The developers took action against two streamers who used the mod while playing the MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 directly with the audience. Two streamers, Hiroro and Bagel Goose, placed their characters in an in-game “jail” after streaming the game while using mods that violated the terms of service. Active censorship is the latest development that has sparked a broader conversation and anxiety about Square Enix’s use of mods in the popular online game.
Final Fantasy 14 Is one Bustling online world where players take part in high-level multi-stage raids as teams. While the game continues get regular patches, players have created mods themselves to improve aspects of the game such as visuals or quality of life features. A popular category of mods that include those that allow players to enhance information tracked by the in-game HUD to display information such as combat mechanics and damage-per-second output commonly used by advanced players. to overcome difficult raids.
The mods violate the game’s terms of service, and Square Enix has now taken action against streamers like Hiroro and Bagel Goose for using these mods. In a VOD, you can see Bagel Goose being taken to a “prison” in Final Fantasy 14, an area called Mordion Gaol, where the player is sent to talk to a general moderator. From there, the moderators will decide on the specific punishment for the player whether it’s a temporary ban, taking away certain items, etc. Streamer Hiroro gets the same punishment, but the VODs since then only deleted leave a screenshot of the coercion.
Mods or third-party tools are prohibited in Final Fantasy 14, although many players use them. On May 9, producer and director Naoki Yoshida, published a blog post about official Final Fantasy 14 website states that a player’s account may be suspended or even banned from using mods. The post then goes on to specifically list HUD mods, stating that “modifying the UI to display additional information” has been banned. (It should be noted, however, that the team says the developers are working on an official fix to improve this aspect of play, although it may take some time.)
Yoshida’s blog and the highly visible acts of censorship sparked a larger conversation about censorship on the platform. Players often explain many statements of Yoshida about third-party tools that can be used as long as players don’t harass people, but now they’re not sure what’s allowed and what’s not. Also, it’s still unclear to many in the community if the developers will start enforcing a stricter ban policy for all mods or only on some mods. For example, some players use mods for accessibility purposes, like removing particle effects to reduce eye strain.
Polygon has reached out to Square Enix for clarification and will update the article once we receive a response.