The long-running Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG has seen a sharp increase in player numbers lately. The increase is so great that it’s causing problems for the game’s servers, leading to long login queues and the inability to create new characters during peak hours. In a post on the game’s official Lodestone page, Final Fantasy XIV Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida issued an extensive apology for these unforeseen issues. At this point in the game’s life, the player count would normally be lower than usual during the wait for the upcoming expansion, Endwalker. The last major content patch released some months ago, leading to a content drought before the next expansion launches, so the devs had no reason to expect such a surge in player population.
However, players are flocking to Final Fantasy XIV now of all times for a few reasons. A healthy number of popular World of Warcraft streamers have been giving the game a try, showcasing their experiences to their large followings. And if they’re not streaming, many ex-WoW players have turned to making YouTube videos explaining why they’ve made the jump from Blizzard’s flagship MMO. Current players haven’t responded well to World of Warcraft’s latest expansion and updates, leading to a steady trickle of “WoW Refugees” heading over to Final Fantasy XIV. These “refugees” have migrated from WoW in decent numbers over the years, at last reaching the current staggering count, leading to issues with server congestion. But they’ve definitely been around for a couple of years now, such as ZeplaHQ who detailed her experiences with both games back in 2019.
What’s making it so easy for players to jump over? Final Fantasy XIV has a generous free trial, allowing access to play all the way to the game’s first award-winning expansion, Heavensward. This lets players reach level 60 after enjoying hours upon hours of story content for free. Once someone decides they love the free trial and want more, all they have to do is subscribe to the game and continue their adventures from there. The Final Fantasy XIV community is also generally welcoming and inclusive, helping to make new players feel right at home. Finally, new players have likely witnessed by now just how much the devs care about the game and the players. Producer Yoshida’s latest apology is only one example of the devs going above and beyond to keep an open line of communication with the players.
In his apology, Yoshida details the current issues, while also giving explanations for the problems in layman’s terms. He also explains what the devs are working on to address the problems, such as adding more servers, and instituting automatic logouts for players who are idle for too long. Yoshida gives additional details on the struggles the team has faced due to the pandemic, such as the ongoing superconductor shortage for their physical servers, and the inability to travel on-site to the server locations. But he assures everyone that the team is working hard to get around these problems. With the team’s glowing track record over the years, players can rest assured that the devs will stay true to their word.
Final Fantasy XIV is currently available for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.