So, unless you’ve been living under a rock in the last few weeks. Then you’ve heard about the travesties in Japan.
Anyways. Perhaps an even bigger disaster has taken place amid the chaos in Japan. Square-Enix’s flagship MMO Final Fantasy XI, and its newer MMO: “Final Fantasy XIV” have been shut down due to TEPCO(Tokyo Electric Power Company) asking it’s customers to reduce as much electricity as possible. So Square-Enix has made the decision to shut down all of their servers for a week minimum. Which affects players from USA/Japan/Europe and the 5 people still playing out of Australia. Although as the situation in Japan unfolds, it could be much longer than just a week. As a consolation Square-Enix has announced that they’re not going to charge services to it’s clients during this time. People who are playing FFXI are normally being billed $12.95/mo and $1.00 per additional character. FFXIV players aren’t being billed in the first place because of how horrrible the reviews for FFXIV have been. Square-Enix hasn’t had the courage to ask people to pay for a game described as a trainwreck.
Many players are worried that XIV won’t resume services any time soon. XIV has had such negative media attention that it might be a good excuse keep the servers off long enough to fix the title. Maybe even long enough to forget it even existed. That way it would seem like an all-new release when they finally decide to release it for PS3.
As for FFXI, Square-Enix has seen a small rise in the playerbase since their recent updates, level cap increases, and introduction of a new experience points system. So many are expecting to see Square-Enix turn FFXI back on as soon as TEPCO deems it okay. Unfortunately TEPCO has announced last week, that they would be implementing rolling blackouts throughout their affected service areas to conserve power while they get the power plants back up and running. They expect this to occur during the month of April.
So while this is going on, FFXI/FFXIV forums have seen a dramatic increase of people visiting their sites trying to get their fill of MMO crack while the two games are out of commission. Others have re-activated their WoW accounts and even ::GASP:: trying new games.
Guest post by Joshua Hill.