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Monday March 14, 2011 4:58 am

Sony temporarily shuts down Final Fantasy MMO after earthquake




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: MMORPG, Sony

Sony Online Entertainment is officially flipping off the servers for its Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XI, and PlayOnline games and services. Don't worry, they'll be back online in short order. The move comes as a result of Japan's Friday earthquake—and the temporary loss of massively multiplayer online gaming is just one of the fallouts.

"Due to the continuous earthquakes occurring in the eastern regions of Japan since Mar. 11, 2011, the power companies in Japan have encouraged everyone to cooperate by conserving as much energy as possible as it is feared there will not be enough power supply," reads a Sony blog post, published today.

Accordingly, Sony is suspending service for its two Final Fantasy MMOs and PlayOnline starting at 3 p.m. PST today. There's been no indication as to how long the servers will remain offline, though Sony promises that it will update players with additional information as soon as it comes in. Sony plans to leave the servers offline for at least a week, possibly more—the company indicates that it will not be billing players for any time the servers are offline.

In addition to the aforementioned games, the following PlayOnline services and general Sony Support services will be taken offline during the server switch-off:

Friend List Plus
FINAL FANTASY XI Linkshell Community Beta Version
PlayOnline Friend List Application
Community Site Link Registration: Owner Menu
PlayOnline Password Recovery
PlayOnline Account Cancellation
All activities requiring the confirmation of personal information

Sony will leave its official website online during the server shutdown, as well as the Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone site, the game's forums, and the official Square Enix support center.

Japan's more prolific gaming companies have been, for the most part, spared from any of destruction and devastation caused by Friday's earthquake. According to a report from IGN, companies located in Tokyo—like Nintendo, Sega, and Konami—as well as Capcom's Oksaka presence remain unaffected by the earthquake.

Development studio CyberConnect2 even went so far as to offer up its own resources to those seeking assistance, promising food, drinks, and television for up to 30 people or so at once, the maximum number of people the company could take in at its Tokyo office.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck some 80 miles east of the Japanese city of Sendai, at an ocean depth of about 15.2 miles. The resulting tsunami generated by the quake—which has been dubbed the largest earthquake in Japan's history—resulted in significant flooding alongside Japan's eastern coast. Damages from the quake are currently estimated at around $34 billion.

For more, see how Google and other tech giants like Twitter, Apple, and Microsoft are helping with the quake response effort, as well as attendees at SXSW.

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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