Square Enix just suspended digital download sales of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in order to avoid further congestion of the servers due to unexpectedly heavy traffic while they prepare to launch new servers, but just how heavy is that traffic?
The publisher just sent in a press release giving some numbers for us to crunch. After launch concurrent connections have reached a record number of 187,000 players connected at the same time (the previous record for a game operated by a Japanese company was 150,000 during the open beta of A Realm Reborn), and Square Enix expects that the numbers will grow further and will reach 200,000 in the near future. It’s notable that a MMORPG overtaking just after launch the numbers of its free open beta is a quite spectacular result.
The suspension of digital sales was decided in order to prioritize the quality of the experience of players that already purchased the game, and is of course just a temporary solution while more servers are deployed and the login capacity of each server is increased. The development team expects to be able to improve server capacity significantly in both the Japanese and North American/European data centers.
Square Enix estimates that the operation will be completed by the beginning of next week, when digital sales will resume. The exact date will be announced at a later time. The retail version of the game and players that already purchased the downloadable version will not be affected by the suspension of sales.
That said, if you’re interested in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, you can check out my interview with Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida filmed recently at Gamescom.
UPDATE: Yoshida-san just posted a message in Japanese mentioning that the concurrent connections record is now 218,000, and that players will receive free days of gameplay once the problems will be solved. You can find more details here.