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Final Fantasy XIV Player Populations At Death’s Door

ff14-abandoned-places

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):

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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181 Comments

  • if anything i wonder why they tried not to have anything from xi online? the game doesnt have to be 100% the same as xi but if it aint broke dont fix it right. im sure SE learned alot from xi. so use it use what u learn and let it roll. like the no auction house option. that was madness. calling chocobo’s horse bird’s =/ come on get it together

  • First off, yeah it was coming, we all saw it coming from the day it was released, but that aside, i believe square’s increasing reliance on visuals and acceptance by foreign markets has made it unable to compete with even the most basic of rpgs these days.
    what made ff7/8/9/10 so popular? sidequests, big maps, customization, and even comedy factors in there. 13/14 have none of that, you’re forced to walk the same path everyone else that ever played the game has to walk, with no unique experiences or memorable moments. if we could just get square to realize that games are made FOR the players, not the other way around, there might be some way to salvage what’s left. otherwise, we might just have to settle for the next namco beta or whenever tri-ace decides to do something.
    anyways those are just my thoughts }
    /endrant

  • Anonymous says:

    Other than nothing to do in game, the worse is there is always a chance to get an error 20524 or something like that when updating.
    You cant repair FFXIV like other programs by clicking repair in program files/control panel without reinstalling.
    I bet there are lots of better f2p pay2pwn games…oh wait, square claims ffxiv is not f2p.

  • Anonymous says:

    I play Aion, Wow, War, Lunia, Vindictus, Dungeon Siege 1 and FFXIV.

    I’ll say this… in population greatness.

    Wow
    War
    Aion
    Vindictus
    Lunia
    Dungeon Siege I
    FFXIV

    FF14 is on the bottom of the list… in population and Dungeon Seige has 0 Most of the time.

    Its a hard feat to accomplish and SE did that achievement alone.

    Game breaking Graphics with Game breaking Shitty Mechanics/UI makes a “Game breaking Bankruptcy”

  • damn for shame how high the mighty have fallen.

    im still interested in their Versus XIII, Parasite Eve, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Dissidia Franchises but other than that for shame Square.

    why not publish Valkyrie Profile 3 with Tri Ace? 😛

  • Anonymous says:

    Only 17000 left? That’s alot of people but I guess not compared to the 600000 right now just playing Black Ops >__> still though FF14 seems to be turning into battle royal I bet the last player would get a little fame, hell s/he or it deserves an award for playing to the last breath.

  • Again, I may have said this before they don’t have the best programmers,they are being cheap on making games on HD console,they are more focus on the hand held market because it sells well for them,Square Enix are confused on what Bioware said about RPG’s the problem is they believe US likes macho men when really we want is a believable character who we can all relate to.

  • Anonymous says:

    If only we had the technology for Blizzard to hack Square’s servers so that all the WoW players could clone their characters into the game to seek and destroy all remaining FFXIV players… for no better reason than to give that game the middle finger.

  • I still don’t believe that Square Enix is still struggling with this FF IV. And making the enemies bigger would attract more players? Come on, do that with the boob size of the female characters and it would attract more male players, wouldn’t it?

    And Square Enix have so many monsters (from SE’s own library of games) themselves, Square could have made their own Final Fantasy “Monster Hunter” MMO game themselves. Hunting a Bahamut? That would be awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    squareenix need to focus more on gameplay. ff is not suppose to be a mmorpg to begin with. a strong story is what ff needs. i wish square enix just stick with ff’s old formula. i think they got too caught up with crazy graphics (no more towns thanks to that coz developers say it will take too long to make). following the whole mmorpg monthly fee thing is just greedy imo.

  • Anonymous says:

    Defend the crappy game all you want, you’re not getting your wasted money back.
    This “the game is more alive than ever” thing is gonna change as soon as subscription fees kick in.

    Just watch and wait.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve been playing since launch hoping it would get fixed but gave up about four weeks ago. It really wasn’t hard to take what they made and learnt from FFXI then adapt it into a modern mmorpg.

