Final Fantasy XIV has seen a boom in recent weeks. Positive word of mouth following the Shadowbringers expansion has kept the game in the conversation, and a global pandemic that saw many of us spending more time gaming saw to a steady rise in the number of active players. Players of another popular MMORPG World of Warcraft took notice. Dissatisfied with the state of the most popular game in it’s genre, an exodus of sorts occurred, with popular content creators carrying many in tow to a game that seems to be in a prime state to welcome them in.
It’s been so rough that servers have had trouble accommodating login requests from the massive amounts of new players on top of existing ones, causing waits of up to 10-20 minutes to be able to play the game.
Today, the game’s director and producer Naoki Yoshida penned a letter apologizing for the disruption and laid out a plan to relieve the pressure on the game’s servers. First, maintenance conducted last night re-introduced an automatic logout should players remain idle for a certain amount of time. In the past, we’ve seen this implemented around expansions to steady the incoming and outgoing flow of players and keep things stable. The login queue will prioritize those with active subscriptions over those using the Free Trial version.
Next, Yoshida shared team is working on increasing the number of simultaneous logins for North American servers due to recently upgraded server hardware at the representative data centers. Said upgrades are also planned for the European data centers, but this may prove to be more difficult as the pandemic has delayed the production and delivery of the components needed to further upgrade the backend infrastructure. What’s more, the team is unable to travel to the data centers at present due to the current state of the pandemic, though staff are securing vaccinations and vaccine passports to safely travel.
Long-term plans are also being cooked up, as Yoshida sees additional server infrastructure necessary to keep up with the game’s rising population. “At the same time, we have been moving forward with plans to expand even further – putting wheels into motion in the form of approving budgets, securing funding, and purchasing equipment.” The plan was to re-assess the game’s growth and implement these upgrades by the expansion following Endwalker, but, given the complications of the pandemic in procuring the electronics necessary to complete this task, the timetable may be impacted.
In closing, Yoshida apologized for being unable to anticipate the massive influx of new players and vowed to improve the login process and the infrastructure that supports it.
Final Fantasy XIV is now available on Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Mac.