When Can We Play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn?

We're just a few short weeks away from the grand re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV on August 27, but some folks are going to get to play even earlier than that. Break out your Lalafell swimsuit calendars as we mark down the final beta, early start, and welcome back campaigns for FFXIV.

First up, new players will be able to get a taste for game before they dive in via the final beta test, which runs August 17-19. Then the servers go down for five days, coming back up on the 24 for early start pre-order customers, giving them a three-day head start.

Players who registered for the original Final Fantasy XIV and then left because it was horrible will be able to play the game for free from launch until September 9, at which point they'll have figured out if they want to run screaming again or not.

Got that all written down? Oh, add this: there's a free companion app, Final Fantasy XIV: Libra Eorze, due out the week after the game officially launches. I'm guessing its bathroom reading.

Who's excited? I played in the beta, and the new game is solid, if a bit uninspired. I did hold back a bit though, wanting to save the core of the experience for launch — I hate spoilinng the game for myself in beta. So, we'll see!