Since the game’s early access debut on Friday, many gamers anxious to play Final Fantasy XIV’s highly anticipated Endwalker expansion have encountered long lines. According to a blog post by producer and director Naoki Yoshida, part of the reason for the long waits is that Square Enix has been unable to obtain enough servers to meet demand due to a global chip shortage.
“When it comes to introducing new Worlds, we require tens of’server computers’ each World,” Yoshida explains. “Server computers are high-performance computers that make use of a variety of semiconductors. However, several semiconductor firms throughout the world have ceased production or are experiencing labor shortages as a result of the COVID-19 countermeasures presently in place.
“We have made a significant investment — much more than normal — to obtain the requisite hardware, but even so, the server hardware will require a long lead time,” Yoshida stated. In the meanwhile, the development team has made a few steps to solve issues, such as streamlining server source code and increasing the maximum number of logins per globe. Despite such efforts, “we believe that adding more Worlds may take many months or more,” he stated, “given the current scenario.”
The worldwide chip shortage has had a significant impact on numerous industries; even Apple, which is known for its supply chain prowess, has lost billions as a result of supply shortages. Companies of various sizes, like Square Enix, have had to find alternate ways to make their goods function; Panic, for example, updated the main board in its quirky Playdate handheld to accept a different CPU, while Tesla rebuilt its car software to handle other CPUs. (According to reports, Tesla has also begun sending cars sans USB ports.)
In a post published hours after Endwalker’s early access debut, Yoshida highlighted the server load, and based on what he stated then and on Tuesday, it doesn’t appear like Square Enix will be able to fix every issue or acquire as much server gear as it needs very soon. Yoshida has detailed a number of changes the development team is doing in order to address these concerns, with the aim that you will be able to play Endwalker sooner rather than later.