ff14-abandoned-places.jpg

Final Fantasy XIV still clings to life, although – with its meagre player populations now a mere third or less of its peak – for how much longer is a matter of some quite unfriendly speculation.

Square Enix eventually responded to the humiliating PR disaster of its server population collapse by ceasing to make server populations public, however this did not stop the remaining players from conducting their own unofficial population estimates.

The main method used appears to be using specially designed tools to count the number of player characters showing any change each day, using the public player database.

This has given rise to fairly complete estimates for server populations in lieu of the official ones.

The most recent comprehensive piece of research is the following chart for the last day of January – showing from left to right, the server, the server population as a percentage of Cornelia (the benchmark server), the estimated active daily players, and the estimated number of alt or mule characters (57% of the total):

ff14-stats-1.png

This suggests an estimated active daily unique player population of only 17,776.

The total active character figure of 31,150 can safely be ignored as the last official unique player count was 22,000, back in November (the same day saw Cornelia counted at 4019 using the unofficial method) – with players reporting virtually deserted servers, it is safe to say the collapse reflected in the numbers is real.

ff14-stats-2.png

More recent statistics only exist for Cornelia – although some simple calculations allow an estimate of the current population to be arrived at; for the last week of January the average was 2086, and for the most recent week of March the figure is 1850.

This 12% decrease suggests the total active population has decreased somewhat to 15,500 or so – a mere third of the peak numbers reported.

ff14-patch-1.jpg

This week also saw the release of a patch which made enemies bigger – sadly for Square Enix it seems not to have had the same effect on player numbers.

ff14-patch-2.jpg

With player numbers now less than those of a minor browser game, it seems unlikely even the combined effects of making the game F2P and releasing an upgraded PS3 version will do anything but delay the inevitable for a game whose only accolade is being proclaimed the most disappointing game of 2010.


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    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    11:14 07/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I feel sorry for all those poor horsebirds with nobody to look after them...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:53 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What horsebirds? They still haven't even been implemented yet. Hard to feel sorry for something that doesn't exist. :p

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:35 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    SE's should close this shit already.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    11:25 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then make a Tomagotsi like game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:06 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    sure that the monster got bigger? maybe that character just got smaller.

    Comment by Anonymous

    no one thinks about the chocopos

    Avatar of Usagi
    Comment by Usagi
    13:42 07/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Slow day at Sankaku Complex:
    "Hmmm I know! We haven't bashed FFXIV in a while!"

    Let the poor thing die already. Look at it laying there all limp and dead. I feel sorry for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:04 07/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Yeah, if it was 'limp and dead', they would have shut down the servers and refunded everyone's money.

    No, it's more like a zombie.... won't die unless you shoot da brain!

    Avatar of Elc
    Comment by Elc
    22:58 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    depends on how you define a zombie, by no means does FFXIV a "これはゾンビですか?" zombie, that would be awesome, something that this game is not.
    to really be able to save the game, they would have to overhaul pretty much all of it, the core game has problems, there isnt really anything making it special in a good way when compared to other MMORPG games.
    theres more people playing "Football Manager 2010" on Steam at the moment (6AM on a sunday morning) than there are players is at peak times on FFXIV.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:59 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Zombie dude + Masou Shoujo = Male panstu shots

    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    23:43 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yea...masou shoujo ftw

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:57 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The game's actually gotten a shit load better, I play on a daily basis and I've seen a steady improvement with each patch.
    As for population, the server I'm on, Besaid, is chock full of people. I think it's a very popular server, though.
    I've never gone to a crystal or gate and not seen at least one other person. Ul'dah and Limsa are always full of people, and there are hundreds of active linkshells.
    As usual, the best advice would be to not believe anything you read on Sankakau, because it's painfully and irrationally bias.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:09 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree stop beating a Dead Horse with a Stick.

    Wait: Stop beating a Dead MMORPG with a website!!!

    Avatar of Hyra911
    Comment by Hyra911
    21:41 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No need to feel sorry for them, those idiots can't fix the main problem which lie in gameplay and they tinker around with graphics. Think about catching a cool and the docter give you a make-up instead of medicine.

    Avatar of konakona
    Comment by konakona
    00:04 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Main problem is they're too arrogant to admit they fail. They should just ask the player base what they would like changing...

    Avatar of Sodium Chloride
    Comment by Sodium Chloride
    01:17 08/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Doubt it's arrogance, probably just outright mismanagement.

    They have been going downhill since FFX - FFX was the last decent game they made IMO; it was the last one I actually finished.

