matter at this point, what's important is that they rent more space or move the event to a place that can accommodate more people.
This is important people, and I'll even talk to Square Enix and remind them, hey, you guys just lost 33 million dollars and lost Tabata, overall I think you could really do to make more money during Fan Festival! Even for Fan Festival 2020/2021, people want to go, and there's so much more potential that Fan Festival has to become something even bigger and better for everyone. 
Imagine a venue in LA, Anaheim, or Northern California, with 20, 30 thousand people, talking BlizzCon status. Cosplay, panels, multiple days. Think of the fervor of excitement it'd bring to the FFXIV community and introduction to new fans. 
If I could, I'd love to present more ideas to Final Fantasy XIV with how we could take Fan Festival to a whole new and enjoyable level, something myself and a lot of my comrades specialize in doing in the convention industry we're known for.
Its hard to say if anything will change, but I think this year the voices of those who were concerned or severely disappointed was louder than usual, and this article alone has gotten more than 4k views- enough for everyone attending Fan Festival 2018/2019 to view twice.
But for now, as FFXIV's current stance tells us, don't worry, you can always buy the livestream and watch from home.



Images used are owned by RA:N and were taken at the 2017 Fan Festival in Frankfurt, Germany.
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