Forever renting

Final Fantasy XIV's housing market is just as exclusive as the real one

A lottery system was announced last year to democratize the home-owning process but technical issues have threatened to stop any progress on that front.


The housing market is particularly hot right now — American home prices have shot up by an average of 17 percent from late 2020 to late 2021, making an already rough market for first-time buyers even more exclusive. At least perma-renters have video games to make that reality feel less oppressive... right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Final Fantasy XIV where a new lottery system meant to even the playing field for prospective property owners has been bogged down with technical issues.

Since the lottery’s implementation, users have been unable to secure any land, and have instead been receiving messages indicating that “there are no winners.” Even though there are applicants for a given auction, sometimes results state, “There were no participants in this lottery,” or have in some cases given out a winning number of 0, despite that being an impossibility.

In a statement, Naoki Yoshida, FFXIVs producer and director has issued an apology for the inconvenience as well as outlining an investigation into the problem, with the next proposed lottery cycle being suspended until the matter has been resolved.

Not exactly new— For years, acquiring a plot of land with which to create a lovely abode in FFXIV has been near impossible. To make it easier for players to acquire one without going through the lengths of staking out an opening for hours, Yoshida, the game’s producer and director, introduced a new process for virtual home ownership: A lottery system where prospective applicants have one entry in a pool from which a single winner is randomly selected.

A 2016 piece from PCGamer outlined that a patch meant to introduce hundreds of “new, affordable housing plots per server,” was not able to meet demand, with all of the plots selling out in a matter of hours.

To keep their properties, users must regularly log on, and if that metric isn’t met, the plot of land is repossessed and redistributed. Accordingly, players might find themselves staking out a new opening, only to get beaten to the punch by a bot or automated program.