There is a MASSIVE Astrix beside the 630k copies shipped to stores number at this point, its exactly what it is. last year 630k copies left distribution centers to retailers. We dont know how many were sold to customers, damaged, buy back agreements etc.
I'll bite on the buybacks, damaged units, ect. but this wasn't the number of units shipped. I lifted that directly from Square-Enix fiscal report on units sold. There were several other games on that list as well. Regardless of how many actually sold, we can safely say that the vast majority have left.
The Diablo 3 idea is a brilliant business move. They settle their WoW players who might be thinking they will have to choose between the two on release, they reward their loyal playerbase who have supported them and made them the giant they are and they come out looking like Robin Hood in the process.
As someone who cares for the game and is staying i can only voice a positive look towards the future.
This is the exact reason why XIV got itself off to a bad start. There can be a big difference between being optimistic and realistic. People's blind optimism led SE to believe they could slip this game through despite being so flawed. What bothers me the most about this whole situation is the response of the faithful fanbase.
SE basically said "We are a niche MMO developer catering to a crowd who will devour anything we feed them. Why strive to make a quality game when all we have needed in the past is a brand to stand behind?". Apparently a slap in the face is still not enough to wake some people from slumber.
When you care about something, you should speak up when you see it going in the wrong direction. You don't let your friends get behind the wheel of a car when they're drunk because you are optimistic
about the outcome, do you? Granted, a failed release isn't nearly as bad as a deadly crash involving a loved one, but XIV is on life support right now and their insurance(read: F2P) is about to expire.