    All they had to do was get rid of all the time-sinks, make it more accessible and add high-end or stylized graphics, FFXI was a good formula (minus the time-sinks).

  • Yeah.. im done with that game i played it for the 1st few months and it was great but i lost interest.. it got boring pretty fast because the lack of content and just overall shit gameplay lol but there is a new challenger its called Rift and i gotta say its the funest MMORPG i ever played so say good bye too WAR,WOW,FF14,AION because Rift is the best there is now =)

  • this game is salvageable… if a better company was at hand.

    i would shut game severs down completely, or make it a closed beta after launch, not refunding money, but guaranteeing that the game will relaunch in the future and they will have access for free.

    now, all the time it should take to re tool everything should be less than 1 year, and a 3 month polish period.

    focus on low level content and making comprehensive tutorials. from there addressing EVERY ISSUE PLAYERS HAD IN COMBAT, TRAVEL, AND ECONOMY. most of these problems could be hit with only minor retooling.

    than relaunch the game, and you will have at least 50000 day one sales, for morbid curiocity alone. month one you will see 150000 sales if you fixed its shit, and lifetime sales may be in the range of 300000 active people daily, monthly active in the 1.5 million range, with over 2 million buying it just to try.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is what the are doing, except keeping the servers up to get player feedback. The developers are doing what the players ask, they have surveys finding out what players want, and are implementing them. Every patch is adding, changing the game into what the players want from the game.

  • Anonymous says:

    You know for us older timer players it just isn’t enough any more to collect and turn in. Recent MMO’s have already run us into the ground with endless collect 200 quests. Even pay to f2p ones that could have been good no longer even strike up an interest because its the same thing over and over no matter how many different classes or types of characters there are in a game. The browser games that are mentioned I also just got done trying a few and the interest lasted 2 weeks. Really nice space flight one but again collect and turn in. There has got to be another way I just can’t take it any more and even have dropped my pay MMO that I have had for the last 4 years. Somebody? Anybody? A new game without the endless collect turn in idea to level?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you REALLY want them to ruin the game you love so much?
      If they can’t even do one FF game right since [number of the last good one goes here], they’d probably make an utter crap out of FFVII.

      Besides, HD remake would lose it’s charm.
      Not to mention playing old games over and over again isn’t much fun. You already know what happens at that point of the game or another, so why bother. Might as well watch a let’s play on Youtube instead, same amount of boredom, half the hassle.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a load of doo doo. The people who don’t want a FF7 remake are just worried Square Enix will mess up their precious little classic. However the truth, no matter how much you people will try to deny it, is that a FF7 remake will bring in much needed profits for SE. And I can guaran damn tee, if they do remake FF7, it’ll be a lot more than a simple HD portover. You guys can clutch those PS1 FF7 copies close to your chests. The rest of the world will enjoy FF7 in a brand new experience and light. So feel free to join the rest of us in 2011, or wallow in the stinky, decrepit puddle that is the past. Because in the end, no matter how good the past may have been, its not going to come back.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Btw I never liked Final Fantasy.” This is all I needed to see. You do know you’re making a comment on a story about Final Fantasy right? Please refrain from making anymore comments before you make yourself look any more retarded than you already do.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hoping for the remake to be any good, or even revolutionary, as you indirectly claimed, is no different from sticking to the “decrepit puddle that is the past”, because you’re pretty much holding your imaginary ‘FF7 copy close to your chest’ with hopes that Squeenix will miraculously get good and stuff all of it’s budget into a remake of an old game, all while refusing to acknowledge any possibilities of the remake being a failure if SE ever decides to make it in the 1st place.

          Btw, I never liked Final Fantasy. Stop making stupid assumptions.

  • RakkaKaze says:

    As much of a mindmelter ff14 is, at least the new devs are trying recently, they’ve taken just about every major complaint/concern into consideration and, in most cases, already applied something…

    Sadly leveling crafts still sucks… (but at least they’re trying to cut down the time you spend in menus rather than hammering away on a piece of exploding leather!)

