Many games have either been pulled from sales or offered at ridiculous prices in recent years due to the technical difficulties and poor-optimization issues plaguing them. CD Projekt RED had to walk through fire to fix Cyberpunk 2077 to get it back on digital storefronts, Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games already apologized for releasing a half-made GTA: The Trilogy, and Square Enix had to issue a full year’s worth of updates to make their Marvel’s Avengers appealing to the masses. Square Enix is now pulling Final Fantasy XIV from sales, and for a wild reason.
According to Kotaku, the reason for Square Enix’s decision is actually Final Fantasy XIV’s overwhelming popularity. That’s right; the FFXIV is so popular that Square Enix is suspending it from sales because apparently, the servers can’t keep up with the demand. For those in need of more context, FFXIV players have had issues reliably logging into the game’s servers ever since its new expansion, Endwalker, launched into early access on December 3. Two weeks later, and servers are still crowded to a point where they’re still causing players problems, errors, and longer-than-usual queue times during login attempts.
As a result of server congestion, Square Enix will temporarily pull Final Fantasy XIV’s Starter Edition and the Complete Edition of the game from sales on digital storefronts. This will effectively prevent new players from logging into the game until existing players have had their turn through the latest content and Square Enix deals with their server capacity issues. The company has previously announced that paid players would get priority login access over trial gamers, but apparently, that didn’t work — and the gaming giant was forced to suspend new “free-trial” registration entirely.
And this isn’t the first time Final Fantasy XIV has been so popular that it prompted Square Enix to pull the game from sales — for the very same reason. Final Fantasy XIV had previously stopped taking in new players in July 2021, when Square Enix suspended sales after a sudden popularity surge. Though many didn’t realized it at the time, that particular instance was driven by California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard (ABK) for fostering a toxic “frat-boy” workplace culture. This was the drop that spilled the glass, and ABK’s employees and customers organized massive protests against the company, with many gamers switching over from ABK’s World of Warcraft: Shadowlands to Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV.
Final Fantasy XIV’s sale suspensions didn’t take immediate effect but will start rolling out across digital storefronts over the next few days. Of course, the game and its new expansion and Collector’s Edition digital upgrades will remain available to players with an active subscription. As an apology, the studio is also upgrading its free subscription time from seven to 21 days, which is an additional two weeks of free playtime for players considering active subscription plans. In the end, many gaming companies would gladly switch places with Square Enix when it comes to game popularity (look away ABK), which apparently, could be a downside at times. Hopefully, the gaming giant resolves the server congestion issues, and everything goes back to normal.