The latest update for the Steam version of Final Fantasy 9 accidentally deleted the entire game.
Players first spotted (opens in new tab) this issue on Thursday, April 2. When they went to launch the game, it would stall on the launcher. After checking the backend patch notes (opens in new tab) for the update released that day, it became clear why: the launcher was the only thing left. For some odd reason, the update deleted literally every other part of the game, from its launcher to the town of Lindblum.
Square Enix has yet to officially acknowledge this little hiccup, but it seems to be addressing the situation on its end. The game's Steam Database history (opens in new tab) shows that several changes have been pushed in the past 20-odd hours, and Steam users have since reported gaining access to an older build of the game. This suggests Square restored a more readily available build as a tide-me-over while it works out what the hell happened and how to fix it.
The good news is that hysterically obvious problems like this often have black-and-white fixes. The folder for the game's files was totally emptied after the botched update, which suggests a blank folder was somehow pushed to the game's live build. If that's the case - and to be fair, we can't be certain it is - it should be a simple matter of restoring the actual build. Of course, things are rarely simple in game development, so fixing this little oopsie may take some elbow grease. Nevertheless, the game should be back in full before too long, and since Steam saves are stored in the cloud, nobody's progress should be affected. Fingers crossed.
This wasn't part of our April Fools Day 2020 round-up (opens in new tab), but it easily could have been.