The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect game development (pic: Square Enix)
After a lengthy silence, Final Fantasy 16’s producer has admitted that development has been pushed back by almost half a year.
It has been over a year since Final Fantasy 16 was announced and there have yet to be any meaningful updates on the game since. A new trailer was speculated to make an appearance at several events throughout 2021, but it’s been completely absent.
Unsurprisingly, this long silence is due to the Covid pandemic interfering with Final Fantasy 16’s development. In an update on the game’s official website, producer Naoki Yoshida explains that, with staff members working from home, development has been delayed by almost six months.
Yoshida said: ‘When last we spoke, I promised I would have more information on Final Fantasy 16 sometime later in 2021. 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.
‘In an effort to offset the effects of Covid-19, we’ve had to decentralise [the] workforce by permitting staff to tackle their assignments from home. This has unfortunately hampered communication from the Tokyo office, which, in turn, has led to delays in—or in extreme cases, cancellations of—asset deliveries from our outsource partners.’
While apologetic, Yoshida also seems optimistic that the worst is behind them, adding that most of 2021 has been spent on addressing the issue. This means, from now on, the team can focus on other tasks, like refining combat mechanics and touching up cut scenes.
The message continued: ‘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 cut scenes, and conducting overall graphical optimisation. Our primary goal now is to be as hands on with the game as possible in order to see it fully polished.’
There’s still no release date for Final Fantasy 16, but Yoshida assures that he and his team will have something to show in the new year. Specifically, during the spring so eager fans only have to wait an extra three to five months for the next big reveal, which presumably will include a new trailer.
Announced as a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive, Final Fantasy 16 will have a more traditional fantasy setting compared to some of the previous entries in the series.
As for Naoki Yoshida, fans know him best for his work on the online multiplayer game Final Fantasy 14 and is generally credited for salvaging it, turning it from a flop into one of Square Enix’s greatest successes.
Final Fantasy 16 is in development for PlayStation 5.
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