Due to the tragic Tohoku earthquake and its aftermath, the Japanese were urged to conserve power. As a result, on March 13th Square-Enix temporarily shut down its game servers for Final Fantasy XIV and XI, and suspended PlayOnline services. Square-Enix has just announced via press release that all of these services are expected to go back online on Friday, March 25th.
Square-Enix explains that running the servers for these online services makes up over 11% of the total power consumed by their Tokyo office. The company has cut down on energy consumption through various measures, such as shutting down their air-conditioning system and reducing lighting, resulting in over 10% energy usage reductions. It is through these energy saving procedures that they can bring the servers back online.
The company states that they may be required to suspend services again should the power situation worsen in Japan.
While mentioned in the original announcement, Square-Enix assures its player community again that they will not be charged monthly fees for the April billing cycle.