What you need to know
- Two years ago, Square Enix and GrubHub held a limited-time promo event where you could get a code for an exclusive pizza emote by ordering $15 of food or more during The Game Awards.
- The event was a complete disaster. Many were forced to battle GrubHub reps for days to get their code, and lots of players never got one at all.
- Recently, the pizza emote was added to the Final Fantasy XIV Online Store microtransaction shop, and can now be purchased for $7.
- Fan reactions to this are mixed, but skewed towards happiness. Some are annoyed that they have to spend even more money to get the emote, but most are pleased to see it become widely available.
Many players in the Final Fantasy XIV community are in quite a tizzy at the moment, and no, it's not because of exciting new gameplay content or quests. This time around, all the hubbub stems from the recent addition of a pizza emote to the game's microtransaction shop. Yes, a pizza emote.
You see, about two years ago in December 2021, Square Enix held a promotional event with GrubHub during The Game Awards. By using the delivery service to order at least $15 of food during the evening of the show and then using the promo code "ENDWALKER" at checkout, you'd be able to get a code sent to your email a day later that, when redeemed, would unlock the exclusive /eatpizza emote in FFXIV.
Unfortunately, things took quite a disastrous turn very quickly. Tons of people never got the code despite ordering $15 of food or more, and many who did had to fight tooth and nail with GrubHub's customer service staff for days. GrubHub's fine print did say that there was limited availability, but this was never made clear, and also...it's a digital item. Any "limited supply" is completely artificial.
"I honestly think that the customer service reps have no idea what they're talking about. This one's saying it's a lottery. Others are saying there were a limited number of codes and it was first come first serve, but aren't even being consistent with what that limit even was," wrote u/Shizucheese in a Reddit thread about the scandal. "I know I saw one person post that a grubhub rep told them you had to place two orders in order to qualify. Others are saying that there was a glitch in the system and that the code didn't get applied to some people's orders, and if it didn't apply to yours than you're SoL."
Then came the eBay sales. Once folks who had actually received their code like they were supposed to realized how lucky they were, many of them began listing their pizza emote codes on consumer-to-consumer sites. Suddenly, these codes were selling for $200 or more, with one even going for as much as $500.
That brings us to today, and Square Enix's surprise announcement that the /eatpizza emote can now, a full two years after the aforementioned debacle, be purchased from the Final Fantasy XIV Online Store for $7. Unsurprisingly, the community's reaction to this decision has been rather mixed, though I'd say it's on the happy side overall.
On one hand, you have people who wish they could get all the time they spent battling GrubHub service reps for their code back. There's also the folks who never got their code at all, and are frustrated that they'll have to spend even more money than they already did on expensive food delivery just to get this silly pizza emote. Some are miffed that their rare, exclusive emote just got a whole lot less exclusive, too, which isn't surprising.
"After ALL that hell fighting GrubHub for months for them to finally cough up the code…I’m a bit salty," wrote u/Rynn21 on the r/FFXIV subreddit. "I’m glad we can get it, but so many were scammed by Grubhub that I wish this was free," says @griffon_rex on X (formerly Twitter).
But then, on the other side of the coin, you've got all the players that are simply happy to have a chance to get the emote since they either weren't playing FFXIV at the time, missed the promo, or don't live in the United States (only North American Square Enix accounts were eligible for the event). There's some grumbles about the rather high price tag of $7, but overall, most folk are just excited to finally give their Warrior of Light a slice to snack on.
The decision to ease up on this limited-time event's "fear of missing out" (FOMO) factor isn't one that anyone was expecting, and it's got players wondering if we could see the /eatchicken KFC Japan-exclusive emote become more widely available next. Given that the handling of the GrubHub promo was uniquely terrible, though, Square Enix could just be feeling generous with its pizza.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is currently available on Windows PC, PS4, and PS5, with the Xbox version coming in Spring 2024. It's one of the best PC games, and notably, the Complete Edition includes all of its DLC and a 30 days of playtime for $60. This makes it the best way to jump in and get access to its full content suite.
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