Final Fantasy XIV’s annual Fan Festival in North America has been cancelled, and the game’s upcoming patch 5.3 has been delayed again, due to the ongoing outbreak of covid-19.
“The North American Fan Festival was scheduled to be held in San Diego half a year from now in November, but after much deliberation we have made the difficult decision to cancel proceedings,” the game’s director, Naoki Yoshida, wrote on the game’s forum last night. “Although we have been moving forward with various arrangements to adapt to the unfolding pandemic, we ultimately feel that we cannot guarantee the health and safety of the attendees, performers, or company staff members who would be present at the event.”
Yoshida said Square Enix is already looking into possible dates and venues for holding the event in the first half of 2021, but that due to new safety guidelines and requirements the company is also looking into ways of holding the event digitally. Japan and Europe’s Fan Fests, in December and February respectively, are still set to go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, work from home conditions associated with covid-19 have also delayed the game’s big upcoming patch 5.3 by a little longer than previously planned. Originally set to arrive on June 16, Yoshida now says it will need to be pushed back “more than a month at the very least,” rather than just a couple of weeks as the development team had previously hoped. In addition to continuing the current Shadowbringers expansion storyline, patch 5.3 is also expected to streamline A Realm Reborn’s main campaign to help players get to the better parts of the MMORPG more quickly.
Yoshida said the FFXIV team is currently working at “85-90% capability” due to work from home restrictions. “Our QA team in particular has been hit hard by the loss of its regular workspace, and won’t return to full capacity until partway into June,” he wrote. “With support from every department, however, they are making progress with patch preparations, and the FFXIV team as a whole is working full steam ahead.”