The development of Final Fantasy XVI is delayed by “almost a half year” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producer Naoki Yoshida announced this message on the official website of Final Fantasy XVI. He apologized for not being able to keep the promise he made about releasing more information on Final Fantasy XVI sometime later in 2021.
— FINAL FANTASY XVI (@finalfantasyxvi) December 27, 2021
The development of the game was heavily affected by the pandemic. “As the latest addition to the Final Fantasy series being developed for the PlayStation 5,” Yoshida wrote, “Final Fantasy XVI has amassed a sizable team composed of talented creators from around the world. 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.” Remote working has hampered communication from Square Enix’s Tokyo office, which in turn has led to delays or even cancellations in asset deliveries from their outsource partners.
Yoshida further explains that the company has spent much of 2021 addressing this issue and that the development team is currently focused on 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.” Final Fantasy XVI was first announced in September 2020, at the PS5 showcase. The game has a medieval fantasy setting, with the Land of Valisthea consisting of six realms: The Grand Duchy of Rosaria, The Holy Empire of Sanbreque, The Kingdom of Waloed, The Dhalmekian Republic, The Iron Kingdom, and The Crystalline Dominion. Regarding the postponed information release date, Yoshida said that the next major reveal is postponed to spring 2022. Although this may not be the message fans want to hear, it is understandable that many large video game companies are currently being heavily affected by the pandemic, as Ubisoft has also lost many employees recently.