Final Fantasy 14's Most Popular Data Center Is No Longer Allowing New Characters

A global semiconductor shortage along with COVID-19 restrictions means Square Enix can't expand Final Fantasy 14's server capacity anytime soon, resulting in new restrictions.

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The population of Square Enix's Final Fantasy 14 is booming, but with the game's recent popularity also came growing pains in the form of login queues, and, now, the inability to create new characters entirely on worlds occupying the game's most populated North American data center.

All worlds on the Aether data center are now classified as "congested," meaning they are at full capacity. Square Enix says it has already expanded the maximum world capacity as much as possible, and were it to do so even further, it would result in hours-long queues for players. That's something Square Enix would like to avoid.

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New players, or those just wanting to create a new character, will need to do so on a world hosted on either the game's Primal or Crystal North American data centers for the time being, though Square Enix says those worlds are also heavily populated.

Square Enix says it would like to expand its data centers and add new worlds, but there are a few things standing in the way of making that happen anytime soon. The first is a global shortage of semiconductors, with Square Enix saying it is "still struggling" to get the necessary equipment to make upgrades to the game's infrastructure. COVID-19 restrictions in Japan also make it difficult to travel outside of the country to implement server upgrades.

Some upgrades will be coming to European data centers, with a hotfix increasing world capacity in the region and additional upgrades coming in September that should allow for even more players.

"Considering the current situation, we will likely require more time in implementing our large-scale solutions," Square Enix writes in an official post on the Final Fantasy 14 website. "The circumstances surrounding our infrastructure are far from ideal, but I promise that we will continue to persevere in implementing any solutions we can!"

Final Fantasy 14's rising popularity comes in part thanks to prominent Twitch streamers, many whom almost exclusively played and streamed Blizzard's World of Warcraft, having started streaming Square Enix's MMO instead. That has contributed to record concurrent player numbers for Final Fantasy 14, as more and more people become curious about the game. The fact that Final Fantasy 14 also has an extensive free trial means potential players can check out a huge chunk of the game without having to pay a dime, which is likely also contributing to overpopulated servers.

Final Fantasy 14's latest expansion, Endwalker, is due to release November 19.

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