Producer Naoki Yoshida announced on Monday that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to unexpected production issues and that the game’s “next big reveal” now won’t occur until spring 2022.
“When we last spoke, I promised I would have more information on Final Fantasy XVI sometime later in 2021,” Yoshida said. “However, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to keep that promise as complications stemming from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have delayed the game’s development by almost a half year.
“As the latest addition to the Final Fantasy series being developed for the PlayStation 5, Final Fantasy XVI has amassed a sizable team composed of talented creators from around the world,” he continued. “However, in an effort to offset the effects of Covid-19, we’ve had to decentralize that workforce by permitting staff to tackle their assignments from home.
“This has unfortunately hampered communication from the Tokyo office, which, in turn, has to led to delays in—or in extreme cases, cancellations of—asset deliveries from our outsource partners.
“That said, we have spent much of 2021 addressing this issue and hope to see its impact to a minimum by the new year, allowing us to better focus on the tasks at hand: increasing graphic resource quality, refining combat mechanics, fleshing out individual battles, putting the finishing touches on cutscenes, and conducting overall graphical optimization. Our primary goal is now to be as hands on with the game as possible in order to see it fully polished.”
Yoshida said Square Enix plans to “conduct our next big reveal in spring of 2022 as we seek to build excitement leading up to the game’s eventual release”.
Square Enix officially announced Final Fantasy XVI during a PS5 showcase in September 2020.
While no release timing was confirmed, the reveal featured almost four minutes of footage from various aspects of the title, suggesting it was significantly into development.