Endwalker is Final Fantasy XIV’s biggest expansion yet. Lots of people want to play it. That’s a good thing, yes? Usually! But the servers are getting congested to such a point that Square Enix is temporarily halting digital and retail sales.
That’s right, FFXIV is so popular that Square Enix is suspending the sale of it. The servers, it seems, cannot keep up.
“Players are currently experiencing extremely long wait times due to the dense concentration of play hours which far exceed our server capacity, especially during the peak times, and so we have decided to temporarily suspend the sale and delivery of Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition,” wrote FFXIV producer Naoki Yoshida on The Lodestone. “Additionally, although those with an active subscription are prioritized to log in, Free Trial players are unable to log in outside of late night and early morning hours, and so we will also temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial.”
Late last month, Kotaku reported that Square Enix was taking measures to improve congested servers for the Endwalker expansion by prioritizing game owners over trial players.
The sale suspension is only temporary, Yoshida explained, and will be phased out over the next few days as Square Enix works with its retail partners. During this time, Square Enix asks for players to understand that this will be a gradual process. But the game maker isn’t only halting FFXIV sales, it’s also suspending all new advertisements. “However,” added Yoshida, “it will not be possible to suspend some of the advertisements due to the nature of how they were set up.”
While this is the first I’ve heard of Square Enix suspending new advertisements over a server capacity snafu, this isn’t the first time that Final Fantasy XIV has been so popular that it’s ceased taking in new players. In July 2021, Square Enix temporarily stopped selling Final Fantasy XIV after a sudden spike in popularity. At that time, players were also prohibited from making any new characters on any of the game’s servers.
It’s great to have a popular game, but it’s a bit of a drag when that popularity is so overwhelming that it makes enjoying said game difficult. “We are aware that the long waiting times to log into the game are preventing players from playing, and for this, we sincerely apologize,” continued Yoshida. “In response to this, we recently granted seven days of game time, but now we will also be granting an additional fourteen days.” This applies to those players who own a full version of the game with an active subscription as of December 21 at 8:00 GMT. That time and date is when the Patch 6.01 is scheduled to drop.
The patch will address issues like the Error 2002 login bug that occurs while waiting in the queue. Interestingly, that’s a bug that has its roots in the original FFXIV, but is now being spawned repeatedly. Square Enix already has the code to patch this issue and thought about releasing it before the upcoming update. According to Yoshida, “...in the end [we] decided to include it in Patch 6.01, as there is already a lot of new code in the pipeline for the patch and interrupting the process of verifying them may lead to other bugs.”
Once again, Yoshida is very sorry about all of this, adding, “To those who have been invited by their friends and family who have been considering joining, as well as our retail partners, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and ask for your understanding and cooperation in order to reduce congestion.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation as we consider the timing around resuming sales.”