By Leah McDonald / November 5th, 2021
During a tear-filled Letter from the Producer Live on Friday, Final Fantasy XIV Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida dropped a bomb: The highly-anticipated Endwalker expansion will be delayed two weeks due to QA issues. Originally scheduled for early access on Nov 19 with full release on Nov 23, the expansion will now have early access released on Dec 3 with the full game available Dec 7.
When explaining his decision, Yoshida expressed regret, but said that ultimately as director and producer, there were quality issues he could not allow to go live and so made the difficult decision to delay. He also expressed remorse for those who had taken time off work for the expansion. You can read Yoshida’s reasoning in full below or at the link above:
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 FFXIV, I’ve continued the development and operations for FFXIV 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 FFXIV. 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 FFXIV so far. Even as we look beyond Endwalker, the FFXIV 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 FFXIV 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.
Pushing the game back also means the expansion’s first raid, Pandaemonium, is delayed as well. That will now release in late December for the story version, with Savage hitting in early Jan 2022. The official release schedule for FFXIV: Endwalker is below:
Official Release: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Start of Early Access: Friday, December 3, 2021
Patch 6.01 Scheduled Release: Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Patch 6.05 Scheduled Release: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
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