FFXI user accounts closed over third party toolsThe population of Vana'diel shrunk by another 3,330 today after Square Enix continued their crackdown on third party tool users of Final Fantasy XI Online. Similar actions were taken by the RPG maker over the summer when they suspended or terminated 3,400 PlayOnline customer accounts for violations of the game's user agreement.

While most gamers appreciate a clean playing environment, should users of tools like Windower (which allows FFXI to be played in windowed mode) be penalized for adding an aftermarket feature that Square Enix probably should have implemented in the first place? The counterpoint to this argument is the maintenance cost and man hours necessary to selectively filter out cheat mods. Casting a wider net and banning all third party tool users allows developers to spend more resources on creating new games.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.