FF14 goes full steam ahead as unofficial statistics show a significant spike in player count

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-07-19 19:20 (JST)
Translated by. Braden Noyes

As we here at AUTOMATON have reported several times over the past few weeks, Square Enix’s MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has recently seen a dramatic rise in the number of players, particularly outside of Japan. The concurrent player count for the Steam version of FF14 hit an all-time high on July 5, 2021 with 48,697 players online at the same time, and this number has only continued to increase since. The total number of concurrent players topped out at 67,148 people on July 18, 2021.

This has largely been due to a mass migration of players from World of Warcraft to FF14 led by popular streamer Asmongold. We have also seen more than a few Reddit threads over the past few weeks featuring memes related to this exodus of players leaving World of Warcraft.

The number of concurrent players on Steam is often used as a means to quantify the popularity of a game. However, it should be mentioned that Steam is definitely not the most popular platform among FF14 players. The game has both a PC version as well as a PlayStation version (PS4 and PS5), with the PC version being further divided into the Windows, Mac, and Steam versions.

While there aren’t any glaring problems with the performance of the Steam version, there are a number of issues players have cited as reasons they tend to avoid the platform in favor of other versions: managing subscription payments and making in-game purchases is overly complicated; the collector’s edition with bonus in-game content is not available; and the list goes on. Looking at the FF14 Steam page, you will find a number of reviews pointing out the lack of user-friendliness.

So while seeing popularity statistics for a game on Steam is quite simple, in FF14’s case, the number of players using the Steam version is only a small drop in the bucket. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that so many people were purchasing the PC download version that the official website temporarily listed the item as out of stock. And we have no way to see how many players are simultaneously logged into that version of the game.

So how are we supposed to check the statistics in regard to the overall player base? Well, that’s where the unofficial data comes in handy.

SteamDB records (as of July 19, 2021)

User LuckyBancho has been monitoring FF14 player statistics ever since the game was first released in 2010. On July 18, 2021, he updated the “Lodestone Census” on his blog. Based on player data gathered from FF14’s official player website, The Lodestone, he creates a way to visualize statistics such as the number of active characters and how many players have cleared various in-game content.

According to LuckyBancho’s data, FF14 has around 1.2 million active characters. That’s 250,000 more than his previous report on April 11, 2021. The game also gained around 50,000 active characters between his report in April and the one prior to that on February 7, 2021. Looking at this data, you can clearly see the number of players has spiked over the last few months. Furthermore, his previous reports coincide somewhat with patches 5.4 and 5.5, showing just how powerful Asmongold’s influence as a popular streamer has been even when compared to the promise of brand new game content.

LuckyBancho’s “Lodestone Census” doesn’t just look at the number of active characters, though. It also contains data such as the number of players who have cleared the game’s most difficult content, the “Eden’s Promise: Eternity” raid, and how many players have taken part in “The Bozjan Southern Front” adventuring foray content.

The sampled data is published in a Google spreadsheet, making it simple for anyone interested to take a look. LuckyBancho finishes his blog post saying that he hopes to update the “Lodestone Census” just before the release of the new Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker expansion. Just remember to keep in mind his numbers are all unofficial.

On the occasions we here at AUTOMATON have discussed the increasing number of FF14 players in the past, we have also often mentioned periods in which no new content is added to the game and players find themselves running out of things to do. It’s probably safe to assume many players who have finished leveling and have cleared all the high-end content occasionally run into these stretches of boredom. However, this means the timing couldn’t be better for players who are just beginning the game for the first time.

FF14 is an MMORPG designed with a great matching system, making it easier for even those who play by themselves to find parties. However, there are plenty of people out there who might get nervous at the thought of being suddenly paired up with a group of players they’ve never met before.

As we previously mentioned, however, there are also many veteran players who have plenty of extra time on their hands right now as they await new content. We’d wager that if you were to ask for help, you’d most likely be able to find plenty of seasoned players more than happy to lend you a hand exploring a dungeon you’ve never been to or taking on some of the game’s high-level content for the first time.

For those who’ve had the game recommended to you and just haven’t taken that first step yet, we would definitely suggest using this opportunity to hop on board the recent hype train and check out the world of FF14. And even if you’ve just been thinking about picking up the game and starting on your own, there’s no better time to dive in and find an experienced player to help guide you on your adventure.

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