More than 5,000 Final Fantasy 14 players likely woke up a few days ago to find their accounts had been banned. According to the development team, these players were engaged in real-money trading and advertisements, which could have ruined the game’s balance.

In a post on the game’s official website, Square Enix said that 5,037 accounts were banned for participation in real-money trading and “other illicit activities,” while another 814 were banned for advertising real-money trading.

Players can submit a cheating report within the game client to help curb the problem, and they can also report advertisements to stop others from offering these services in the game. It probably won’t completely eliminate the problem, but it should help reduce its prevalence.

Things like selling power-leveling services and other gear you don’t want for real money in MMO games is not new, but it’s certainly still frustrating to see other players literally pay to win with the best gear that they didn’t really earn themselves.

“… players should take care to steer clear of any activity that violates the Terms of Service,” Square Enix added, and that’s certainly true with an MMO. Back in my World of Warcraft days, a friend tried using a bot for a few seconds before his account was permanently banned. All that work went down the drain.

Final Fantasy 14 will receive its next expansion, Endwalker, later this year. The next single-player Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy 16, is also in the works for PS5.

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