Final Fantasy 14's Dawntrail expansion is coming a week after the Elden Ring DLC so Yoshi-P can binge Shadow of the Erdtree first

A Final Fantasy 14 character casting spells.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14's Dawntrail expansion has officially received a release date for its early access and full release. 

Final Fantasy 14 director and producer Naoki 'Yoshi-P' Yoshida delved into the upcoming expansion and the accompanying 7.0 update at a special PAX East presentation live-streamed earlier today. Early access begins on June 28, 2024, with a full launch following a week later on July 2. 

Yoshi-P also noted that he actually wanted to release Dawntrail a week earlier, but a little-known game called Elden Ring is dropping its Shadow of the Erdtree expansion around the same time. "We figured everyone would be interested in playing the Elden Ring DLC," the director says, "I'll give you one week!"

Yoshi-P later jokes that the week-long push wasn't due to his own desire to play the expansion. "Just to make it clear, it's not because I'm interested in playing Elden Ring before Dawntrail," he quips sarcastically before laughing at himself. 

The Final Fantasy 14 team has long teased the summery expansion, which is said to kickstart the game's next decade-long story, giving us plenty of insight into what's new, what to expect, and what's changing. For example, Dawntrail's Cosmic Exploration feature will send players to explore the stars above. It's apparently ditching the chill vibes of the game's other casual activities and is instead borrowing from the collective MMO grind of the Ishgard Restoration

Elsewhere, Final Fantasy 14 is upgrading its character graphics alongside the expansion as the director admitted the game hasn't always depicted darker skin tones very well. Better customization options are good for everyone, especially since plenty of new players will be jumping into the recently-released Xbox version - and returning players might be building fresh faces with the forthcoming Viper and Pictomancer classes. 

Yoshi-P also promised that Final Fantasy 14 won't forget its unanswered mysteries as it heads into its next 10-year adventure. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.