Final Fantasy XI (ファイナルファンタジーXI Fainaru Fantajī Irebun), also known as Final Fantasy XI: Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square (later Square Enix) as part of the Final Fantasy series. It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002. It was localized and released for the North American market on October 28, 2003, and for the European market on September 17, 2004. An Xbox 360 version was released worldwide in April 2006 as the system's first MMORPG and the first cross-platform MMORPG.
The story is set in the fantasy world of Vana'diel, where tasks can be performed to improve a character's powers or to complete quests. Players are able to customize a character that they will guide through the story. There are also hundreds of quests that allow players to gain various rewards, as well as a growing number of player versus player competitions.
In January 2004, Square Enix announced that more than 500,000 users, using more than one million characters, were playing the game. As of 2006, between 200,000 and 300,000 active players logged in per day, and the game remains the dominant MMORPG in Japan. (more...)