Naoki Yoshida has announced that the Endwalker expansion for Final Fantasy XIV has been delayed to the 7th of December 2021, the expansion was scheduled to release on the 23rd of November 2021. The delay was made to ensure that the expansion meets quality expectations. The Endwalker expansion will be the largest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV to date and will be a “culmination of events in Final Fantasy XIV so far.”
Here’s what Yoshida-san had to say:
Reasons for the Schedule Change
The biggest factor behind the release date change was my own selfishness as the game’s director. Ever since I was placed in charge of the original Final Fantasy XIV, I’ve continued the development and operations for Final Fantasy XIV over the past 11 years while always endeavoring to balance my position as the producer overseeing the project and the director in charge of development. It was my intention to work in this same manner as we approached the final stages of Endwalker‘s development.
As I have mentioned previously in interviews and during live streams, Endwalker will be the largest expansion pack in the history of Final Fantasy XIV. It has been a huge undertaking, but we proceeded with development following plans that would allow us to make it in time for the originally scheduled release date, although admittedly everything would be down right to the wire.
However, as we neared the end of development and I played through everything—from quests to battle content and the like—I just couldn’t contain my desire to further improve Endwalker‘s quality, specifically because this expansion pack marks the first major culmination of events in Final Fantasy XIV so far. Even as we look beyond Endwalker, the Final Fantasy XIV story will continue for a long time and we hope to deliver many more enjoyable experiences in the game. However, it was precisely because Endwalker concludes the first major saga that I felt our team needed to push ourselves to the “limits” that I envisioned.
As a result, we remained firmly resolved to adjust down to the smallest nuances and ensure our writing covers even the finest points of the vast and intricate story that has spanned these past 11 years since the original Final Fantasy XIV to ensure that everyone can fully enjoy their adventure in Endwalker. Unfortunately, the consequence of this was that we ended up in a situation where we cut into the time required for final quality assurance checks due to this time spent on additional improvements.
At this rate, there was a bigger risk of us reaching the release date without ensuring “stability” as one form of quality, and for that reason, I have decided to postpone the release at this time. As we also anticipate large amounts of congestion across all game Worlds, I felt that even in this respect it wouldn’t be right for us to release the expansion while lacking adequate “stability.” I am truly sorry.
When I look at my own career, up until now I have never postponed a previously announced release date (although I did once shift a release from Spring to early Summer…) and, when I also considered that many players had already made arrangements such as taking days off work in preparation for the original release date, I was incredibly torn between whether or not we should cut down the expansion pack’s volume or even release content in installments. As such, I humbly ask you all to forgive me for the decision I’ve made.
Final Remarks and Looking Toward the Future
While we have postponed the release date by two weeks, I believe we have been able to successfully depict Endwalker‘s story because we set forth on this long journey developing and operating Final Fantasy XIV together with the players. While we will require a little longer until the expansion pack’s release, please rest assured that we will continue investing every ounce of our strength into development and operations in order to deliver an immersive adventure to our players.
Once more I would like to convey my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused to our players and colleagues due to my own shortcomings. I sincerely apologize for this decision.
We will continue to do our utmost to bring you the best experience not only in Endwalker but also through further updates and content that will follow, restoring your trust one step at a time.
Square Enix has also released a launch trailer for the expansion.