Square Enix is going to stop selling Final Fantasy XIV, but it’s not because they want to kill off the MMORPG. No, it’s because it’s just too damn popular right now and their servers simply can’t keep up with demand!
It’s been incredibly difficult to log in and play Final Fantasy XIV since the Early Access release of the major Endwalker expansion, with hours-long queues to get onto a server instance.
To combat this, Square Enix are cutting down on the influx of new players in several ways. Over the next few days they will stop distribution of physical copies, as well as temporarily halt digital sales of the game, and will suspend new registrations for the Free Trial version of the game. They’re also pulling advertising campaigns as soon as possible.
All people that currently have the game or have a Free Trial account will still be able to play, but free players will be much more restricted in their access. Active subscribers will have prioritised log in over free players, and free players will only be able to log in during late night and early morning hours.
It’s not just demand, though. Error 2002 has been a separate issue that seemingly dates all the way back to FFXIV version 1.0. Thankfully Square Enix has now identified the bug that is causing it and are bundling it into the next update – patch 6.01 – to release on 21st December. This should mean that, even if you’re stuck in a server queue for a long time, you won’t be booted out.
Because of these compounding issues, Square Enix are going to compensate paying players. Having already granted 7 days of free game time recently, they will be granting an addition 14 days.
All players that have the full game and an active subscription as of Tuesday 21st December at 8AM UTC (the release date for patch 6.01) will receive the 14 days compensation.
In the long terms, Square Enix are looking to scale up their server capacity for Final Fantasy XIV, though note that there are high requirements for severs to be capable. The Server and Infrastructure teams will try to have a roadmap of improvements for January 2022, but they are looking to add servers to each region with large expansions for North America and Europe in particular.
Producer Naoki Yoshida signed off the explanation:
We will continue to strive to provide our utmost support so that everyone around the world can play comfortably. We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences caused by the ongoing severe congestion. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Source: Square Enix