Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few games in history that the publisher had to stop selling because it was simply too popular. It’s an enviable position, to be sure, but it really happened.
Back on Dec. 16, 2021, following the release of the massively popular Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker expansion, Square Enix stopped selling the game in a somewhat-successful attempt to keep server traffic under control. Now that the in-game population has stabilized, you can once again buy FFXIV — but if you were hoping to try the free trial, you’ll have to keep waiting.
Information comes from The Lodestone (opens in new tab), Final Fantasy XIV’s official blog. The game’s director, Naoki Yoshida, wrote this post personally, which is an unusual occurrence. In “Regarding the Expansion of FFXIV’s Operations,” Yoshida writes:
“Since officially launching on December 7 last year, Endwalker has experienced extremely high levels of congestion, causing our players a great deal of frustration … While certain Worlds continue to experience congestion during peak times, our plan to fundamentally address the problem is beginning to take shape.”
First and foremost, Yoshida reports that the Oceanian data center, which serves Australia and New Zealand, officially comes online today (January 25). This should give players in the Oceania region faster load times and more stable servers, while also lightening the load on North American, European and Asian servers. Players do not have to pay a transfer fee if they wish to join one of the five new Oceania Worlds.
Furthermore, players on any server will be able to use the Home World Transfer Service once again. This allows players to change servers, ideally from more congested to less congested ones. Yoshida pointed out that players may not be able to join Worlds that are already full, so if you want to keep playing with your friends, make sure that you either stay put, or all travel to the same server.
There are a few other new measures in place, such as the Data Center Travel System (which is a little arcane; check the blog if you’re curious) and more data centers in North America, Europe and Japan. The bottom line, however, is that as of right now, Square Enix is once again selling digital copies of FFXIV.
You can buy the game directly via Square Enix (opens in new tab), or on Steam, or on PlayStation Network, depending on where you want to play.
The only downside here is that FFXIV’s expansive free trial is, at present, still not available for new players. As the often quoted copypasta states, the FFXIV free trial “includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime,” and it really is as good as it sounds.
If you signed up for a free trial in the past, you’ll be happy to know that you can still log in. If you want to try FFXIV for the first time, you’ll have to pay for the privilege, at least for the time being.