*Edit* Here's the steam community page I set up: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/FinalFantasyXIV
Please get some people on it :P It would be great to have 100~ people on the community page at least. Would make for interesting group chat, and I wouldn't mind gaming with anyone from here.
I've been thinking. SE has made a large number of the titles they own available through steam in the past year.
My speculation is that they are testing the steam client with the ffxi release to see what kind of support they would get with it, and how things would work overall.
In the end, I've not had a problem with the steam client when running ffxi. The only people I've seen having problems with it have had issues other than steam.
As far as friendliness to a more world wide audience, steam is one of the best online game retailers in the world. I know people that use it from North and South america, Indonesia, Philippines, Middle east, etc. It supports dozens of languages. I think if they need a few hundred thousand people to stress test the beta, beta access through steam for everyone would be a great way to get it.
As I am writing this:
236,309 In-Game | 1,483,837 Online
I would love for SE to patch into this audience. It wouldn't take much. Just a title page announcement of beta access.
Here are some things I would love to see:
1) Open beta available through steam.
2) Official steam group for FFXIV. (this would allow people to find others that play through steam, as well as it would give a community chat room :D)
3) Steam communities are a great way to stay organized, and the system has been used by many hard core gamers to keep track of everything from fps scrims to community brawls in their games.
4) If players who play final fantasy get on FFXIV and tell their friends to join cause it's a free beta, and their friends love it, there will probably be a sale right there. How many people play on steam that love FF games? and how many of them have friends?...second thought, maybe this won't add too many sales :D (jk)
but seriously, I want to see steam and SE team up to make it so that FFXIV will have at least 1 million players from day 1, and only go up from there.
SE has made me confident that they will deliver on my high expectations from them. Very few of their games have let me down. Even the games that do give me the let down are still set the standards for minimum effort to put into any rpg to call it a good rpg.
For a company that tries to never do the same thing twice, they certainly have a tough job ahead of them. I just honestly think that outreaching to a gaming community like steam is quite possibly the best way to let everyone experience their awesomeness.
Edited, Jan 24th 2010 12:41pm by MetalSmith