In a recent announcement, Square Enix has decided to cancel the upcoming annual Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in North America. This cancellation is because of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
This announcement comes from Final Fantasy XIV's lead producer, Naoki Yoshida, in a post on the game's official forums.
"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. 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. Thus it is with great regret that we arrive at this conclusion, and I offer my sincere apologies to all who were looking forward to enjoying the festivities."
Yoshida goes on to say that despite the cancellation of the North American Fan Festival, they have not given up hope on holding the event in Japan and Europe and that they will continue to monitor and make any necessary cancelation's if they need too. He also states that plans are already in motion for examining venues to host the North American Fan Festival in the first half of 2021.
Onwards to the next Final Fantasy XIV update, Patch 5.3, Yoshida states that the update "will be delayed by more than a month at the very least". He mentions that the development is at around 85-90% capabilities compared to pre-pandemic production. The development team has been able to get back to near-full operation after adjusting to the new way of working, and Yoshida stated that "towards the end of next week, I'll be able to conduct what we call a 'Producer/Director check,' and begin a thorough playthrough of main scenario and other content."
Hopefully, the next update for Final Fantasy XIV will not be delayed longer than a month. I personally cannot wait for it!