Recently, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV for short) is a PC MMO that has experienced a massive boost in players, driven in part by virality and the decline of competing MMORPG World of Warcraft. To that end, FFXIV has experienced a ton of server congestion problems, with North American and European realms experiencing log-in queues and character creation restrictions. In attempts to stabilize the server influx, Square Enix even temporarily removed FFXIV from sale, given the game’s explosive growth.
What is Square Enix doing about the problems, though? In a recent post, Naoki Yoshida shared an update on how it plans to scale FFXIV moving forward.
Greetings FINAL FANTASY XIV players! This is your producer & director, Naoki Yoshida.
First and foremost, I would like to extend my thanks to all of you for your continued support!
Development on our latest expansion pack Endwalker continues as we focus on implementing content and transitioning to the check and polish phase. Expectations for 6.0 are high and have resulted in an increased interest in FINAL FANTASY XIV—especially in North America and Europe, where we are currently experiencing an extreme influx of new players.
In the post, Yoshida-san notes that despite recent upgrades to the North American servers, they’ve already once again hit capacity. The European servers are yet to receive comparable upgrades and may suffer from more issues as a result. The team at Square Enix is working to optimize server populations with temporary measures, such as forcing logouts for people idling for 30 minutes or more. Those who own the game will be prioritized for queues, over those using FFXIV’s generous free trial.
Yoshida-san notes that the ultimate solution is increasing data centers, and that’s exactly what the studio intends to do ahead of the release of the next big expansion, FFXIV Endwalker, which drops in November. Square Enix intends to add a new data center dedicated to Oceania, as well as new servers for existing regions. However, the team notes that the ongoing semiconductor shortage and covid-19 travel restrictions have created logistical issues delaying the acquisition of new data centers.
The detail and transparency offered by Naoki Yoshida on the topic are refreshing, although it’s yet another reminder that issues from the pandemic regarding tech and demand for online services continue to frustrate growth.
Endwalker drops on November 23, 2021, and expands the game with new bosses, classes, mini-games, wrapped in a big new storyline.