    Avatar of Aya Reiko
    Comment by Aya Reiko
    01:53 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Sodium Chloride

    What a coincidence that, just after FFX, Wada came to power.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:43 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "hey should just ask the player base what they would like changing..."

    http://lodestone.finalfantasyxiv.com/pl/topics/detail?id=7268beda5ef81b10600f4ba07316083b634f7678

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:38 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The lead developer that they brought on recently has been conducting player polls to find out what the players want, and is opening an official forum soon. He seems to have his head on straight, but he's got a big mess to clean up. Time will tell if he has the cajones to make the major changes the game needs.

    They've already made a lot of improvements, but the pace and quality isn't especially reassuring. In another year, this game will be ready for launch... if it survives that long. At least unless they can turn around the battle system, which is the glaring elephant in the flaw room.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I suppose you know how to make a better game? Hmmm I don't thik id enjoy a FF game where the point is to rape the squeaky voiced heroine with tentacles. Or is that not what you consider "quality" gameplay? I'm sorry, I mean with a name like "Hydra" I figured you'd be into tentacles

    Avatar of Jigsy
    Comment by Jigsy
    12:44 07/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    With Final Fantasy XII being okay (not great)...

    ...everything's been pretty bad ever since Squaresoft became Square-Enix.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:58 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Might just be best to cut losses and use the graphics engine from 14 to make 11 look better.

    Avatar of Xerxes von Orphansmith
    13:14 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Enix games were fun until Square got involved.

    Square was drowning since FF:The Spirits Within.

    I think it's safe to say this is all Square's fault.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:30 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Eh, most of Enix's talented employees started leaving at about the same time Square's did the same. I guess the companies merged so they could go down together...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:22 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    is true :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:40 07/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    This may be a blessing in disguise.
    Squeenix is bleeding money and prestige from this FF 14 disaster. When the stockholder's meeting comes up, they will have to come up with a sure-fire way to make up lost money and save the fucking company.
    Now what would be a guaranteed blockbuster hit for Squeenix? That's right, PS3 HD FF7 Remake. They remade 3 and 4 from the ground up, and have released updated/sequel versions of 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, and 12.
    FF14 is an unmitigated disaster, but it is a godsend for those salivating for a true FF7 remake.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:55 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Fuck that. Why the hell would anyone want Squeenix to run the FF7 legacy into the ground further? Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, and Advent Children were bad enough. Just leave the goddamn game alone already.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:43 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Crisis Core was a completely solid game. Not sure wtf you're whining about. DoC and AC were good enough.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:36 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because the remakes also sold well and a remastered FFVII is what everyone is asking for? Hello? Common sense here. Hell a PSP remake in the style of Crisis core would be every FF fans' dream.

    Avatar of SpideyPHL
    Comment by SpideyPHL
    13:15 07/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Quite the opposite I think. Like the super hardcore fans who don't want ff14 to "sell out" (and in the process keep it unplayably bad), there are these old school assholes who think anything Square's made after 1996 is bad. FF7 is still by far the most popular FF game, and although it's trendy on the internet to say that it sucks, that's more hipster-ish "FF7 made the series popular, so now it sucks" kind of mentality.

    Now I really enjoyed Square games back in the day before they merged with Enix, but I also realize that the game industry has changed since then. If they do remake FF7, they'll have to update it in some way besides the graphics and adding voice acting. With their recent track record, I'm not sure I trust them to do it terribly well. However, they are at least trying to keep things fresh, more than can be said for other JRPG companies this generation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:39 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I think it's funny that all the people that want a FF7 remake claim they are the majority, and all the people that don't want a FF7 also claim that they are the majority, when unless someone can somehow take a poll of every FF fan, it's impossible to know which is the majority. I've seen endless boards both begging for and condemning the remake. It seems pretty even to me actually, and out of the people I know, the only ones who don't want the remake tend to despise any remake of anything. If anyone can't stand the remake, they don't have to play it lmao. Personally, I don't care anymore. I've been let down too many times by the horrible company these fan favorite's merged into. An it all started with unlimited saga for me. First rpg I ever returned in the same day lmao

