The doors of the wonderful world of Final Fantasy 14 have been closed for almost a month. Due to widespread server congestion from the sheer number of players trying to join, Square Enix halted sales of the base game on December 3rd, 13 days after the latest expansion’s Early Access launch. If you didn’t already own the game, you were locked out.
Forty days after touching Endwalker, it’s still impossible to buy a new copy of Final Fantasy 14 or play the free trial.
The serious wait times have come to an end in part as we get some distance from the release of Endwalker. Weekday queue times during peak North American hours can still be closer to an hour, especially after the launch of the latest content patch. And the weekend could be bad. Also, it might take me three to five minutes just to get into the game. That’s nothing compared to the hours-long queue times during Endwalker’s launch week, and logging in is now almost entirely server error free.
But the wait time for anyone trying Final Fantasy 14 First The time has been extended by weeks. For many, holiday break would have been an opportune time to create a character and start exploring the world of Aerozia, but instead ditching FF14 from online retailers, it left them flipping through postcards on social media.
Usually when games are taken off a storefront it’s because no one wants to play them. Cyberpunk 2077 was so full of game-breaking bugs when it surfaced in 2020 (and even worse performance problems on consoles) that Sony removed it from the PlayStation Store, and last year, sold its Grand Theft Auto trilogy to Rockstar. Had to stop for some time. Remasters for similar reasons.
This situation is different. If you can get in without too much trouble, Final Fantasy 14 works just fine. Its worst issues were server overloading and errors that pushed people out of line to join the game. The developers worked to fix the issues on their end by restricting new character creation and server transfers, but they couldn’t easily patch the millions of players trying to log in.
In an official post ahead of Endwalker’s launch, producer Naoki Yoshida warned players about long queue times. “There is an ongoing global shortage and there is an increasing demand for semiconductors, and quite frankly, we are still struggling to source the necessary equipment,” he said. “Additionally, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan has raised major concerns about our ability to travel overseas for on-site implementation.”
Yoshida apologized for the rough launch in another post earlier in the year. “We are currently working to fundamentally address the situation, such as adding logical data centers and increasing world numbers across all regions, and we ask for your patience in the meantime,” he wrote.
The creator has since promised more details on the server, with more news about the game going back on sale soon, according to fan translation of an interview On Radio Mog station. It might not take you long to buy the basic version of the game or at least try the free trial again, Yoshida suggested.
Despite all this, Final Fantasy 14 fans are taking the state of the game very well. When we asked them about their experiences, many players expressed their disappointment with the queue times, but they felt the game and its far-reaching new story were worth it in the end.
It’s a little sad that no one new can come to the fun. As any MMO player knows, that’s not the case if you can’t get your friends to join you. The meme of pitching a free trial of Final Fantasy 14 isn’t going to get anyone interested in the game when you have to follow up with a major caveat. Maybe the doors will open back soon and people can finally see why no one will keep quiet about the biggest MMO in the world.