Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida released a statement today on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the development team and their ongoing work. Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency, and Square Enix’s headquarters in Shinjuku has been taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of staff.
Patch 5.25, which released on Tuesday, was largely finished during the development of Patch 5.2, but Yoshida shares that they narrowly finished on time. This patch introduced a story-heavy first step of the new Resistance Weapon series.
Going forward, however, there will be several issues that will affect development. Yoshida lists them:
- Delayed delivery of graphical assets due to the lockdown of cities in East Asia, North America, and Europe.
- Delayed voice recording due to the lockdown of cities in Europe.
- Delays to development tasks performed by Tokyo staff due to work-from-home/shelter-in-place limitations.
- Production and QA teams operating well below normal capacity due to work-from-home/shelter-in-place limitations.
Due to these challenges, Yoshida expects a delay of up to one month in the arrival of Patch 5.3 – the third major update to last year’s Shadowbringers expansion. Originally planned for mid-June, it looks like we’ll potentially see it in mid-July. Yoshida apologizes for the delay, and cites the necessity of keeping employees safe.
The development and operations teams are transitioning to a work-from-home environment, and will be monitoring the game’s servers, but there may be delay in response to requests sent to the GM and support teams.
Yoshida concludes with this message to players:
“While many of us worldwide remain inside our homes, we should remember to let joy and laughter fill them─because in times like these, it’s especially important to find happiness where you can. I certainly hope that in delving into parts of FFXIV that you have yet to try─battles to be won, new jobs with which to hone your skills─connecting with in-game friends, and having fun together, your days will seem a little brighter. (It’s not a bad time to tell people about the free trial, if I do say so myself…)”
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac.