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Last year Square Enix unveiled Final Fantasy XVI, the next chapter in the long running RPG series, promising more information to come at the end of 2021. Now, it seems that both the announcement and the game have been postponed, Kotaku has reported.
"When we last spoke, I promised I would have more information on Final Fantasy XVI sometime later in 2021," producer Naoki Yoshida wrote on Twitter. "However, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to keep that promise, as complications from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have delayed the game’s development by almost half a year."
— FINAL FANTASY XVI (@finalfantasyxvi) December 27, 2021
Developer Square Enix allowed partners to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that apparently affected the schedule. "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," Yoshida said.
As we noted last year, FF XVI was originally launched as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, and has a medieval setting rather than the more sci-fi oriented environments of recent versions. The company said that it established an "all-new development environment" for the project and had to learn the ins and outs of the PS5.
"We have spent much of 2021 addressing this [pandemic] 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 graphic optimization," said Yoshida. The plan is to now do a reveal in spring of 2022 and release the game some time after that.