  • The new producer they put in actually has a really good head on his shoulders and has a great idea of where to go with the game. The problem is that kind of thing takes time, too long for most people to wait around. I myself couldn’t deal with the stupid market wards and stopped play for two months, but when I came back the Market Wards were at least usable and they’re going to put in an AH, and a lot of the changes have already made the game much more playable than before. Of course, assholes on either side of the coin aren’t helping. On one side you have the haters you’ll probably see on most of the comments to this post, and on the other you have the very stubborn super hardcore fans who regard any change to the game as “selling out” to “mainstream” and making it “too much like WoW”–these people are part of the problem.

    Unfortunately, all this progress can’t undo all the bad press the game got from the horrific launch, and it will take a while to implement the really big changes they have planned. It’s a shame, if SE’s top brass had recognized Tanaka and Komoto’s total lack of connection with the current MMO market a year or two ago as opposed to 3 months after it launched, this could have been an awesome lively game. Even if they fix it, I can’t see it doing fantastically with anything short of a miraculous PS3 relaunch.

  • Anonymous says:

    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.

    • Anonymous says:

      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.

    • Anonymous says:

      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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • Anonymous says:

        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.

    • Anonymous says:

      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.

      • Anonymous says:

        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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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 😀 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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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

        • 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.

        • Anonymous says:

          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.

      • Anonymous says:

        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~

        • Anonymous says:

          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.

    • I can say the same about sourcing to UK software house for example. You know no-one likes the upcoming Devil May Cry by Ninja Theory.

      Perhaps Square Enix should have outsourced their game to a well-known South-Korean game developer who has way more experience in MMO games than those Chinese companies.

    • I can say the same thing about outsourcing game development to a UK software house. Hint: Devil May Cry.

      And Last Remnant is not a particular good game, and it’s made by Japanese, and which makes use of the Unreal 3 engine. To me the only good Japanese game company is Nintendo which still makes top quality games.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why the hell would anyone outsource a game to other countries? A gaming company makes the game themselves, while the other countries may make the actual discs and boxes for that game.

  • The thing that gets me is that FFXI was not that bad a game.
    They could have farmed it for popular ideas during the development of XIV.
    Now that they’ve let things get this far off track, I don’t see how they can save XIV without a total rebuild and an ad campaign to practically sell it as a new product.

    Chances are they won’t even bother.

  • I would not mind a FF7 remake if they kept and expanded the over world, expanded the tiny level layouts throughout the first half of the game.

    Work out the story’s/plot points refine the script, bring in the limit breaks from FF8 add them to the cast as extra limited breaks, bring in the equipment/skill system from FF9 and still keep the meteria system.

    That would be a FF game I have been waiting for!

    FF8/X/13 suck hard it has no soul, at least mechanically speaking.

  • Again TrollComplex eh ? ^^

    Stop yelling about FFXIV already. The game is in developers stages. It will be re-released when all works will be done and code will be rewritten.

    And to your knowledge, the population is growing with new players coming to game.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey how about this?

    STOP MAKING FINAL FANTASY FOR GOD’S SAKE.

    #14? What part of it is final?

    Make the final final fantasy and get it over with, hell, I was sick of the series when they came out with 8 and 9. They wont stop until they cannot sell any more future releases. hopefully this one is it.

  • Same old news, the game is currently bad but good old Sankaku loves to blow things out of proportion, especially about this game it would seem. What baffles me is that it thrashes FFXIV but defends Hyperdimension Neptunia that is critically disliked. (I actually like H. Neptunia and couldn’t care less about the critics… it just feels wierd.)

    Is the game unsalvagable? Its reputation right now is truly its biggest weakness. Aside of that, I think that if they keep on doing revelant updates such as adding a auction house and other necessary content, then it might at least gather a few players.

    Personally, I just kept myself to different MMORPGs and I’d rather play XI than XIV right now. Perhaps a few other players from XI might give the game a shot if SE quits screwing around and you know… make the game not suck? XIV still has a certain potential but they’ll need to spend much time, money and efforts to do so.

    Oh, and if we compare it to a game such as World of Warcraft, I’d like to point out that even though I used to play a medium-high server, it wasn’t uncommon for me to encounter no one while questing.