Square Enix forced to halt sales of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker for being too popular
In an update shared on the game’s official website, director and producer of Final Fantasy XIV, Naoki Yoshida, has apologized for ongoing congestion in the MMO since new expansion Endwalker entered early access, outlining the publisher and developer Square Enix’s plans to alleviate the slew of problems currently hindering play.
Subscribers will now receive 14 days of game time to make up for lost playtime, an extension of the initial seven days compensated to players last week. The basics of who qualifies are as follows:
This will apply to all players (including those with multiple accounts) who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription as of Tuesday, December 21, at 12:00 a.m. (PST), which is the scheduled release date for Patch 6.01.
Final Fantasy XIV recently surpassed 25 million registered accounts. With Endwalker‘s release, sales and marketing of the game are in the unique position of being too successful, prompting a halt of sales of the games Starter Edition and Complete Edition, the cessation of new Free Trial accounts, and a stop in the publishers marketing campaign.
Subscribers were already prioritized over trial accounts in log-in queues. “Free Trial players are unable to log in outside of late night and early morning hours,” Yoshida says, “and so we will also temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial.”
The director hopes to phase out the suspension over “the next few days as we work with our retail partners.” While sales to new players will temporarily cease, “expansion packs and Collector’s Edition digital upgrades will continue to be available for existing players so that they may upgrade as needed.”
Still, new content is on the way. Yoshida says the current content roadmap will stay its course as long as new problems don’t arise. The team still plans to release the Pandæmonium: Asphodelos (Savage) raid in update 6.05 on Jan. 4. A patch to the frequently seen login bug, Error 2002, will release in update 6.01 on Dec. 21.
Yoshida says Square Enix has been working on improving and expanding its infrastructure to accommodate the rapidly growing player base but is unable to create enough servers to establish a new logical data center and add more instances due to the global semiconductor shortage. “Our attempts to alleviate the ongoing congestion situation are being delayed due to the physical shortage of server equipment,” Yoshida said in the statement.
We are considering adding servers to each region, especially plans for a large-scale addition in North America and Europe, and will be looking at the number of servers, infrastructure construction time, power issues, and server rack situation to see if we should do this sequentially or in one big push.
The director expects their Server and Infrastructure team to have a roadmap at the end of January.