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Why Are Players Leaving Final Fantasy XIV's Endwalker Expansion?

In recent times, there has been a growing concern among Final Fantasy 14 players about the decline in the player base. Many have pointed fingers at the latest expansion, Endwalker, as the culprit behind the player exodus. However, it's important to take a closer look at the situation and recognize that there are various factors contributing to this decline. So, we'll explore the multifaceted reasons why players are leaving or taking breaks from FFXIV.


Why Are Players Leaving Final Fantasy XIV


Post-Endwalker Content

One of the primary issues that have left players dissatisfied is the post-Endwalker content. While Endwalker introduced several exciting features, such as Criterion dungeons, not all of these additions were well-received. Criterion dungeons, for instance, had a lot of potential but ultimately failed to retain players' interest due to their limited replayability. This content, while enjoyable initially, quickly became stale as players exhausted its rewards. The lack of incentives to revisit these dungeons contributed to player frustration.

  • Criterion dungeons introduced with Endwalker.
  • The appeal of the concept.
  • Lack of replayability.
  • Suggestions for improvement: Tie meaningful rewards to replaying Criterion dungeons.


Relic Weapon Grind

Another issue that has left players disheartened is the change in the approach to obtaining Relic weapons. In previous expansions, players were accustomed to grinding for these powerful weapons, which created a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. However, Endwalker provided Relic weapons with minimal effort, robbing players of the satisfaction that comes from hard work and dedication.

  • The traditional MMORPG love for grinding.
  • Dissatisfaction with the ease of obtaining Relic weapons.
  • Suggestion: Reintroduce a more challenging grind for Relic weapons.


Solo Content Emphasis

Endwalker introduced a significant amount of solo content, which, while appealing to some, has left others feeling isolated in a game that thrives on multiplayer interactions. Solo-oriented features like Island Sanctuary and the lack of large-scale group content like Eureka or Bozjan Southern Front have created a sense of loneliness within the FFXIV community.

  • The importance of group content in MMORPGs.
  • The allure of solo content like Island Sanctuary.
  • The need for a balance between solo and group experiences.
  • Suggestion: Introduce more engaging group content to foster community interaction.


External Factors

Several external factors have also contributed to the decline in FFXIV's player base. It's crucial to acknowledge that the game's popularity surged during a unique period when people were stuck at home due to quarantine measures. Additionally, controversies surrounding other MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft, led to an influx of players to FFXIV. However, as these factors waned, so did the player numbers.

  • The impact of quarantine on gaming habits.
  • The role of controversies in player migration.
  • The tendency of players to have a primary MMORPG.
  • Acknowledging the cyclical nature of player populations.


Socialization and Third-Party Programs

The emergence of player-run venues and nightclubs within FFXIV, often facilitated by third-party programs, has introduced a new dimension of social interaction to the game. While this has been well-received by some, it also raises concerns about the game's reliance on external tools and the potential risks associated with them.

  • The rise of social player-run events.
  • The prevalence of third-party programs.
  • The need for quality of life improvements to support social gameplay.
  • The potential risks of relying on third-party tools.



While Endwalker may have played a role in the decline of FFXIV's player base, it's essential to recognize that the situation is more complex than simply blaming the expansion. The combination of content-related issues, external factors, and evolving player preferences has contributed to this phenomenon. To ensure the continued success of FFXIV, Square Enix must consider player feedback and strike a balance between solo and group content while addressing the reliance on third-party programs. Ultimately, the future of FFXIV's player base depends on a holistic approach that considers all these factors.

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