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Square Enix Turns Off Final Fantasy Servers


Square Enix has announced that it will be turning off the servers for Final Fantasy XI and XIV for “at least a week” in order to save power at the expense of paying customers.

Their announcement:

Due to the continuous earthquakes occurring in the eastern regions of Japan since Mar. 11, 2011, the power companies in Japan have encouraged everyone to cooperate by conserving as much energy as possible as it is feared there will not be enough power supply.

Based on the current situation, we have decided to shut down the game servers temporarily, and therefore to suspend services of FINAL FANTASY XIV, FINAL FANTASY XI, and PlayOnline temporarily.

The services will be temporarily suspended for at least a week starting on Mar. 13, 2011 3:00 (PDT). We will provide an update regarding the reinstatement of the service as additional information becomes available.

In connection with the temporary suspension of services, players will not be billed for any PlayOnline service throughout the April billing cycle. Additional information regarding this matter will also be posted as it becomes available.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding of this unusual situations.

[Date & Time]
A week starting from Mar. 13, 2011 3:00 (PDT)

[Affected Service]
– PlayOnline

Although the outage is scheduled to last a week, the power cuts are due to continue for months; Tepco has asked for business cooperation in turning off such superfluous fixtures as neon signage, but has so far not suggested anyone inconvenience customers or cripple their own business.

Data centres in any case would normally have their own backup generators, and so should be unaffected even by cuts.

In light of the fact that central Tokyo is exempt from the power cuts and will in all probability not see any change in the operation of all its energy guzzling pachinko parlours, cavernous shopping centres, amusement facilities and so on, the decision to inconvenience customers the world over with a week long server outage of machines with limited power requirements has a definite ring of Square Enix quality about it.

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  • should be American And EU customers will not be affected with this shut down……. oh i forgot they don’t have localized servers for their regions.
    probably would have made FF11 more fun to play

  • Reason why FFXIV is dead.

    1. The Company
    2. The Players
    3. No Auction House
    4. No Gameplay, (Grind/Watch) Farmville Status
    5. No PVP Servers / War Servers
    – 5 Race faction and no Wars…?
    – 3 City Faction and no Anger…?
    – Can’t I be a beastman
    with a JOB to kill PVE Carebears?

    6. The Quake
    7. The Tsunami
    8. Did I forget to say; WoW/AION/Warhammer/COD:MW

  • ZOMG! An EEEEEEEVUL company is trying to cut down on energy consumption? What you say? It’s because a handful of nuclear power plants got crippled? Damn, that’s just a low move from Square Enix, taking the service away from the customers just because one of the biggest earthquakes in history just occurred and mangled their power supply. Never mind that they aren’t even charging their clients, which is a pretty ballsy move to make after their own share of damage.

    Stay shitty sankaku.

  • When this is all over and things are back to normal, I expect player numbers to be less than 10,000. That is, of course, assuming they’re not using this to as an excuse to pull the plug on XIV. I can’t speak for XI since I haven’t heard anything about it here or anywhere.

  • If you read the announcement, the ONLY expense to players is the loss of time played. FFXIV players are already not paying monthly to be in the “pay to enter” beta, and FFXI players will not be charged for April.

  • Not just sony’s problem, you cant even get on a train there.

    But anyway it doesnt really matter since I cant play their game with their update keep screwing up with weird error codes.

    And there is no repair option in FFXIV setup that after you spend hours reinstalling to later find out the update has screwed up again

  • i guees the article suggest that otaku’s shouldn’t be interrupted from their stupid gaming to do something different like, social labor? have some solidarity towards their countrymen, and neighbors?

      • Should I respond to this? Is he trolling? Whatever.

        social labour – working with society (by not getting pissed at people for trying to help in a crisis, by maybe going out and lending a helping hand instead of playing videogames)

        solidarity towards countrymen… – specifically the japanese here should understand the crisis, realize they’re affected by it indirectly in the least, have some compassion for their brethren, (and maybe lend and stand as a nation. [seriously its not like they’re going to war. Japan could use a lot of help right now])

  • I was just WAITING for this, I KNEW sc would have something to say. Heres an idea, GET! THE! FUCK! OVER! FINAL FANYASY! AND! SE! ok? there not going away cause one hater gots to hate and I’m sooo FUCKING SICK off the whole world being hate hate hate and hate, maybe we DO all need to die, maybe the end needs to happen cause it seems life has become nothing but hate. suck it up and turn a blind eye already, god!

