Nearly a decade after its release, Final Fantasy XIV is still going strong. And with the official release of the Endwalker expansion earlier today, it seems like it’s far from stopping.
Over the past month, the game’s player base has kept growing, with over one million players reportedly registering between October and November. The game’s player count has now surpassed 25 million, according to Eurogamer. The game also broke its all-time active player record on Steam following the early access launch of Endwalker.
In October, Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy XIV had become the most profitable game in the franchise, which was created back in 1987 and consists of over 30 games. It also said the game had over 24 million registered players at that time, five times more than what it saw in 2015, according to IGN.
Since Shadowbringer’s release in 2019, the game’s popularity has been steadily growing. It surged over the summer when many World of Warcraft players made the switch to the rival MMO game. This increase in popularity has been called the “Asmongold bump” by some since the high-profile MMO streamer contributed to strengthening the trend when he started playing FFXIV on Twitch instead of his main game, WoW.
Another contributing factor was the significant expansion of the game’s free trial. Since last spring, players have been able to freely enjoy over 150 hours worth of game content, including both A Realm Reborn and the first expansion, Heavensward, before having to pay a dime.
All of these factors have help build up some momentum for the game’s latest expansion, Endwalker, which was subjected to a new level of expectations. But now, Square Enix faces an unprecedented amount of simultaneous connections, which is causing numerous disconnection bugs, long queues, and server-related issues.
To compensate for the expected server congestion, the developer gifted a seven-day time card to all subscribed players. In addition, a general server maintenance is set for tomorrow to fix the bugs that prevent players from playing after waiting for their turn in those long queues.