Final Fantasy XIV has achieved a measure of success so great that no other MMORPG will ever do. Square Enix has stopped selling the game to support the existing players, lest they want their servers to explode.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has seen unprecedented popularity in the last few years due to various circumstances. Between 2018 and 2021, FFXIV gained over 4 million players and an ever-growing number of subscribers.
After the disastrous launch of the original Final Fantasy XIV, which shut down its servers back in 2012, this runaway success of A Realm Reborn is highly gratifying to long-time fans and developers alike.
Thus it was quite shocking when Square Enix decided to stop all sales for Final Fantasy XIV
In an official news post, game director Naoki Yoshida announced that the publisher has concluded to stop the sales of all starter and complete editions of Final Fantasy XIV, to combat the ever-growing queue times in-game.
This will be an all-encompassing move that will affect both physical and digital copies and affect all digital outlets. It won’t be an instantaneous move but a gradual process where Square Enix will work with all the retailers to ensure a smooth transition until they can fix their server issues.
The unprecedented move comes after Square Enix already predicted an increased server load ahead of the launch of the Endwalker expansion. Citing the global shortage of semiconductors, Square Enix urged their players to be patient as they couldn’t add more servers. By early December, players were already encountering almost hour-long queue times and even longer load times during peak hours.
Square Enix had previously granted seven days of free subscriptions to all active subscribers as compensation for the long queues. The most recent post added another fourteen days of subscriptions as further compensation. Furthermore, free trial subscriptions are being restricted to allow paid subscribers access to the game. Free trial subscribers will only be allowed to enter worlds during off-hours.
2021 has been quite an eventful year for Creative Business Unit III as the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic severely delayed the launch of Endwalker. Despite such setbacks, Final Fantasy XIV won both Best Ongoing Game and Best Community Support awards at the 2021 The Game Awards. Now Final Fantasy XIV has transcended reality and become a meme, for it is truly “suffering from success.”