The article doesn't really suggest anything about micro transactions in FFXIV, since FFXIV's monthly fee already fits their goal of paying a smaller fee for a discrete unit of enjoyment (in the case of an MMO, 30 days of play time). If anything I think they're probably looking at the profit margins that they squeezed from FFXI and looking for ways that they can translate that model over into a business model that was previously single player.
Look at the trends in gaming right now. You don't just sell people a game. You sell them a game, and then you sell them an online social experience that might have advertising revenue tied in, and then you sell them some downloadable content, and then some more downloadable content, and by then you're ready to release the next game in the series which is just an iteration on the last one.
Compare that to the way that S-E has sold their games in the past. One time purchase of a game with massive amounts of content. Single player game, package store distribution, no downloadable content, no social aspect. FFXI is the only real exception.
The only way I expect this "new" strategy from S-E to apply is the way we've already seen it applied in FFXI, where they have experimented with selling mini expansions in place of large, expensive, all inclusive expansions like COP or TOAU. You might see X number of classes released as part of FFXI, and then later on you pay 10 bucks for one new class, one new zone, and 5 new missions instead of a more traditional expansion. I don't think you're going to see micro transactions in the sense of selling you items or gil or whatever, because there's still limited tolerance for that in western MMOs. Blizzard's been the most successful doing that with vanity pets, but others who have tried to do it more extensively (like Atari/Cryptic) have wound up with unpopular games. Edited, Jun 23rd 2010 9:35pm by KarlHungis