Japan's power company, TEPCO, has asked major businesses to try to conserve power in any way possible and Square Enix has decided to do that by shutting down their FFXI, FFXIV, & PlayOnline servers for at least a week, maybe even a month if need be. All current subscribers are being given the month of April free of charge as compensation. While the XI user base may survive if it does come down to having a month of no service, XIV may not. SE is still trying to build a stable following for XIV after its troubled launch and first few months there-after and any downtime will hurt their efforts. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.
"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."
Statement from TEPCO:
"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"