Final Fantasy XVI Producer Naoki Yoshida – better known amongst most circles by the nickname Yoshi-P has revealed the game’s development was hindered by almost six months thanks to COVID-19.
Set in Valisthea, a land covered with Mothercrystals that bestow aether for magick, Final Fantasy XVI introduces players to a world where mighty nations have risen around these crystals, but their uneasy peace is now at threat as a blight spreads across the land.
To make things worse, each nation treats their Dominants – those who can call upon mighty creatures known as Eikons – differently. Main character Clive Rosfield is the older brother of the Phoenix Dominant Joshua, and is sent down the path of revenge against the Ifrit Dominant.
Final Fantasy XVI was first announced in 2020 during Sony’s September PlayStation 5 Showcase via its debut trailer – a presentation which Yoshi-P, who also serves as the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV, ensured featured gameplay, as to prevent fans from seeing an entirely pre-rendered trailer and assuming the game would not be out for a long time.
Later, in October 2020, Square Enix stated that the game’s initial development and scenario work had been completed.
However, as time passed, further details became more and more scant. Apart from learning that Final Fantasy XVI will be dubbed first in British English and then into Japanese, we’ve not heard much more about the game nor a release date.
In July 2021, Yoshi-P stated during an interview with NieR Automata producer Yosuke Saito and director Yoko Taro that he did not want to feed fans small bits of info, and would prefer to have the game playable soon after an exciting trailer.
Now, in the first piece of information released since said interview, it appears that whatever release scheduled Square Enix had mind has been delayed by almost six months.
Speaking on Twitter, Yoshi-P told fans, “I promise I would have more information on FINAL FANTASY XVI 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 year.”
“As the latest addition to the FINAL FANTASY series being developed for the PlayStation 5, FINAL FANTASY XVI has amassed a sizeable team composed of talented creators from around the world,” Yoshi-P explained. “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 led to delays in – or in extreme cases, cancellations – of asset deliveries from our outsource partners.”
He continued, “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 now is to be as hands on with the game as possible in order to see it fully polished,” the producer further clarified.
As for when players could “expect the next round of information,” Yoshi-P announced at the tail end of his statement that “the current plan is to conduct our next big reveal in spring of 2022 as we seek to build excitement leading up to the game’s eventual release.”
“I deeply apologize to all those who have been looking forward to learning more about FINAL FANTASY XVI, and thank you for your continued patience while we focus our combined efforts on development,” he ultimately concluded.
Previously, fans were surprised when Yoshi-P stated in a radio interview that it would “have a mode and things to support players who want to focus on the story,” so that even those who know how hard adult life can enjoy the tale of Valisthea.
Yoshi-P is also having problems with Final Fantasy XIV – though arguably one some would want to have. In recent months, the game has seen such a huge surge of players that Square Enix has had to stop selling the game, even halting all of their advertising for the title, in order to try and stem any further burden on the servers.
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