    I’m not just talking about FF or SE, I mean everything, I can’t go anywere without seeing basing and hating, since when did liking something become uncool? well I like FF still and if you people want to hate me for it then it’s you people wasting your lifes hating just another random anon cause it’s so empty hating is all you have to keep living for.

  • Just waiting for them to say they will indefinitely keep servers offline in order to save power.

    Because seriously, what is the point of keeping servers online for a game nobody plays. And the few who do play, now have a reason to stop wasting their time. Everyone wins, just like Charlie Sheen.

  • you know, if i had mmo servers to keep up, i would have backup measures in mind, at least 1000 miles away from me.

    that way if shit hit the fan in one area, i could take a few days and get a server farm in another area up and running.

    square isnt that poor to not have this kind of a back up plan.

  • Considering the situation I am Ok with the servers going down for a week or 2, many other games are starting to do the same thing. I understand that some will still waste, however if enough of a drop occurs the rolling blackouts may no happen, reduced load will also make it easier to add more support to the grid.

    SE is going to take a hit as FFXI is still p2p so they won’t be getting paid for next month (it is still profitable). FFXIV was not charging anyway however I am still supportive.

    So things get shutdown for a short time, I can live with it and I am sure many others can. It will take a week or 2 just to know what can be done to support capacity for business and city operations, there is also the fact that most of the transportation is down so many workers will not be able to make it in. Give them a couple weeks to figure it out and continue.

    As far as people bailing, many people have left and returned over the many years including myself. One thing that makes a difference here is yes they can bring up servers in other countries as I am sure they have them, but I am sure since this is a live worldwide server setup bringing down the main control server (the one that distributes everything) would make it a lot of work to do that.

    Everyone compares it to Blizzard, however if a 9.0 earthquake hits California where the servers are and power is cut I am sure Blizzard would be forced to make the same decision and action even though there are local servers.

  • “but has so far not suggested anyone inconvenience customers or cripple their own business.”

    hey screw you man. square is at least trying to help. its not its going to kill anyone to go a week without an mmo anyway.

  • How is this ripping off customers?

    “Players will not be billed for any PlayOnline service throughout the April billing cycle.”

    It sounds like they are getting a free month of service, so that they can shut down the servers for a week or two.

    Square does its part to save power during a crisis and Sankaku still hates on them. Spoken like a true Troll.

  • I think they have genuine humanitarian motives, but I still think it’s a horrible move, business-wise. This is like a drug dealer going on vacation for a week. First his customers are going to go through withdrawals, and then either they’re going to discover they don’t need it any longer or find someone else to go to. A week’s break from Final Fantasy is exactly what players need to remind them that there is life beyond their addiction.

  • if there was some way to guarantee that doing this shutdown will promise that the servers will be back up and running..then go for it. help out the country. however with everyone saying death to ffxi and ffxiv…this is just scary.

  • Jesus, is it really that a bad move by Square Enix? There is a perfectly legitimate reason for them doing this: there was a fucking earthquake. This is more like an excuse for people to bitch and whine about the game. Ok, we get that it was a bad game, no need to keep complaining about it.

      • A small factory perhaps, but I find hit hard to believe a shop would approach the 300KW or so it probably takes to run the servers (vague ballpark figure, but the order of magnitude at least is probably right). Plus, it has to start somewhere. If the shops and Pachinko parlors also do a few small things to drop their power consumption by, say, 20%, it could pretty easily make the difference between brownouts/blackouts and everything continuing to work just fine.

        They do have generators, I’m sure, but generators generally aren’t designed as a long-term solution. They’re meant to last the few hours to couple of days it takes to restore utility power. Running them long term is quite expensive and would consume fuel that’s probably more urgently needed elsewhere in the country.

        I’m rather impressed by this. Yeah, it buys them good PR, but losing a whole month of subscription fees means it’s far from a cost savings for them.

        • Servers consume roughly the same (or less as they have no superfluous parts like monitors) as desktop PCs, so a few hundred watts each is reasonable.

          It’s not clear how many go into running these games as each world is likely a cluster of many smaller servers, but it seems extremely unlikely they would need a 1000 or more as you suggest.

          The reason I suggest this is misguided is because it is comparatively ineffective at achieving its stated goal (particularly in light of what, after a brief shopping trip in Tokyo today, I can assure you are fairly negligible efforts to save power), and because it damages their business and inconveniences their customers at great cost not only to themselves, but also to their shareholders and the wider Japanese economy of which they are a part.