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:40 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    FF fan since the very first (but why would that matter?), and I'd love an FF7 remake. But it's okay cause since I've been with it longer, I'm the majority, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:05 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    ff8 and ff9 still look pretty good graphically even compared to many games this generation, 7 or 6 werent my favourite ffs but if any of the series could use a remake i would say they would be more deserving.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:36 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Like hell it would be. Crisis Core was shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:26 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Eh, it's called the vocal minority. Kind of like how every fanboy on the internet claims that Tales is the greatest series of all time and if only namco would localize Tales of Generica we'd all see what a great series it is, nevermind how bad all the past games were.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:51 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    To usagi, go ahead and jerk one off with your sandpaper. Meanwhile, ill be enjoying my remake of FF7.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:48 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ummm dude. 1997 called. They're sick and tired of you, so feel free to join us in the year 2011. The people pissing their pants, afraid SE will butcher FF7 with a remake need to get their heads out of their asses and accept the truth. Games get remakes, spinoffs, side stories all the time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about more FF tactics games? I dont mean like Tactics Advanced and A2, no that they were all that bad, but the original was so much better. Also, Square enix does make good games. Take for instance FF Dissidia, beat the crap out of the characters you hate with the characters you love :D in a fairly interesting fighter game. Also the kingdom hearts series games will probably get some work and we may see the mainstream ones more than once every couple years. Also, I thought the FF7 offshooots were pretty decent overall, and added a lot more interesting information to the FF7 universe, coupled with a decent storyline.

    Avatar of Ataeru
    Comment by Ataeru
    18:30 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would be happy for FF6, FF8 and FF9 remakes. Its a shame they're all shadowed by FF7. (not saying its bad, but still)

    Avatar of Usagi
    Comment by Usagi
    13:40 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd rather masturbate with sandpaper than see a FF7 remake come out.
    That said, a lot of people seem to want it, and it would probably sell very well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:13 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    surely you jest because CC was awesome and AC was pretty good. FF7 remake would sell like hotcakes.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Um, sorry dude, but I've been a FF fan since FF2/4 and I can honestly say that an FF7 remake is absolutely not my dream. There may be a small group of people who are slavering away at the prospect of an FF7 remake, but you are not in the majority by any means.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The original movie of AC was an confusion of wandering plot holes; that I can agree with. But when I picked up the Blu-Ray "Complete" and sat through it again, dots where connected and everything ran much smoother. It was a complete movie that fittingly concluded the story of FFVII~

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:40 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    You know what concluded the story of FF7 even better? FF7.

    The original release of Advent Children clearly demonstrates what happens to Final Fantasy plots when Kato and Matsuno aren't there to rewrite them into something actually good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    19:30 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Square has ruined the FF and KH names beyond salvaging. The only thing it has left is the Chrono series.

    SE is the worst game developer this generation. Fail china MMO, no KH sequel and a compilation of their XIII failure. I'm happy to see SE crash and burn if it doesn't learn that remakes and spinoffs can't be the meat of your releases. If they only would make games again, all would be good.

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    20:44 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's easier to change the president/CEO, Yoichi Wada, causes all these miseries for Square Enix. He has full responsibilities for all the failures of the company.

    Avatar of SpideyPHL
    Comment by SpideyPHL
    20:51 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Agreed that it's largely Wada's fault. Since he took over the company has been less about quality IPs like it was before the merger, and more about bastardized spinoffs on portables. The KH series is a great example, a great strong franchise that had the power of its brand ruined by endless portable spinoffs instead of a proper continuation of the series. Even if they make a KH3, there's so much that's been added to a ridiculously convoluted canon that only a fraction of the players have tried, so most people will probably be lost, and many have lost interest since it's been 5 years now.

    Idiotic nationalist speculation based on misinformation aside, you're absolutely right, they need to get back to making games, and making their own games instead of just trying to buy their way back into the western market by gobbling up western developers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:06 10/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know about screwing up Final Fantasy right off the bat... FF12 I thought would be an excellent game, but it seemed like they changed writing staff during production - the game map was clearly meant for an open-ended game with a clear start and finish but no clear way of getting there, but they fitted it with a complete failure of a storyline. 13 was so bad I couldn't play past the first few hours. It's like they were going to do well, then ditched the good plan for a hackneyed joke.

    On the other hand, the games that they only publish rather than make themselves are rather good - the only thing I dislike about the recent Dragon Quest games are the TERRIBLE translation jobs they were given that completely ignore the already established reputation of the Dragon Warrior games (same series, but from before Enix merged with Square). Valkyrie Profile was very well done as well, and then there's Star Ocean... which I have yet to play, so I won't comment on its worth.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Do you like doo doo? Because that's what's coming out of your mouth right now. I suppose SE should hire your monkey ass because you apparently seem to know how to run the business better than them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:32 07/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Just about every remake SE has done has been vastly inferior to the original games. An FF7 remake is the last thing fans want.

    Avatar of Sodium Chloride
    Comment by Sodium Chloride
    01:18 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I prefer they just fire Wada ...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:29 08/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Didn't somebody from SE once come out and say that an FF7 HD remake was impossible? Something about not having the capacity or ability to store all the necessary town/city data, as seen with FF13. Honestly, it seems like HD for gaming is more of a curse than a blessing, or at least a double-edged sword.







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