While Square Enix originally had plans to debut new PS5 footage for Final Fantasy 16 by the end of 2021, it’s now looking at the middle of next year, instead.
According to the game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, it’s all because Covid messed up the team’s communication and work practices.
"When we last spoke, I promised I would have more information on Final Fantasy XVI sometime later in 2021," 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."
Apparently, not having the team in one central location really took its toll on development, and is the root cause of the delay. "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.
Delays are expected for Final Fantasy but this may be the worst, yet
As of right now, there’s no hard release date for Final Fantasy 16, which makes sense considering how little we know about the game.
Fans have speculated that the game could be released in the middle of 2022 - somewhere around June of next year - but that now seems like a complete longshot.
That said, games in the main Final Fantasy series rarely come out that close together. Final Fantasy XV was released back in 2016, while its non-MMORPG predecessor - Final Fantasy XIII - was released way back in 2009.
With about seven years between each modern release, Final Fantasy 16 could be looking at 2023 or even 2024 as a new potential release window.