At 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST, servers for Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XI will be taken offline for at least one week as Square-Enix cooperates with a Japanese power company's request to conserve power while it restores services severely damaged by Thursday's monster earthquake. [Update] Servers for Metal Gear Online also have been taken out of commission for the same reasons.
Service for Final Fantasy XIV and XI will be suspended for at least one week according to a message sent by Japan-based Square-Enix to American customers overnight. The message is also posted on the official PlayOnline site, the hub that serves both games. In addition to deactivating servers for the two MMOs, some services of the games' PlayOnline site will be unavailable. A Kotaku reader also was sent this system message late last night.
Friday, both Konami's Ken-ichiro Imaizumi and Kojima Productions' official Twitter account
tweeted that Metal Gear Online servers were coming down, too. "Timing for the recommencement is TBD," Imaizumi tweeted in reply to a player.
Final Fantasy customers were informed that they "will not be billed for any PlayOnline service throughout the April billing cycle. The games' official Web sites, Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone, the forums, and Square Enix's support center will remain online to help provide updates on the situation in Japan.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding of this unusual situations," the note said.
It included a note from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japan's main provider of electric utilities. TEPCO said that because its facilities had been severely damaged by the March 11 Sendai earthquake, power shortages could occur. The company asked its customers to reduce usage and "avoid using unnecessary electrical equipment."
"We are taking all measures to restore power, however, we expect extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while," TEPCO said. "We kindly ask our customers to cooperate with us in reducing usage of power."