Final Fantasy XIV is well known for catering to the RP community. The game is home to many in-game clubs based in the various housing districts, as well as other venues. None of this is a big secret in the game’s community. Most players know where to go if they want to participate. And, if not, it's easy enough to find out, what with the different venues posting information online via caards and the like.
What is unusual – and probably asking for trouble – is advertising your in-game RP party on...let’s say physical billboards in Texas and California using images and logos from the game. One group, the in-game nightclub Rain, has done just this, putting up billboards in Austin and Houston, Texas. They also had plans to put up more in California. Like many of these in-game parties, this one is billed as having DJs and is intended to be streamed on Twitch.
who's gonna go for world first pic.twitter.com/79y1tdDuSq
— 💜🦎yule🦎💜 (@yuleloggu) July 5, 2022
None of this is necessarily illegal. But, with Rain using mods to make some of the characters on their site, they’re already publicly breaking the game’s ToS. The XIV team tends to let that kind of thing slide, but coupled with a billboard prominently featuring the game’s logo and images taken within the game, this could mean anything from account suspensions to a lawsuit if Square is cranky enough.
As far as the cost of the billboards goes, the club owners don’t seem too bothered by it. In a discussion with GLHF, one owner, Revarious, stated that “[they] give away more things to the community off the [in-game store]” over a couple of weeks than what they threw down for the billboards. On the surface, it all seems very sweet, but it still seems like they might be asking for trouble.
As mentioned a few times in this post, there are likely real-world legal ramifications for using the game’s branding in such a way. But, beyond that, there’s also the ongoing saga of Square Enix’s feelings about third-party mods and plugins – which many RPers, including the Rain team, use to improve the look of their characters (among other things). The company’s always had a bit of a “what we don’t know, we don’t know” kind of approach to it, but they have been a bit more vocal about it lately.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various gaming sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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