Final Fantasy XIV has seen a huge rise in popularity, causing massive delays on global servers.
That rise can be attributed both to the accessibility of the game’s free trial, as well as a mass exodus of players from World of Warcraft disappointed with a long wait for new content.
In addition, many players are gearing up for future expansion Endwalker due in November.
In a Lodestone blog post, producer and director Naoki Yoshida has addressed the delays.
“Recently, we have experienced record user numbers in all regions, with a vast amount of new players beginning their adventures,” he explains.
This rise in Final Fantasy XIV players is across global servers in Europe, North America and Japan, as well as separate local servers in China and Korea.
“In particular, the increase in NA- and EU-region players over the past two weeks has been both so staggering and unexpected that many players are now having difficulty logging in or creating new characters due to server congestion, and for this we deeply apologise,” says Yoshida.
Each World server has a login cap of concurrent players – more than this and the Duty Finder (used for multiplayer quests) would break.
Increasing that login cap is not a simple task. A recent server upgrade has allowed an increase in the North American region, but this is still to come in Europe. Even with the upgrade, North American players were experiencing login wait times of 10-20 minutes; in Europe this was up to 40 minutes.
Says Yoshida: “We deeply apologise for the situation in both regions.”
To prevent further congestion, Yoshida is asking players to log out of the game while idle. Square Enix have also implemented an automatic logout if you’re idle for 30 minutes.
He also requests that players avoid creating new characters during peak times as this causes longer congestion.
The Final Fantasy XIV team are planning on improving servers further, however this has been delayed due to the global shortage of semiconductors (also affecting new console production) as well as the global pandemic preventing the team from visiting new server locations.
“As producer, the responsibility for being unable to predict the current influx of new players falls to me. The days before an expansion’s launch are supposed to be ones of excitement, but instead they’ve brought many players grief, and for that I, personally, am extremely sorry,” says Yoshida.
“For years, we have watched devoted players from around the world stream their time with Final Fantasy XIV, and now, we sit in awe while new fans join their ranks. As we enter our final push in the development of Endwalker, it is this constant flow of positive energy that motivates all of us on the development and operations team to carry on.”