You won’t find a much more dramatic comeback story in the video game industry than "Final Fantasy XIV." And no, we’re not talking about the game’s narrative, but the reception of the game itself. In its original form 2010 form, "Final Fantasy XIV’s" player base was so small and unsatisfied that developer Square Enix took the drastic measure of shutting the game down entirely in 2012, then spending almost an entire year retooling it for a complete rerelease.
Jump to the present day, though, and "Final Fantasy XIV," which once had so much difficulty attracting fans that its very survival was in danger, is now a game that’s so popular it literally has to turn crowds away.
"FF XIV’s" latest expansion, "Endwalker," was released last week. Not only is "Endwalker" being billed as the final major update for the game, it’s also the first to come out since the massive increase in player numbers that "FF XIV" has experienced since the start of the pandemic. That combination of factors has fans both old and new clamoring to go adventuring in FF XIV’s realms of Eorzea, But while Eorzea is a digital world, the game’s online nature means that it has to deal with the real-world issue of server capacity, and since "Endwalker’s" release, players have been met with extremely long log-in queues, especially on weekends and weekday evenings.
In response, Square Enix has made the decision to suspend sales of the "Final Fantasy XIV Starter Pack" and "Complete Pack" until it can address the congested conditions.
▼ Preview for "Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker"
“We are aware that the long waiting times to log into the game are preventing players from playing, and for this, we sincerely apologize,” said producer/director Naoki Yoshida in a statement on the game’s official website. In addition, Yoshida says that Square Enix will also be suspending new advertising for "Final Fantasy XIV," which in addition to helping not exacerbate the overcrowding problem, is also a nice way of not teasing would-be players who can’t purchase a copy of the game until the sale suspension is lifted.
It’s not all bad news, though. Customers who’ve already bought "Final Fantasy XIV" in some form are still currently able to purchase the "Endwalker" expansion. Also, by way of apology and to compensate fans for all the time they’ve been spending in log-in queues instead of actually playing the game, players with the full version of the game and a paid "FF XIV" account that’s active by 5 p.m., December 21 Japan-time (midnight, December 21 PST), will be given a free 14-day extension to their account, which is in addition to the previous seven-day extension provided by Square Enix when the "Endwalker"-related congestion problems first started.
Source: Square Enix
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