Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker went into early access on Friday, and while the demand was expected to be high, servers were hit with capacity many times over, across all regions, leading to player frustration. As a result, Square Enix will be compensating all subscribed players with free time, and making a few adjustments to be sure the initial Endwalker crush doesn’t damage player experiences.
The ongoing server congestion was an expected issue, one that the company already increased capacity for, but this was some of the highest demand they’ve ever faced, which isn’t even entirely surprising. Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida posted an update saying that the congestion has inconvenienced players but also expressing appreciation for understanding.
All of the servers across all regions kept hitting the login capacity, sometimes crashing when players were trying to get in, because all players who tried to log in to play were subject to the long wait times or even crashes. Square Enix will be giving seven days of free game time to all players who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription or who are on the 30 day game time included when you buy the game.
This is not necessarily the limit, as they’re open to extending the free time, depending how continued access goes and whether or not the login queues continue to be lengthy or there is instability. As for experiencing crashes, an error that players were already discussing and meme-ing by early Friday with error 2002, which is partially explained by trying to connect to a server where there are already over 17,000 players in the login queue.
They’ve also announced that they are temporarily suspending automatic housing demolition to be sure the players can eventually log in and prevent it, noting the difficulty in getting to play right now.