I don't care for the slightest of what financial gain SE get. I want a game that is catered towards the people who supported them, and not one that abandons their core fanbase in favor more money in their pockets.
It may very well be a pipe dream, but really, why on earth should I care for SE's stocks over my enjoyment of a game?
I'm not saying you should care necessarily, only that S-E's financials will impact their decision making. They're in the game-producing business to make money.
Also, the simple truth is, it'll have a large influx of subscriptions, possibly amounting to at least a million, for a couple of months, and then gradually decline gron then on.
500,000 accounts is more than financially sustainable, and it probably would bring them a particularly large amount of profit too.
Numbers-wise, I have no idea. Personally, I think you could be underestimating the number of people interested in this game/franchise, but I might be wrong as well.
Having said that, supposing XIV did settle at about 500,000 after 6 mos to a year, after that year S-E would be in the exact same position wrt subscribers (XI + XIV) as if they had never developed a new game at all. They have to aim bigger than that. FFXI has given them experience in the MMO market, and they need to learn from their mistakes to capture as large a portion of that market as possible. I wouldn't consider 2-2.5 million stable subscribers to be an unreasonable goal for their new game.
But like I said, I'd rather a new game, not FFXI with new tires, but a new game, that contains elements of FFXI that I, and the rest of FFXI fanbase, loved. I don't want it turning into a mindless WoW clone to appease those who never took an interest in FFXI in the first place.
Again, why would I care for anything to do with SE's financial status?
We want the same thing - that's why we're both posting on this board. Honestly, I don't care about S-E's financial status either, except to help color my expectations for what XIV will be like.