Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is currently in early access for players that pre-ordered the expansion and it has already set a new personal best for concurrent players on Steam. At the peak, 95,150 players were exploring Eorzea during the weekend.
Keep in mind that most players do not play FFXIV through Steam so the total numbers will be a lot higher. The full release of the expansion is set for tomorrow, so it will be exciting to see if a new record can be set next weekend.
These big numbers will of course also mean high queue times which Square Enix has been dealing with as best they can.
Executive Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida recently addressed the issue and how they are handling it in a post on the FFXIV website.
Currently, all Worlds across all regions have been hitting the login cap for extremely long periods of time, and the progression of login queues is being slowed dramatically. Across the FFXIV service as a whole, the number of simultaneous logins has reached the hardware limit, and as a result, logging in has required an extremely long time, especially during “peak hours” when we tend to see increased player activity. For this, I am truly sorry.
To compensate for the issues, Square Enix will be giving all players with active subscriptions 7 Days of free game time on December 7th.