July 28, 2021

What's behind Final Fantasy 14's surge in popularity?

As an avid fan of Final Fantasy 14, I regularly log in on the evenings and weekends to play the game. But recently I noticed a trend while logging in; queues. It's not too unusual to have a short wait that almost immediately resolves, but this time, the line sat at over 300 players. It took ten minutes to simply get into the game - and all I wanted to do was mull around in the Bojzan Southern Front to grind away for an extremely shiny weapon. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is coming up to eight years old. So, why are more players than ever logging in to play the smash-hit MMORPG now?

Let's take a look at some of the stats. Final Fantasy 14 keeps breaking its Steam concurrent player records. At the time of writing, it just broke another concurrent record of over 67,019 players. But, that's just a peek behind the curtain for Final Fantasy 14's current player count. Many people still play the game on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and another native PC launcher, which is much harder to track with public information.

However, what is unusual is for the developers to issue a statement about the explosion of growth, and an apology from the game's director Naoki Yoshida on the recent phenomenon. He detailed immediate actions for Final Fantasy 14 to be able to handle this unprecedented surge in popularity over on the game's official blog. Action has been taken to cull queue times immediately, and a server upgrade originally intended for use at the release of the latest expansion, Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker, has already begun to roll out. But, why is this all happening?

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