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Final Fantasy 14’s next update delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

Originally slated for mid-June

A character with grey hair laying on the ground Image: Square Enix
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Final Fantasy 14’s next major update, patch 5.3, has been delayed. Square Enix producer Naoki Yoshida announced on Friday that the game’s next patch, originally scheduled for mid-June, could arrive as late as July due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo, like much of the world, is currently on lockdown with non-essential employees working from home. Yoshida said the situation “raises questions as to effects on game services and patch development.”

“Though it is clear that patch 5.3, which was planned for mid-June, will be delayed because of the above, we are at this time undecided as to whether it will be feasible to limit the delay to two or three weeks, or if it will be closer to a month,” Yoshida said.

He continued:

We are terribly sorry for the disappointment this may cause our players, as we know you look forward to new patches. However, it is also important to prioritize the physical and mental health of our development team, without whom we would never be able to release the quality updates and features you expect from FFXIV, so we ask for your understanding as we adjust our schedule in accordance with the situation.

Regarding the operation of our servers: we will now be maintaining them from home, myself included. While GM support and replies from the support desk may take longer than usual, you can rest assured that each World will be running as usual, allowing everyone to continue playing.

In some cases, we may have difficulty implementing bug fixes or maintenance for issues that occur. If that happens, we will post a notification of the issue, and implement the fix as soon as we are able, so we ask for your patience in the meantime.

Developer Square Enix is not alone in this struggle. On Thursday, Amazon Game Studios delayed its upcoming massively multiplayer online game New World over the challenges of developing a game remotely. Likewise, Sony Interactive Entertainment has postponed two of its major 2020 releases: The Last of Us Part 2 and Marvel’s Iron Man VR. Both have been delayed “until further notice.” Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 Remake, too, was impacted by the pandemic — in March, the developer said it would ship copies to Europe and Australia early to decrease the likelihood of shipping delays. Final Fantasy 7 Remake was officially released Friday, April 10 for PlayStation 4.

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