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Final Fantasy XIV is so popular that Square Enix is telling people to stop buying it

Wild times.

final fantasy xiv
Image: Square Enix

UPDATE 1/14/2022 10:34 AM ET: Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XIV’s director and producer, announced that new players will be able to purchase digital copies of the game again starting on January 25th. The original story follows below.

Final Fantasy XIV has been killing it for the past few weeks. The MMO game has won several categories at The Game Awards. Square Enix just released its latest expansion, Endwalker, and has become a haven for World of Warcraft refugees. They are currently running on all engines.

Sounds like Square Enix and FFXIV director and producer, Naoki Yoshida is sitting pretty, right? No, because the game’s servers are so bloated that people can’t play. Not only can existing customers not play, but new customers can’t even make new characters.

To remedy this, Square Enix has decided to temporarily suspend the sale and delivery of Final Fantasy XIV Starter and Complete editions. Yes, for right now, you can’t buy this popular game.

There’s actually a lot more in the full release here, but here’s the interesting part that the headline pulled you in on:

Suspending Delivery of Package Versions and Temporary Suspension of Digital Version Sales

Players are currently experiencing extremely long wait times due to the dense concentration of play hours which far exceed our server capacity, especially during the peak times, and so we have decided to temporarily suspend the sale and delivery of FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition. Additionally, although those with an active subscription are prioritized to log in, Free Trial players are unable to log in outside of late night and early morning hours, and so we will also temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial.

These temporary suspensions will be phased in over the next few days as we work with our retail partners. We will be coordinating with them as swiftly as possible, but please bear in mind that this will be a gradual process.

The statement also notes that current players can still upgrade their accounts and purchase expansion packs without issue. It also notes that the company has been “working towards building a new logical data center and adding new Worlds,” but that COVID-19 and the accompanying semiconductor shortage have hindered the process.

It’s going to be a rough one, for sure. Last week, I’d log in midday and then keep myself from auto-logging out until I could play after work. I’ve watched handfuls of streamers sit in a login queue for hours. Last Saturday evening, I sat in a queue for four hours.

ffxiv queue times
Screenshot: Danny Palmer / Twitter

With everything so clogged and no real solution in the immediate future, will this affect the success of Final Fantasy XIV‘s Endwalker? Are we going to start seeing people leave and play other games like New World?

Only time will tell, but I most certainly have been able to get to the sixth page of Fortnite’s new season and knocked out some missions in Halo: Infinite in the meantime.

UPDATE 1/14/2022 10:34 AM ET: Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XIV’s director and producer, announced that new players will be able to purchase digital copies of the game again starting on January 25th.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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