If you pre-ordered Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, you may have noticed that the pre-order registration site, which you need to use to gain early access to the game, is now accepting pre-order codes.
I say “accepting” in the sense that it will take your code and then do nothing with it. Instead, you’ll probably get a (helpful) error saying that “There was a problem”.
Some things never change. If you played Final Fantasy XI, you probably remember that pretty much every launch of an update or expansion resulted in problems: server problems, account mangement problems, an so forth. This is pretty much par for the course with most MMOs, but Square Enix seems to have a particularly hard time anticipating problems and preparing for overload from its customer base.
In this case, they launched a form that reportedly didn’t work to begin with. Then, various people began reporting that they did manage to register for the preorder, but the system was clearly overloaded and so most people couldn’t get through. Combine that with the fact that several North American customers reportedly received codes that belong to the European version of the game, and we’ve got a bit of a mess. The last word from the Final Fantasy XIV Twitter account is that the form has been disabled, which is fine — except that it’s still online and purports to be working. If Square Enix actually disabled this form, shouldn’t it improve the customer experience just a little bit, and tell people on that page that the form doesn’t work?
Let’s recap something important here: A Realm Reborn is the new version of Final Fantasy XIV that is being released because the original FFXIV was massively disappointing and wildly unpopular. One would think that if Square Enix ever needed to get something right, it was now. The beta stages went by fairly well, and the game is certainly much, much better than the original FFXIV. But even before launch we’re seeing some problems, and it seems that, even though the game itself has improved greatly, some things at Square Enix never change.
Early access is scheduled to begin on Saturday, August 24, which means Square Enix still has a little bit of time to sort this out. The game becomes available to the remaining masses on the following Tuesday, August 27.