In an announcement on Final Fantasy 14's community website The Lodestone, Square Enix explained that player demand for A Realm Reborn "significantly exceeded our initial estimates," pushing server load beyond maximum capacity. Login and character creation restrictions were introduced afterward, leaving many players unable to log in for days after the game's launch.
The free week of play will begin after a ten-hour maintenance period beginning at 5 PM (PDT) on September 3. During the downtime, Square Enix notes that it will increase the number of available worlds and concurrent server logins, while reducing stress on the Duty Finder servers.
"Because login and character creation restrictions have hindered our ability to provide quality service, all Final Fantasy 14 service accounts will receive an additional seven days of free play time," Square Enix said. "Furthermore, users who have yet to enter their registration codes will receive an additional seven-day trial should they register before 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on September 9, 2013."