Hey! Is anyone out there? Is there anyone still playing Final Fantasy XIV?!

If you are, I’ve got a little bit of news for you. Continuing with their push to reinvent their latest, poorly received MMO, Square Enix are moving ahead with the transition from Final Fantasy XIV to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In keeping with this, all character data from the current version of the game will be saved for the last time this Wednesday, October 31st. Then, in about two weeks (November 11th, to be precise), all worlds in-game will be closed at midnight PST. All saved data will transfer from the current game to A Realm Reborn when it goes live.

Furthermore, today marks the start of Square’s alpha testing of the fundamental mechanics of the revamped Realm Reborn. There will be four of these testing cycles, each consisting of multiple ‘test and tweak’ phases. Hopefully this will be extensive enough to ensure that the game’s relaunch will not be hampered by any of the problems that plagued it initially. If you’re interested in participating in these alpha tests, and you have a FFXIV account, you can head on over to the application page on the game’s website, and sign up to participate. From the sounds of it, these alpha tests will be PC-focused, but once it comes time for beta testing, they will need the help of PlayStation 3 owners, so keep your eyes open for that.