Square Enix is suspending the sales and delivery of Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition and Complete Edition, because it's doing too well and the company can't keep up. The decision applies to both physical and digital versions of the game and will be enforced in the coming weeks. It's a gradual process that will take some time and will require coordination with retail partners — at the moment, both versions are still available in digital game stores — but the company says it will be coordinating with those partners "as swiftly as possible."
FFXIV players have been struggling with lengthy queues ever since the Endwalker expansion came out in late November. They still have to wait hours to get into a server and be able to play the game. In its announcement, Square Enix explained it has to suspend FFXIV sales because the "dense concentration of play hours... far exceed [its] server capacity, especially during the peak times." The developer previously said that it's unable to add more Worlds or servers prior to Endwalker's release to ensure that it can accommodate all players due to the global semiconductor shortage.
FFXIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida issued an apology in early December for the ongoing issue and granted seven days of free game time to all players who own the full version of the game and have an active subscription. In his newest post, he said Square Enix is now giving those players an additional 14 days.
In addition to halting FFXIV sales, the company will prioritize the logins of people with an active subscription going forward. It will no longer accept free trial subscriptions, and current free trial players won't be able to log in outside of late night and early morning hours anymore.