New players will be able to buy digital copies Final Fantasy XIV starting again on January 25, director and producer of the play Naoki Yoshida announced in a long post. Square Enix suspended physical and digital sales of the game in mid-December last year, as it went too well for what the company could handle at the time. People had to wait for hours to get in when trying to play in rush hour, because “the dense concentration of hours of play … far exceeds [the game’s] server capacity. “Unfortunately, the developer could not add more servers before Endwalker the extension was announced due to a global shortage of semiconductors.
In his post, Yoshida explained the steps the company is taking to address the high level of congestion in the game. For starters, Square Enix brings its Oceanian Data Center online also on January 25th and opens up five new worlds from the start so everyone in Oceania can switch for a better experience. The world transfer service is currently suspended, but will resume on January 26 – further, those who move to the new Oceanian Worlds will be able to do so for free.
Yoshida also revealed that Square Enix is working to expand its Japanese, European and North American data centers. The company explained that due to the global shortage of semiconductors, it took some time to procure the necessary components to be able to put them online. In fact, new data centers need to be set up in stages, as there are still difficulties in providing the necessary server equipment.
For North America, the first phase of enlargement will take place sometime in August 2022, and four new Worlds will be online. The second phase will be implemented in the summer of 2023 and will open four more Worlds. For Japan, the developer plans to add another logical data center to the current three to reduce the number of worlds for each. The European expansion will also take place in two phases, the first of which is scheduled for July 2022 and will bring four new Worlds online. In the summer of 2023, Square Enix will establish one new logical data center with eight new worlds in Europe.
“Once again, I want to apologize for the delays in server expansion caused by the global semiconductor shortage,” Yoshida wrote. He also asked players for understanding to continue selling the game, although some feel the decision is premature. Square Enix will monitor server stability after sales resume and could restart free rehearsals if all goes well. However, in the event that servers continue to experience extreme levels of congestion despite all the steps it takes, the developer might consider suspending digital sales.
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