Square Enix suspends sales of Final Fantasy XIV due to extreme server congestion

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member
In brief: Square Enix has halted the sale and delivery of Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition due to the overwhelming success of the recently launched Endwalker expansion pack.

Naoki Yoshida, the game’s producer and director, said players are still experiencing substantial congestion when logging into the game nearly two weeks after the start of early access. The extremely long wait times are “due to the dense concentration of play hours which far exceed our server capacity, especially during peak times.”

In response, Square Enix has decided to temporarily suspend sales of the game over the next few days. What’s more, they’re also suspending new registrations for the free trial and suspending all new advertisements.

Yoshida said expansion packs and collector’s edition digital upgrades will continue to be available for existing players, allowing them to upgrade as needed.

What’s most frustrating about the whole situation is the fact that Square Enix warned last month (ahead of the early access period) that severe server congestion could be an issue. The video game company optimized servers ahead of Endwalker’s release to increase login caps but said the ongoing shortage of semiconductors prevented them from doing more.

That excuse would be more palatable if this didn’t happen literally every time a big game launches. Nevertheless, Square Enix aims to provide more information regarding its server upgrade roadmap by the end of January 2022.

Square Enix recently granted seven days of additional game time for all players, and will soon be tacking on an additional 14 days to help compensate for the issues.

Permalink to story.

 

George Keech

Posts: 171   +282
This article seems a bit like it has an agenda, yes server issues are still a problem but them stopping the game from sale is the right thing to do and at the end of the day its just like anything people tend to do these things at the same time. in the UK there is (or was) power surges at ad breaks due to people putting the kettle on
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,239
This reads like “we didn’t anticipate the response so we didn’t prepare with extra servers” Which is either complete lack of confidence in the game or just incredibly poor management.

I personally think both
 

Aceseven

Posts: 315   +398
This article couldve done without the snark imo,

couldve also mentioned theyre working on the 2002 error which is a major issue, with that fix you'll be able to at least wander off to do other things instead of babysitting your spot in line.

also considering covid hit it makes sense they couldnt acquire the parts to build up the extra data centers they needed, not their fault blizzard/wow completely fell apart and everyone moved over to a great game.

but sure, insult the company instead, one of the few dev teams that legit tries to make a compelling product.
 

Scshadow

Posts: 660   +318
This reads like “we didn’t anticipate the response so we didn’t prepare with extra servers” Which is either complete lack of confidence in the game or just incredibly poor management.

I personally think both

Seems a little bit of a disingenuous of a reaction. You don't believe them that chip shortages are preventing them from upgrading service capacity? I, for one, echo what George Keech said in the first comment. I applaud a gaming company for refusing money in order to mitigate the current user experience.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,239
Seems a little bit of a disingenuous of a reaction. You don't believe them that chip shortages are preventing them from upgrading service capacity? I, for one, echo what George Keech said in the first comment. I applaud a gaming company for refusing money in order to mitigate the current user experience.
Preventing them from is not the same as misjudging and miscalculating: even if development started a long time ago if you release an expansion during the pandemic any competent management team would have to take into consideration expanding server capacity it's far more expensive than normal.

I'm honestly sick of people using the shortage as an excuse for everything: It's not something new it's been going on for over a year now: stop excusing people not taking it into consideration that's just excusing bad planning: nobody is forcing them to release an expansion during the worst possible timeframe.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,213   +1,889
TechSpot Elite
Reminds me of back in the day, ~16 years back when WoW was skyrocketing in player count to the point to where they couldn’t fly in and spin up servers fast enough to handle server loads.

Very frustrating, but good times nonetheless.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,074   +1,654
I'm honestly sick of people using the shortage as an excuse for everything: It's not something new it's been going on for over a year now: stop excusing people not taking it into consideration that's just excusing bad planning: nobody is forcing them to release an expansion during the worst possible timeframe.
I know right, how dare a games company blame the chip shortage for a lack of chips in the face of unprecedented demand!

I think you’ve got your wires crossed dude, this company could never have planned for this. Nobody knew FF14 was going to be popular. At least they aren’t still selling the game, taking money. I wish more games companies behaved this way.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,771   +674
Preventing them from is not the same as misjudging and miscalculating: even if development started a long time ago if you release an expansion during the pandemic any competent management team would have to take into consideration expanding server capacity it's far more expensive than normal.
Between big vtubers playing and bringing their viewers into the game, to the very real mass exodus of WoW players trying FFXIV for the first time (with many of them staying), server populations swelled far beyond any forecasting they had done for infrastructure improvements/additions. The playerbase expanded as a percentage more during the Shadowbringers expansion, especially in the last 6-8 months than at any point of the game's lifespan. Some servers double or tripled their populations, and with 68 of them that kind of growth is not something you can account for or adapt to on short notice, even at the best of times for just about any company with largely static resources. Pretty much all the planned infrastructure rollouts that they actually got hardware for were rolled out months earlier to manage the exploding demand that was occurring earlier this year. As someone who has been waiting over a year for our commercial DMS provider to furnish an SDWAN server but still gets "we don't know when all components will be available, so your order is still on hold" explanation every month, I would imagine more specialized equipment is even harder to come by, and especially at quantity.

I'm honestly sick of people using the shortage as an excuse for everything: It's not something new it's been going on for over a year now: stop excusing people not taking it into consideration that's just excusing bad planning: nobody is forcing them to release an expansion during the worst possible timeframe.
Actually a lot was forcing their hand. Company upper management, shareholders, practically foaming at the mouth fanatical userbase, certain cultural expectations... Heck they got a lot a flak inside and outside for delaying by two weeks because they were still ironing a few things out content wise, though players were -mostly- forgiving. They were damned if they did, damned if they didn't. Releasing the product with inadequate infrastructure but still letting players that can log in enjoy the game was less of a PR risk than further delaying and waiting for hardware with unknown or delayed delivery times. They knew it was gonna be bad, but not anticipated to be -this bad- ha ha ha... victims of their own success.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,026   +768
Someone knows better than me - but wouldn't it be easy to leave servers to specialised companies - that you can enlarge and shrink as needed . Don't private servers give you a lot of control tools and ability to run own software . Maybe they run their own server in Japan or wherever they are based . But why try to compete for talent , pay overheads when other companies do it as a a main service .
I can see reasons for highly centralised servers for certain games where latency is not so important- and it has a loyal following .
Plus don't servers have migration strategies, or redirection whatever ?

I mean that Angry Birds company Rovio??? was employing too many people for an uncertain future - probably too much real estate etc , management .

TBF unlike Angry Birds. FF this has big following and future - imagine they have lots in the pipeline - and I did read FF is an MMO in that article here - so probably thought they could tack it on to existing servers
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,239
They knew it was gonna be bad, but not anticipated to be -this bad- ha ha ha... victims of their own success.
Oh so making a ton of money, having a successful PR campaign with the usual influencers, etc. That makes you a victim now? Yes I know it's a saying but I never liked it being used for corporations that are literally lining the pockets of their top executives and shareholders with millions of dollars (Or billions of Yen or whatever)

Let me offer you another perspective: Square as a company has achieved what every single gaming company strives to and they still fail because their priorities are so backwards they invest back all of their money into continuing the other like 9 parts it would take them to finish Final Fantasy VII or whatever nonsense they end up doing for FFXVI that ends up being another planned 3 to 6 games of which maybe 1 will be fully realize and end up in a nonsensical cliffhanger...Again.

Notice how on all of that there's not a single mention of putting back a single ****ing Yen into supporting their online games because why would they if people still flood to them and come make all kinds of excuses whenever anyone is justifiably critical of their utter f***ing failure to do the bare minimum of having enough servers?
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,771   +674
Oh so making a ton of money, having a successful PR campaign with the usual influencers, etc. That makes you a victim now? Yes I know it's a saying but I never liked it being used for corporations that are literally lining the pockets of their top executives and shareholders with millions of dollars (Or billions of Yen or whatever)
Yikes dude. I meant a victim of their own success in the sense that they were incapable managing the hype they stoked up themselves (they started doing it hardcore starting a little while before Shadowbringer's release), and then found themselves with their pants down when they couldn't have the proper infrastructure in place. They entirely did it to themselves, but even without covid they would have still suffered to get everything in place because procurement configuration, installation, and testing take time, and instead have just been bandaiding the situation. They managed to get away with it before, but not this time, and now they're paying for their hubris.

As for the rest that you said, I'm not so good about reading financial statements and budget disclosures, and since it is safe to say that neither of us works for Square Enix we can only speculate what they actually do with that generated income. So if you can point me in a direction to be properly illuminated, I'd appreciate it.