The Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers‘ 5.3 update won’t be arriving on time due to the impact of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, Square Enix announced Friday. Originally set to release in mid-June, the studio has now pushed back the update back indefinitely. The team hopes the delay will only be one month, but wasn’t able to give a more specific time frame due to the uncertainty of the situation.
In an oen letter, director Naoki Yoshida explained why fans of the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game will have to wait on the expansion’s third major update.
“We are terribly sorry for the disappointment this may cause our players, as we know you look forward to new patches,” Yoshida told fans. “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.”
Tokyo has declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, and the studio reportedly can’t keep up with the regular pace of development as everyone is now working from home. While those issues didn’t impact the recently released 5.25 patch, that update was already nearly complete before the pandemic spread, and some employees were still able to safely visit the office.
Yoshida outlined other issues the Final Fantasy XIV team is currently facing. Voice actors are unable to record their lines in Europe, worldwide city lockdowns have forced a delay of graphical assets, and both the production and quality assurance teams are operating at lower capacity due to shelter-in-place limitations.
Server maintenance for the game will still occur regularly, although Yoshida told fans that support desk inquiries may take longer than usual. Bug fixes might also take longer to implement. Square Enix said it will communicate with fans and asks for their patience.
“While many of us worldwide remain inside our homes,” Yoshida continued in his letter, “we should remember to let joy and laughter fill them ─ because in times like these, it’s especially important to find happiness where you can.”