If you've been following Final Fantasy 14 even within just the last month, you might notice that the MMO's common areas feel a little bit...crowded. This is thanks to a multitude of factors, but FFXIV is seeing great population growth in the wake of it. Today, Naoki Yoshida, the MMO's producer, took to the official website to address this trend.
In case you've missed it, Final Fantasy 14 has been seeing a huge surge in popularity, due in part to a multitude of factors, from popular streamers taking flight to the game, to dissatisfaction with World of Warcraft's story, to even the free trial being greatly expanded for players. Yoshi-P addresses the rampant population growth, which has seen more and more players take to FFXIV's digital shores this past month, and through it all even saw Square Enix stop selling their own game as it was just getting too popular.
Yoshida states that the population growth, particularly on the NA and EU server regions have been both "staggering and unexpected" that it has resulted in player login issues as well as character creation problems. Yoshida apologized for the issues, stating that the team is working to raise simultaneous log-in caps for the different data centers across FF14.
As mentioned above, FINAL FANTASY XIV is currently experiencing a dramatic increase in its player base. This increase is not only limited to the global version (served by the Japanese, North American, and European data centers) but also the locally operated Chinese and Korean versions as well. Recently, we have experienced record user numbers in all regions, with a vast amount of new players beginning their adventures.In particular, the increase in NA- and EU-region players over the past two weeks has been both so staggering and unexpected that many players are now having difficulty logging in or creating new characters due to server congestion, and for this we deeply apologize.
Effectively, the team is working to ensure that players can log into Final Fantasy 14 quickly and without issue, however it's not an easy fix for sure. Recently the team was able to increase the number of simultaneous logins on the NA servers, though a pending server upgrade for their European counterparts is delayed, partially due to physical shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some stop gaps have been implemented, such as the new AFK logout timer as part of the recently released patch 5.58, which will see players kicked if AFK for too long. This is to ensure that other players who are ready to play can jump in, and Yoshi-P states that this will further be iterated on as the Square Enix team prepares for the onslaught of players for Endwalker. Naoki Yoshida mentions that while this might not be "popular" with players, it is however a great way to combat server congestion.
"We understand that this feature will not be the most popular with our players, but would like to assure you that it is an effective means to temporarily combat congestion. We apologize for any inconvenience its implementation may cause, and thank you for bearing with us to ensure that the game remains accessible during this time."
The team is hard at work at solving the issues so the influx of new players can more fully enjoy Final Fantasy XIV. While Yoshida takes the blame for "being unable to predict the current influx of new players," the team is working "dilligently" to ensure that the burden is lightened in the weeks and months to come.