Besides issuing a warning to gamers about harsh language pointed at the development team of Final Fantasy XIV, the game’s producer Naoki Yoshida also disclosed information that the FFXIV is finally going back on sale. The news was revealed during a four-hour-long livestream that focused on the game and all the real-life and in-game events surrounding Square Enix’s massively multiplayer role-playing game.
According to Kotaku, Yoshida revealed that the digital versions of Final Fantasy XIV would return to digital storefronts for new players, starting January 25, thanks to Square Enix’s efforts to increase the server capacity. Since its official launch on December 7 last year, the Endwalker expansion has experienced extremely high levels of server congestion, causing massive server instabilities, disconnects, and login issues for Final Fantasy XIV fans. We’ve heard about games being pulled from sales due to technical issues, poor optimizations, or questionable content, but pulling the game from sales due to its crushing popularity certainly is a novelty in the gaming industry.
Of course, that same crushing popularity of Final Fantasy XIV caused server congestions and other technical issues, prompting Square Enix to pull the game from sales on digital storefronts. This prevented new players from logging into the game while existing players have had their turn through the game’s latest content. Not only did the company prioritize paid-player logins over trial gamers, but it was forced to suspend further free-trial registrations until the issue was resolved. It actually allowed the game to continue functioning in a normal capacity, while Square Enix expanded its servers’ capacity to accommodate new players.
So, besides Final Fantasy XIV resuming its digital sales on January 25, Japanese date centers are being expanded. Previously, there were three data centers for 32 in-game worlds, and Square Enix now increased the number of data centers to four, while the number of worlds remained the same. The additional logical data center means that the server can now handle up to 50,000 additional simultaneous logins across all 32 in-game worlds. Not only that, but the gaming company is planning on adding one more logical data center to further lower the volume of the in-game world per data center and significantly boost the maximum number of concurrent logins.
A two-phase server expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is also planned for North America, with the first phase adding one new logical data center with four new worlds, scheduled for August 2022. The second phase, scheduled for spring or summer 2023, will add additional four new worlds to the logical data center added in the first phase of the server expansion. A similar expansion is planned for Europe, with the first phase scheduled for July 2022 and the second phase penciled for the following summer. Final Fantasy VIX will also add another data center for the Oceanian market, with five new worlds available, on January 25.
Naoki Yoshida, the producer of Final Fantasy XIV, has once again apologized for the delays and asked for understanding with game developers and tech staff. He stated that the ongoing server expansion is a significant step forward in providing the players with the best gaming experience possible whilst also indicating the significant growth of the Final Fantasy XIV community.