Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida has "deeply" apologized to fans who had been expecting to hear more about the action RPG this year.
Final Fantasy 16 (opens in new tab) – a PS5 (opens in new tab) console exclusive – was first revealed way back in September 2020 at a PlayStation showcase. Yoshida promised fans that more news would follow in early 2021 (opens in new tab), but information has been slow to non-existent pretty much ever since, with a no-show at Tokyo Game Show despite the revelation that voice recording for the English version was almost complete, and all scenarios have been written and "set in stone" (opens in new tab).
"When we last spoke, I promised I would have more information on Final Fantasy 16 sometime later in 2021," Yoshida explained in a statement shared on the game's official social media channels earlier today.
"However, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to keep that promise as complications stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the game's development by almost half a year."
A message from Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida. #FF16 #FFXVI pic.twitter.com/qtfJUUp6LADecember 27, 2021
"As the latest addition to the Final Fantasy series being developed for the PlayStation 4, Final Fantasy 16 has amassed a sizeable team composed of talented creators from around the world," he added. "However, in an effort to offset the effects of COVID-19, we've had to decentralize that workforce by permitting staff to tackle their assignments 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.
"That said, we have spent much of 2021 addressing this 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 graphical optimization," he explained. "Our primary goal now is to be as hands-on with the game as possible in order to see it fully polished."
The statement closes with a question – when will we get more information about Final Fantasy 16? Well, according to Yoshida, the "current plan" is to hold a big reveal in "spring 2022" (that's Q2 for people in the southern hemisphere) as the team "seek to build excitement leading up to the game's eventual release".
Head over to our upcoming PS5 games (opens in new tab) guide for a full look at all the other games still coming to Sony's latest console.