Starting December 14th, SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS will merge with the Square Enix Account system. The move, which also combines logins for some other Japanese-only titles, will finally wrap up Square Enix online services into one neat and tidy area. Also, it will allow them to launch their new online-based currency: Crysta.
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The site originally used "Member Coins," but now Crysta will become the new standard for purchasing things from the Members store, such as Avatar clothing, books, CDs and games. Two things make this especially interesting: First is the fact that you can buy in-game currency in Fantasy Earth Zero, and second is the assurance that Crysta will work for "all services linked to your Square Enix Account."
In Fantasy Earth Zero, there are three types of currency -- two available in game, and one obtained via credit card or WebMoney purchase. By standardizing a web-based currency, it seems simple for Square Enix to bring Crysta over to Final Fantasy XIV and avoid many of the headaches experienced in Final Fanatsy XI, such as billing errors and the resulting bannings. It would be great to see Crysta available in the PSN store, purchasable through PayPal on Square Enix's site, or perhaps even Crysta cards at your local video game emporium. This would be perfect for potential Final Fantasy XIV subscribers who may not have access to their own credit card.
It also opens up the possibility for a lot more control on Square Enix's part. If certain aspects of Final Fantasy XIV were prone to abuse by RMT, they could become available through Crysta, swiftly invalidating the efforts of gil-farmers. However, it's a tricky issue since while some will surely welcome the elimination of RMT players, others will oppose the idea of paying real money for in-game currency or items.
In Japan, WebMoney is easy to get at any convenience store with some cash and one can be up and running their FFXI character in no time. That's why it's easy to envision Crysta cards showing up at the local 7-11 along with the myriad of other electronic currencies available. Sadly, it may be a pipe dream to hope that such convenience will reach foreign shores. Presently, the transfer to Crysta has only been posted on the Japanese SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS site, but here's hoping they are working out a smoother payment system for their loyal fans overseas as well. For a game that aims to simultaneously launch and manage customers in multiple regions of the world, it would certainly benefit both players and Square Enix to have a single, unifying currency.
Thanks to Corinth for the initial writeup at JP Button