The developers of Final Fantasy XIV online released details on Tuesday about how they plan to handle the unprecedented player population growth that they have experienced over the last month. The game has been exploding in popularity, hitting record numbers, driven in part by popular streamers like Asmondgold embracing the game.
The game is so popular right now that last week Final Fantasy briefly ran out of digital copies, and the game across the board has been experiencing performance issues for many players.
In a blog post written by the producer and director of the game, Naoki Yoshida, the developer team promised they will be raising login caps, instituting automatic log out, adding additional World servers, and adding other measures to address the growing login problems and server congestion issues that many players are experiencing.
"FINAL FANTASY XIV is currently experiencing a dramatic increase in its player base," Yoshida explained. "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."
He specified, "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."
To help combat the growing server congestion issues Yoshida explained they will be taking a number of steps:
- They will be upgrading their NA and EU data centers to higher-performance models, to add extra login capacity to the game servers. They have already upgraded a number of NA servers over the past few days, adding over 18,000 extra logon slots.
- They are adding character creation and login wait times to help with server congestion. Players who attempt to join a congested server at peak log-in times may be blocked from character creation. They also requested that idle players voluntarily leave servers, and that people try to avoid character creation during peak hours as well.
- Free players will not have access to the login queue at all, so paying players will have priority during peak hours.
- They will be instituting an automatic logout feature for players who are AFK for "an extended period of time." This feature is also set to be expanded with the launch of the next expansion.
Yoshida also promised they were working to create new world servers and secure additional data centers to help handle the influx. However, due to the chip shortage and travel restrictions, he explained that the timeline of when these various data centers will be available is unclear.
"For years, we have watched devoted players from around the world stream their time with FINAL FANTASY XIV, and now, we sit in awe while new fans join their ranks," Yoshida said. "As we enter our final push in the development of Endwalker, it is this constant flow of positive energy that motivates all of us on the development and operations team to carry on. Nothing can compare to the feeling we get watching you enjoy playing the game we’ve created."
He concluded, "We are aware of the burden we have placed on our player base, and are working diligently to lighten it in the coming weeks and months. We will continue to develop measures to combat server congestion, and will keep you up to date with any and all developments in this area."
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.