Final Fantasy XVI Hit With A Big Delay, But A New Reveal Is On The Way

Perhaps one of the most exciting upcoming games for PlayStation 5 is Final Fantasy XVI. Unfortunately, we haven't seen a whole lot from the game yet, and it looks like it'll be a while until we see more because today Square Enix announced a delay for the game. It's a fairly significant one, too, as Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida says that the COVID-19 pandemic has "delayed the game's development by almost a half year."

Yoshida revealed this in a lengthy statement published to Twitter early this morning. While most developers simply blame challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic and leave it at that, Yoshida went into specifics about how the pandemic has impacted the development of Final Fantasy XVI.

According to his statement, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Square Enix to decentralize the Final Fantasy XVI team by shifting to work-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," Yoshida explained.

The good news, according to Yoshida, is that Square Enix has hammered out these issues throughout 2021, so having the team work remote shouldn't cause as many problems in 2022. There's still a lot to be done, as Yoshida says that the team will be focusing on "increasing graphic resource quality, refining combat mechanics, fleshing out individual battles, putting the finishing touches on cutscenes, and conducting overall graphical optimization," but the Final Fantasy XVI developers should be able to better handle those tasks in the new year.

As for when Final Fantasy XVI might launch, that's still up in the air. We were supposed to get another look at the game before the end of this year, but that's no longer happening. Instead, Yoshida says that Final Fantasy XVI's "next big reveal" will happen in spring 2022.

While that hopefully means we'll see the game release at some point next year, it's impossible to tell without more specifics from Square Enix. Indeed, a lot is up in the air at the moment, and COVID surges brought about by the Omicron variant could disrupt plans further. Hopefully, the Final Fantasy XVI is somewhat insulated from such surges, but COVID-19 looms over any potential release timeline regardless.

We'll just have to wait and see what Yoshida and Square Enix announce next. It's unlikely that we'll hear more about Final Fantasy XVI before that big spring reveal, but hopefully, that gives us new release details, an extended look at the game, or both. For now, Final Fantasy XVI has only been confirmed for PlayStation 5, but we'll let you know if that changes in the future.