Most video game directors can sit back and bask in fortune and fame when their product sells exceedingly well. Their role is finished. It’s on to the next game and they’re feeling rather reinvigorated from all the unexpected success. But most video game directors are not Naoki Yoshida, the talented and amenable man whose vision saved Final Fantasy XIV. He’s shepherded Square Enix’s amazing MMO from the dark days of the game’s catastrophic initial launch through the spectacular and sensational rebirth in A Realm Reborn and on into three major expansions. (Soon to be four.) In fact, it’s that very success that’s causing this week’s dire server issues.
So what is a humble man like Yoshida, affectionally known as “Yoshi-P” to friends and fans, to do when FFXIV experiences unprecedented growth? He apologizes. Final Fantasy XIV server issues have been the bane of many longtime players lately thanks to what some suspect is a mass exodus from the mega-popular World of Warcraft. Now, in a special letter to Eorzeans far and wide, Yoshida wants us all to know his team is working as fast as they can to remedy the issue.
We live in unprecedented times. COVID-19 affects the world on so many levels, including the efficiency of video game development working under every publisher, big and small. Square Enix falls into the former category, of course, and COVID has wrecked Creative Business Unit 3’s ability to bring personnel over to the overloaded international data centers. Without enough hands-on support, the team simply cannot amend Final Fantasy XIV server issues.
Complicating things further is the continual dread of the global semiconductor shortage that has impacted not just the gaming industry but other electronics industries as well.
Naoki Yoshida stands at the ready as his inner circle of trusted comrades considers how best to combat the skyward increase in player count. Measures are being taken such as a reduced amount of idle time before logging out (it’s now a scant half an hour on the dot); the amount of time the game warrants for players whose characters go completely idle is now 30 minutes. Previously, it was much higher.
America: Land of the Free, Home of the… Superior Final Fantasy XIV Servers?
It may not feel like it just yet with such a rapid influx of new Final Fantasy XIV players, but North American players are actually in a better spot than those across the pond in Europe. Each of the several dozen world servers can now host 750 players at a time, up significantly from previous rates. This is thanks to a recent shift to newer and better data center models in the region.
European upgrades are planned as well, of course, but at present, it’s been a major challenge to get things rolling. Yoshida promises the team is also working on incrementally higher player caps via server optimization techniques.
The Perks of An Active Subscription
The Final Fantasy XIV staff has made the reasonable decision to presently prioritize players who are paying for the game every month rather than enjoying a free trial. While this shouldn’t be a huge problem most of the time, what it means is that if and when server login queues go nuts again, subscribers get something of a “preferred customer” pass, if you will. Every subscriber will be allowed into the game before any trial folks are given access.
It’s an unfortunate gesture on the one hand but a necessity on the other. Despite Yoshida’s feeling of responsibility to consistently apologize, not even he could have anticipated such a meteoric surge in players four months before the latest expansion, Endwalker, is even released. That’s just not how these things tend to work.
You can check out Yoshida’s full letter regarding Final Fantasy XIV‘s server issues here on the game’s official site. With a big game like this that’s getting bigger all the time, it’s a safe bet that we’ll have continuing coverage on FFXIV for years to come!