Temporary Suspension of the Services Due to an Earthquake

On Friday, March 11, a catastrophic earthquake struck just off the coast of Northeast Japan.  The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 8.9, the biggest to hit Japan since record-keeping began in the late 1800s and one of the biggest ever recorded in the world.

In addition to the fires and blackouts caused by the quake itself, it also triggered a devastating tsunami.  There were presumed partial meltdowns at two quake-hit nuclear reactors and problems at a third.  Just how many have perished is hard to say, as many remain missing.  It is estimated that the region hardest hit will count nearly 10,000 deaths.  At least 1.4 million households were left without water since the quake struck and some 2.5 million households were without electricity.  Large areas of the countryside were surrounded by water and unreachable.  Fuel stations are closed and people are running out of gasoline for their cars.

Power companies in Japan have encouraged everyone to cooperate by conserving energy.  Square-Enix is complying with this request by shutting down their servers and temporarily suspending service for PlayOnline, FFXI and FFXIV for approximately one week.

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. Based on the current situation, we have decided to shut down the game servers temporarily, and therefore to suspend services of FINAL FANTASY XIV, FINAL FANTASY XI, and PlayOnline temporarily.

The services will be temporarily suspended for at least a week starting on Mar. 13, 2011 3:00 (PDT). We will provide an update regarding the reinstatement of the service as additional information becomes available. In connection with the temporary suspension of services, players will not be billed for any PlayOnline service throughout the April billing cycle. Additional information regarding this matter will also be posted as it becomes available.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding of this unusual situations.

[Date & Time]
A week starting from Mar. 13, 2011 3:00 (PDT)

[Affected Service]
- PlayOnline

* The following services, normally accessible from the official PlayOnline homepage (http://www.playonline.com/), will be unavailable during this time.

- Friend List Plus
- FINAL FANTASY XI Linkshell Community Beta Version
- PlayOnline Friend List Application
- Community Site Link Registration: Owner Menu

* Additionally, the following types of support will also be temporarily unavailable:
- PlayOnline Password Recovery
- PlayOnline Account Cancellation
- All activities requiring the confirmation of personal information

* Please be advised that we will continue to operate the official websites, FINAL FANTASY XIV Lodestone, forums, and the SQUARE ENIX Support Center to be able provide our customers with updates on the current situation.

An excerpt from the Caution posted on

A big earthquake occurred in the northern part of Japan at 2:46PM of March 11th 2011. Because TEPCO's facilities have been seriously damaged, power shortage may occur.
TEPCO appreciates customers' cooperation in reducing electricity usage by avoiding using unnecessary lighting and electrical equipment.
We are taking all measures to restore power, however, we expect extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while. We kindly ask our customers to cooperate with us in reducing usage of power.

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