Square Enix have released a statement that their European servers for MMO RPG Final Fantasy XIV is suffering from DDOS attacks.
Starting August 14th at around 7:45 a.m. (PDT), Square Enix note the game is experiencing technical issues due to DDOS attacks. The Chaos server (home to six “Worlds”) also had technical issues earlier that day that were thought to be resolved [1, 2].
The issues seem to be affecting players in the European data center; including being disconnected, difficulty logging in, and issues “accessing, sending, and receiving data” from EU servers.
This writer experienced a brief moment of server lag; making it impossible to interact with any object, and appearing to hang the program until resolved. Log-in queues of over 800 people were also seen at 2:40 p.m. (PDT). However, there have been unconfirmed reports of queues over 2,000; as thousands attempt to cram back into the game when the server is functioning.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
Square Enix is not the first to be suffering from hacking issues in recent months. A hacker made Apex Legends unplayable via DDOS, seemingly in protest to Titanfall being unplayable due to its own constant DDOS attacks and server issues. Electronic Arts were also hacked this year; with data, internal tools, and the source code for the Frostbite Engine and FIFA 21 stolen.
CD Projekt confirmed they were victim of a ransomware hack in February 2021; at the time the third such case for a video games company being hacked in four months.
Koei Tecmo Europe’s forums were also hacked in late December 2020. The hacker reportedly asked for Bitcoin, claimed Koei Tecmo had lackluster digital security, and failed to follow GDPR guidelines by not informing their users about the hack sooner.
The most infamous of these was the Capcom Ragnar Locker Ransomware hack and subsequent leaks [1, 2] of November 2020. Along with information on upcoming games (some of which seems to have come true) and politically correct business strategies.
The hackers also obtained employee personal information, HR information, and 350,000 items of customer and business partner personal information (none of which was credit card information). The leaked information also lead to a $12 million USD lawsuit, after they were accused of stealing photos for Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and more to use as textures.
While a DDOS is never desired, this could not have come at a worse time for Square Enix. Final Fantasy XIV has recently seen a surge in interest; being all attributed to one man. The game recently broke its Steam concurrent players record with over 47,000; after World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold tried the game.
As the game has a free trial, and the rising popularity of the game, other streamers sought to play the game, creating a cycle. The game briefly had to contend with the Western servers being full, and had to implement a waiting list for the digital Complete Edition. Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida even asked players not to restrain themselves to ease the servers.
MMO Population- utilizing API tools, Reddit, and other resources to calculate player and active player numbers- proposed that Final Fantasy XIV has an estimated 2.49 million active players. This would be 30,000 more than their estimation for World of Warcraft (assuming both figures are accurate).
Officially, Final Fantasy XIV reached over 22 million registered players worldwide in April 2021. This would also include players who registered for the game’s free trial. Nonetheless, this number must surely have increased since Asmongold took his first steps into Eorzea.
Square Enix recently launched the benchmark for the Endwalker expansion. This allows players to not only test how well the game will run on their PC, but also use the game’s character creator. The latter will provide players with a small taste of the upcoming Male Viera race.
Final Fantasy XIV is available to Windows PC, (via the SE Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, and coming soon to PlayStation 5, and Xbox One (though the latter was announced two years ago). A free trial is available, including the base game and the first expansion with some limitations. In case you missed it, you can find our Shadowbringers expansion review here (we can’t recommend it enough!)
The next expansion; Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, launches November 23rd.
Image: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers official website