Final Fantasy 14 back on sale later this month
UPDATE: Oceania data centre now open.
UPDATE 25/01/22: Square Enix has now opened the Oceania data centre for players in that region.
As reported below, a number of new data centres are due to open this year to ease congestion in the game.
The data centre has added five new worlds and the Home World Transfer Service will open on 26th January for players to move their existing characters across for free.
Both newly created and transferred characters will receive double EXP up to level 80. Other gifts are also available, detailed here.
ORIGINAL STORY 14/01/22: Final Fantasy 14 will be back on sale for new players later this month.
Following the release of the Endwalker expansion, Square Enix removed the base game from digital sales as it was proving too popular for the servers to cope.
In a lengthy update post from director Naoki Yoshida on The Lodestone, he explains digital sales will resume from 25th January.
However, if extreme congestion continues this decision may be reversed. Further, the free trial will continue after monitoring server stability for a while longer.
The post also gives an update on global server capacity, something that's contributed to the long queue times.
Firstly, an Oceanian Data Centre will open on 25th January that will add five new worlds from the start. As an incentive to move, the transfer fee will be waived for players in the Oceania region.
Secondly, the new data centre means the Home World Transfer service will resume worldwide, allowing players to move to a different world from 26th January.
Next, the Data Centre Travel System has been postponed until a future 6.1x patch. The system will allow players to travel to a different world within the same data centre, although travel to worlds in other regions won't be available - this is technically possible, but under consideration.
Finally, Square Enix is planning an expansion of data centres across Japan, Europe and North America as previously promised. This was delayed due to the global shortage of components, which has made acquiring new servers difficult.
Japan will receive a new data centre in July 2022, America will receive a two-phase server expansion beginning in August 2022, and Europe will also receive a major two-phase server expansion beginning in July 2022.
"Once again, I wish to apologise for the delays to server expansion caused by the global semiconductor shortage. The necessity for communities to separate due to the regrouping of Worlds is another inconvenience that may prove unavoidable for some players, and we ask for your understanding as we work to alleviate this issue," says Yoshida.
"Despite these hardships, however, we believe this server expansion is a significant step forward in providing players the best gaming experience possible in FFXIV. Work on bolstering the servers will continue well into 2023, expending a vast amount of financial resources and manpower, but we will do our utmost to ensure this endeavor has no negative impact on your ability to play, so we would appreciate your support while you continue on your adventures."
Another update, with information on future content, is planned for the end of February.
This update follows recent comments from Yoshida addressing verbal abuse from players upset at delays and queue times.