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Naoki Yoshida, producer of Final Fantasy XVI, posted a message through various official sources today that the development of the game has been delayed by roughly half a year due to COVID-19. Because of the need for teams to work from home, there's been issues with communication coming out of the Tokyo office, which in turn has caused problems with asset deliveries from outsourced partners. In extreme cases, those deliveries have been cancelled.
The news wasn't all doom and gloom though; Yoshida stated the next big news drop is due for Spring 2022. Additionally, he listed the tasks they are currently working on:
- Increasing graphic resource quality
- Refining combat mechanics
- Fleshing out individual battles
- Putting the finishing touches on cutscenes
- Conducting overall graphical optimization
So while there have been delays, the game sounds like it has progressed fairly well into its development cycle.
Yoshida ended with an apology for not delivering more news in 2021 as had been previously stated, and thanked fans for their continued patience.
Source: Official Site
Chocobo GP, the Mario Kart-alike announced recently, got a news update from Square Enix today announcing both a "Lite" version and a release date of March 10, 2022. The game will be released simultaneously worldwide for Switch.
The "Lite" version, just announced, will be similar to a wide-release demo and will be free to play. While the full game will have a "story mode," which serves as the game's progression mechanic for unlocking characters and abilities, the Lite version allows the player to sample only the prologue and take part in some local and online multiplayer. Any saved data from the Lite version will port into the full version when purchased.
The new trailer also shows a bit more of the game's unique features like the 64-player knockout tournament online mode, so if you're interested in at least the Lite game it's worth a quick watch.
The 2021 iteration of The Game Awards, the awards show for games that is kind of... I guess an awards show for games that also kind of wants to be E3-light, happened last evening. My assumption is that the "E3-light" part is really the more interesting for folks, though, and in that regard Square Enix did show up with a couple nice treats.
The biggest and most immediate news we already suspected: a release of Final Fantasy VII Remake for PC. That was confirmed last night, and not only that, it was confirmed for next week and also confirmed to include Intergrade. Unlike the PlayStation 5 release that pretty much nobody has gotten to play because nobody has a PS5, this one will not be able to be upgraded from a previous PS4 purchase. That said, the PC version will still play at up to 4k with a good enough rig, and the specs to play at 1080 seem quite reasonable aside from perhaps the 100GB space requirement! The game will be available on the Epic Games Store only, at least for now.
Forspoken, the game long known as Project Athia, also got a new trailer last night and, I believe, the first specific announced release date: May 24, 2022. The game will be released only for PlayStation 5 and Windows. The new trailer is below for your enjoyment.
On top of that, if you are interested in the awards themselves, Square Enix as a developer and publisher won five. Two were for Final Fantasy XIV, and one each for Life Is Strange: True Colors, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nier: Replicant.
Source: Square Enix Blog, Wikipedia
The Game Awards nominations have been announced, and Final Fantasy XIV Online has been nominated for two awards.
The first nomination is in the Best Ongoing category. The other nominees for Best Ongoing game are: Apex Legends; Call of Duty: War Zone; Fortnite; and Genshin Impact.
It's also been nominated in the Best Community Support category, with fellow nominees: Apex Legends: Escape; Destiny 2: Beyond Light; Fortnite; and No Man's Sky.
Other Square Enix games picking up nominations are Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, nominated for Best Narrative, Innovation in Accessibility, and Best Action/Adventure; and Life is Strange: True Colors, nominated for Best Narrative and Games for Impact.
The Game Awards will be hosted live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 9th. Gamers can vote on nominations at The Game Awards website.
Source: The Game Awards
Final Fantasy XIV's newest expansion, Endwalker, was due to release Tuesday, November 23rd, but has now had its release date pushed back by two weeks. The new release date is Tuesday, December 7th, with early access for those who pre-ordered happening Friday, December 3rd.
This reporter was watching the Live Letter where the news was announced, and Naoki Yoshida (affectionately known as Yoshi-P), producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV, seemed rather distraught at having made this decision as he kept repeating "I'm sorry" in Japanese. According to the official announcement, Yoshi-P made this decision to ensure the quality of the expansion would live up to his vision. He thought hard about cutting material, or breaking the expansion into several releases so they could still meet the scheduled release date, but ultimate decided against those ideas.
Along with the updated release date for Endwalker, we also received the schedule for the first two patches. Patch 6.01 is scheduled for Tuesday, December 21, 2021 and will bring the Pandæmonium raid, while Patch 6.05, scheduled for Tuesday, January 4, 2022 will include the raid's Savage version along with new tomestones and gear.
Finally, a new trailer for the expansion was shown. Here it is for your enjoyment:
Source: Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone
There are new concerts coming for both of the major ongoing concert series from our friends at Square Enix. We've got new shows in the "A New World" series and one brief but big update in the "Distant Worlds" subseries focused on Final Fantasy VII Remake, so here's a quick list of updates since our last catch-up so you can see if they're coming near you.
For the smaller-scale "A New World" series, there are a lot of shows showing up mostly in the first half of 2022:
- Fort Worth, TX (at Anime Frontier): December 5
- Berkeley, CA: January 14, 2022
- San Diego, CA: Two Shows, January 15
- Houston, TX: January 22
- St. Paul, MN: Two Shows, March 18
- Ann Arbor, MI: March 19
- Cleveland, OH: March 20
- Rosemont, IL (at ACEN): May 22
There will not be a sweepstakes for tickets to that show at CoN. We tried... okay, we really didn't.
Source: A New World, Final Fantasy VII Remake Orchestra World Tour
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