What you need to know
Microsoft briefly made a statement on Xbox Wire that Final Fantasy XIV's highly-anticipated Open Beta for the upcoming Xbox Series X|S version is now ready, ahead of its estimated date of February 2024.
However, it turned out to be incorrect. Microsoft's announcement lacked information on how to access the beta and the beta wasn't showing up on the Xbox Store or Xbox Insider.
Microsoft then quickly deleted the announcement on Xbox Wire.
Final Fantasy XIV is the 14th major entry in Square Enix's Final Fantasy series and is a popular MMORPG that's been active for over ten years. It is expected to receive its fifth expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, in the summer of 2024.
On January 16, 2024, Microsoft made a startling announcement on Xbox Wire that the Open Beta test for the upcoming Xbox version of Final Fantasy XIV is now available. However, Microsoft then immediately took it down because the announcement was completely incorrect, as Square Enix stated during the Final Fantasy XIV 2024 Fan Festival in Japan, that the Xbox Open Beta would be estimated to launch in February 2024.
Microsoft has apologized for the incorrect announcement on Xbox Wire's social media and will follow up with the correct date for Final Fantasy XIV's Xbox Open Beta at a later date when it's available.
So what exactly did this article incorrectly say that caused Microsoft to delete it? For starters, nowhere in the article does it tell players how to access the Xbox Open Beta, and when it was up, nobody could find it on the Xbox Store or the Xbox Insider App.
Not to mention, Square Enix's official website for Final Fantasy XIV, Lodestone, did not make any announcements that the Xbox Open Beta is available.
All information this article gave was that Final Fantasy XIV is a popular entry in the Final Fantasy series and a beloved MMORPG with over 30 million players. It also gave a link to their FFXIV beginner's tips YouTube video series and stated the Xbox Open Beta would include all the content of Final Fantasy XIV's Free Trial which includes all gameplay content up until Final Fantasy XIV's Stormblood expansion.
Confusing Patch 6.55 with Xbox Open Beta?
You might be thinking, "What has caused Microsoft to make such an incorrect announcement?" Personally speaking, I'm going to guess that somebody at Microsoft mistakenly assumed that the Xbox Open Beta would be released today alongside Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker's last major update, Patch 6.55, without seeing or forgetting about Square Enix's aforementioned announcement. Perhaps they incorrectly selected the month, and that we'll get the announcement on February 16th, instead of January 16th? Perhaps it was originally slated for January 16th, it's hard to know for sure.
Mistakes happen, though. Microsoft and Square Enix have developed a blossoming relationship recently, with the latter confirming greater support for upcoming Square Enix titles, including Visions of Mana, Final Fantasy XVI, and of course, Final Fantasy XIV and its upcoming expansion for PC and Xbox, Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail.