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Sayonara, PlaySpan Payments

Victor Barreiro Jr. Posted:
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Apologies folks. I was planning on writing up the second part of the hybrid classes discussion today.

Instead, however,I have a quick write-up that concerns one of the somewhat major annoyances that I happened to come across in recent days: The outright disappearance of PlaySpan as a payment option for Final Fantasy XIV subscriptions.

PlaySpan and Crysta

PlaySpan is a payment option used by players to pay for their subscriptions in FFXIV. This is done by using PlaySpan to purchase Crysta, which is stored in a user’s account and redeemed for game time, regardless of whether you have a legacy account or a standard account.

To do this, they used PlaySpan as the payment intermediary, which allowed for the use of PayPal and other online payment options for acquiring the Crysta at checkout.  You could also buy Ultimate Game Cards and redeem the card codes to purchase Crysta as well.

The UltimatePay system implemented through PlaySpan was a boon for people who didn’t have credit cards, as well as for those who used PayPal or other methods of payment more readily.I personally used UltimatePay exclusively to pay for crysta and my subscription and never had problems with it, which is why I may have to go without FFXIV for a bit until I can check if my credit card will work with their system (This used to be really tough a few years back pre-Crysta).

Expected, but Unexpected

The disappearance of PlaySpan was widely telegraphed by Square Enix, yet also poorly communicated, I think.

As far back as July or possibly earlier, Square Enix had said that UltimatePay was disappearing as an option for payment due to PlaySpan’s retiring of Ultimate Game Cards.

What many were expecting was the dissolution of one aspect of using PlaySpan with Square Enix. What many people were trying to clarify, however, was whether the UltimatePay service was getting nixed, or whether the entire PlaySpan system would be removed as a payment option. Unfortunately, it seems the latter has occurred, though it was more abrupt than we expected, since there didn’t appear to be confirmation either way as to whether PlaySpan would survive.

Waiting for PayPal

Luckily, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, at least for some people who have been inconvenienced by this.

On the FFXIV forums, Community Representative Camate did write that they were working to enable PayPal as a payment option as soon as possible. Writes Camate,

“We understand the frustration that the removal of the PlaySpan, and by extension PayPal, billing option is having on customers that relied on it for paying for subscription fees or for the optional services like retainers.

We are currently working on implementing a PayPal payment option and we hope to have this up and running soon. In the meantime, if you do encounter errors when attempting to register your credit card, please contact our Support Center for assistance.”

In the meantime, for those who don’t have credit cards or Paypal-enabled debit cards, we’re going to have to wait a while for the chance to get back into the game.



Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and The Secret World columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.