Final Fantasy XIV is going to face development delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Director Naoki Yoshida confirmed this in a note to fans this morning. Publisher Square Enix now has its teams working from home, and that includes many of the people who work on Final Fantasy XIV.
“Here in Tokyo, where the FFXIV team is located, a state of emergency has been declared,” writes Yoshida. “And we have been ordered to take preventative measures to curb further spread of the virus.”
Despite this order, Square Enix was able to complete patch 5.25 for Final Fantasy XIV. But Yoshida notes that the company got that done “by a narrow margin.” Now that the company is putting 5.25 behind it, the future is much less certain.
“FFXIV relies heavily on our development and QA partners across the world,” writes Yoshida. “And at this point, we must accept that the situation will significantly impact our development schedule.”
How COVID-19 is affecting Final Fantasy XIV’s development
Helpfully, Yoshida provided detailed reasoning for why the pandemic is so disruptive. And it’s the same issues that are wreaking havoc in lives across the world.
As populations in North America, Europe, and Asia shelter in place, this is causing complications with getting important in-game content. Yoshida notes that studios in those territories may encounter delays delivering art assets. And even if some companies can work from home, lockdowns are preventing actors from working in recording studios. The quality-assurance group is also missing significant members of its staff.
And then Square Enix’s core Tokyo team is expecting delays as it adapts to working from home.
“Though it is clear that patch 5.3, which was planned for mid-June, will be delayed because of the above, we are at this time undecided as to whether it will be feasible to limit the delay to two or three weeks, or if it will be closer to a month,” writes Yoshida. “We are terribly sorry for the disappointment this may cause our players, as we know you look forward to new patches. However, it is also important to prioritize the physical and mental health of our development team, without whom we would never be able to release the quality updates and features you expect from FFXIV. So we ask for your understanding as we adjust our schedule in accordance with the situation.”