  • Now SquareE has to remember to turn the FF14 servers back on since it was the final fantasy after all. More than likely there will be some people at SquareE scratching their heads that there was something they were supposed to do but forgot to.

    • Datacenters use a lot of power – it’s not just the computers, but the air filtration and the cooling for them as well. Gameservers tend to be more hungry than webpsite servers as well, due to all the extra processing that needs to be done (and the need to keep it low latency).

      Under normal circumstances, they could just move over to the generators and run ‘off the grid’, but with all the damage to the roads and refineries there’s concern about possible fuel shortages, as well as the grid.

      Konami have pulled Metal Gear Online offline as well, and you can bet your arse more will be following. Wouldn’t suprise me if Dreamworld for the pokemon games goes offline as well.

    • With the energy of those servers you could run something more pressing like equipment for medical treatment in hospitals, you know…
      And just because it’s not GigaWatts doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to save that energy nonetheless.

      You can’t say “Oh a washing machine isn’t using too much energy so I’ll just leave it running 24/7, and everyone else can do so too.”
      If more companies save energy they can spare, it adds up to a lot of energy that can save lives in the situation Japan is in right now!

      • Yep everyone needs to do their part. I also read somewhere there Nexon Japan is also shutting down their servers for a while to help with the power problem. A little bit from a bunch of people can add up to quite a bit.

        • @Artefact‘s entire comment containing the following “It’s not going to power a shelter…”

          It’s going to help that power company and ultimately help Japan. One week without the aforementioned services in light of 2 natural disasters and nuclear meltdown threat is honourable and surely a big help. May the pachinko parlors follow suit as well.

          I think they looked at what used the most power in their properties (the computers and servers, surely, among other things) and shut down as many of those and other power hungry devices as possible. And thats just one company.

          If many companies follow suit, as the aforementioned power companies are hoping, it will be a great help.

          The Square Enix quality here seems to be benevolence and the lack of ignorance they would have if they kept them up in light of the request and the obvious disaster happening around them and regrettably to some of their own properties and employees.

          There’s a crisis in Japan.

          But isn’t this obvious Artefact? Are you maybe one of few disgruntled players?

          “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding of this unusual situations.”

          Have a heart.

        • Artefact, I disagree, it makes a lot of sense.
          Just because others are not willing to save energy doesn’t mean SE doesn’t need to either.

          With your reasoning I could say “Supermarkets use more energy than my whole house can, so it’s okay for me to let all my lights burn 24/7, it’s not much compared to a supermarket anyways”

          This energy from SE can save lives. And the pachinko palours could do so too. Even if they don’t, SE did their part.

          Everyone has to do their part, and if someone doesn’t, doesn’t mean I can turn a blind eye too.

        • to help conserve energy in japan right now, I think a few percentage of the world can go a week without 1 of many mmorpgs

          I 100% support SE’s decision… the servers have been kind of empty after the earthquake anyways

          hopefully we can play together again, to those in japan who weren’t able to log in past couple of days, ganbare

        • Have you ever seen a datacentre, especially one designed to host remote real-time game content rather than just static file access? Designed for tens of thousands of concurrent connections? That’s a hell of a lot of power just for the servers themselves (high density blade setups can hit 30kW per RACK), not to mention cooling, ancillary systems, etc. Shutting off two international MMO hosting centres could easily power a hospital.

        • Servers use a considerable amount of electricity, if they could put it to use powering a hospital or shelter it is worth it. Now if only I could find out whether my friends in my LS are fine or not, some lived east of tokyo…

        • It’s not going to power a shelter, it’s just going to notionally prevent more rolling blackouts in areas otherwise completely unaffected by the quake.

          It makes no sense to start cutting lucrative and power efficient international services when a single pachinko parlour in central Tokyo uses more power than all their servers combined, and most assuredly will not be interrupting service.

    • In S-E’s defense. When Final Fantasy XI was released on the PC MMO’s that featured cross-platform play (PC/PS2) was unheard of. Then they released the PS2 version ( along with an expansion pack and major updates ), this alone sparked something in me to just try it, and as a supporter of SquareSoft for many years I actually continued to play and enjoy FFXI for about 3 years. Every few months though, they either degraded something completely or made something better while hurting something else. I believe they tried to evolve into something more “WoW-like” which in the end hurt them, and the originality of the game diminished with time.