Multiple billboards across the US are currently advertising an up and coming in-game beach party for Final Fantasy XIV players. However, the promotion has backfired as some players have been banned in the face of legal threats from Square Enix.
FFXIV is a melting pot of activity with players partaking in everything from raiding to raves. However, one upcoming event has gone viral for all the wrong reasons — and could backfire on the wider community.
First spotted on Twitter, there are billboards across the United States promoting a FFXIV event that is set to take place on July 9. The event, a beach party on the Balmung server, is being held and hosted by the Rain Nightclub.
Billboards were spotted in three cities across Texas and California, with six spots being bought out by organizers.
However, the promotion for the event has backfired after Square Enix caught wind of it.
Prefacing this with hot lore on the shituation. Digital nightclub owners in FFXIV bought a billboard. No. Not one billboard. FOUR BILLBOARDS in Houston TX, Austin TX, and 2 unnamed locations in CA to advertise their summer party. This is the only proof of it that exists. pic.twitter.com/RxnqIMf8Tq
— Rage🤝🤡 (@RAGEWANG) July 5, 2022
The billboard advertisements feature modded outfits and the official game logo, something that has been included without the consent of FFXIV devs Square Enix. The design also fails to mention age restrictions for the event.
The modded outfits go against the FFXIV User Agreement which states players “may not modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the game or service in any way not expressly authorized by Square Enix, and may not make any derivative works of the game.”
On the other hand, the use of the game’s logo in this manner promotes an obvious copyright issue.
In a now deleted tweet, performer DJ Potate claimed the billboard follows the Final Fantasy 14 Material Usage License because “the club makes no money [or] profit.”
However, some members of Rain Nightclub who featured in the advertising have reportedly been banned from FFXIV temporarily with a more permanent suspension looming.
Across social media FFXIV fans are shocked at the situation that is unfolding. Many are criticizing Rain Nightclub staff for the decision, while others are seemingly focusing on the hilarity.
“I would love to know why the f**k they did this,” expressed one Reddit user. “That’s [$10,000] in billboards at the least, to promote something that is ostensibly free and doesn’t generate profit.”
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Others debated the motivation behind the stunt: “I’m gonna toss my two cents here and say that considering the “organizers” seem to be streamers they’re probably doing this… ‘for content’.”
The rollout of the billboards have also blindsided some Rain Nightclub staff. A former member claimed they weren’t aware of the advertisements until they started going viral.
As former staff at Rain- none of us were told about the billboard until it went live. We weren’t asked for an opinion on it beforehand- management told us after it was already up. Unfortunate for those of us who had no idea the billboard was going to be a thing. #ffxiv
— Lily (@lilibetxiv) July 5, 2022
The underlying message of it all is one of fear though. Given the prevalence of FFXIV’s modding community despite its murky legalities, a viral event blowing up like this could spell disaster for those who use these add-ons.
Square Enix are yet to make any formal or public statements about the situation so time will tell how they respond.