After being suspended for more than two months, the free trial for Final Fantasy XIV is back and open to any and all players.
The official FFXIV Twitter account announced the news today. For the uninitiated, the free trial was suspended back in December following widespread congestion issues in FFXIV. Those issues occurred as a result of the rapid growth the MMO experienced ahead of its Endwalker expansion launch. The free trial is live once more, though, which means players can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free, with no restrictions on playtime.
The original story continues below…
Original Story, 12/16/21:
Square Enix has temporarily halted sales of Final Fantasy XIV due to the ongoing Endwalker congestion issues.
The company has also offered up additional free game-time to players who own the game or have an active subscription, adding another 14 days of time on top of the seven announced last week. This news comes by way of an FFXIV Lodestone blog post made yesterday by director and producer Naoki Yoshida. Yoshida originally issued warnings of expected Endwalker congestion in November and as predicted, the servers filled up immediately, with some players hitting queues with over 5000 people ahead of them.
It’s not surprising, though, considering the MMO added 1 million new players ahead of Endwalker’s launch.
“We apologize for the ongoing congestion that has been occurring since Early Access and the official launch of Endwalker,” Yoshida writes in the blog post. “It’s been nearly two weeks since the start of Early Access and players are still experiencing substantial congestion when logging into the game. As we have new content set to release in upcoming patches, I’d like to provide you with several updates on our plans to address these issues.”
Anyone who owns FFXIV and has an active subscription as of December 21, which is when Patch 6.01 is set to release, will be eligible for the 14 free days of game time. Yoshida also said that “due to the dense concentration of play hours which far exceed our server capacity, especially during the peak times,” the sale and delivery of both the Starter Edition and the Complete Edition of FFXIV has been temporarily stopped.
“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 temporarily suspend new registrations for the Free Trial,” Yoshida writes. “These temporary suspensions will be phased in over the next few days as we work with our retail partners.”
Advertisements for FFXIV has been suspended for now, although Yoshida notes that some can’t be suspended due to the nature of how they were set up. However, Expansion Packs and Collector’s Edition digital upgrades will remain on sale for existing players.
The director also reconfirmed that if everything goes according to plan, Patch 6.05, otherwise known as Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Savage), will still be released on January 4, 2022.
“We understand that there are concerns about World First races and first week progression, but Patch 6.05 will add a number of new elements, such as the addition of a new Allagan tombstone, new crafting recipes, as well as the new treasure hunt dungeon, the Excitatron 600,” according to Yoshida.
Elsewhere in the blog post, Yoshida says Square Enix hopes to have a roadmap for its plans regarding a new logical data center and additional server worlds sometime in January.
Have you been encountering these Endwalker-related congestion issues? Let us know in the comments below!