Resuming automatic house demolition in Japan in Final Fantasy 14

final fantasy 14 housing estate

Wide-ranging landscapes, grand adventures, and the highly sought-after in-game housing system characterize the lively universe of Final Fantasy 14. But there’s a catch to keeping up a virtual home in Eorzea: players have to remain involved in the game to avoid losing their valuable land lots. Although it may sound harsh, this automated home demolition mechanism keeps abandoned estates off of the virtual landscape and promotes a healthy in-game property market.

In January 2024, a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the Noto Peninsula in Japan, causing immense loss of life and widespread devastation. Recognizing the immense hardship faced by players in the region, Square Enix, the developers of Final Fantasy 14, made a heartfelt decision. They temporarily suspended the automatic demolition of player housing on Japanese servers. This act of compassion allowed players to focus on rebuilding their real-world lives without the added stress of potentially losing their virtual homes.

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This was not the first time Square Enix had prioritized player well-being in the face of real-world events. A similar suspension of automatic housing demolition was implemented at the start of the war in Ukraine, demonstrating the company’s sensitivity to global tragedies and their impact on the gaming community.

The decision to suspend demolition was met with widespread praise from players. Square Enix’s quick response and understanding conveyed a clear message: the well-being of their players comes first. In a blog post at the time, the development and management team expressed their deepest condolences to those affected by the disaster, stating, “Our hearts go out to those who were affected by the massive earthquake… Due to the damages and other factors, we have decided to temporarily suspend the automatic demolition of estates.”

They acknowledged the challenges faced by players in the region, further explaining, “The timer has been stopped again after a short period in light of the damage and circumstances of the people affected by the disaster. We ask for your consideration and understanding.” Additionally, Square Enix pledged to “monitor the situation” and resume automatic demolition when the time was right.

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Fast forward to today, with reconstruction efforts well underway and a sense of normalcy gradually returning to the region, Square Enix has announced the resumption of automatic housing demolition in Japan. Patch 7.01, scheduled for release on July 16, 2024, will mark the return of this feature. This decision comes after careful consideration and a period of monitoring the recovery process. Square Enix is confident that the time is right to reinstate the automatic demolition system, ensuring a healthy and dynamic housing market in Eorzea.

However, the return of automatic demolition also necessitates a reminder to players on Japanese servers. It’s crucial to check the status of your in-game estates. Players who haven’t entered their virtual homes for an extended period are at risk of losing them. Square Enix encourages players to log in and maintain activity within the game to avoid facing this consequence.

The story of Square Enix’s response to the Japanese earthquake highlights the unique and evolving relationship between game developers and players. It’s a testament to the power of video games to create communities that transcend borders and foster a sense of belonging. Square Enix’s actions demonstrate a deep understanding that players are more than just usernames on a screen; they are real people with lives and experiences that can sometimes intersect with the virtual world. The decision to prioritize player well-being in the face of tragedy sets a commendable example for other developers in the gaming industry.

For Japanese gamers of Final Fantasy 14, the automatic house demolition has resumed, which is a good sign. Even though the events of January were clearly unfortunate, Square Enix deserves praise for their calm demeanor and attention to player welfare. They made sure the feature was temporarily suspended at a period of extreme difficulty, and they are now re-implementing it while giving the healing process careful thought. Players may now again concentrate on purchasing, furnishing, and cherishing their virtual houses as Eorzea reconstructs alongside Japan, secure in the knowledge that Square Enix is dedicated to fostering a good and encouraging gaming community.

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