June 5, 2020 Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.3 is now set for late July at the earliest.
The next Final Fantasy XIV patch was initially scheduled to launch in the middle of June, but as a result of complications in working around COVID-19, patch 5.3 got delayed by an indefinite period of up to a month. Now, the developers say that estimate was too conservative, and the wait is going to be at least a little longer than expected.
The new Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.3 release date will land no sooner than July 16. The patch was originally scheduled to launch on June 16, and director Naoki Yoshida says in a message to fans that the update “will be delayed by more than a month at the very least, but we are pushing to keep that delay as short as possible. We will announce a new release date in the near future, so please stay tuned!”
Yoshida estimates that the team’s development capability is up to around “85-90%” of its usual, in-office strength, as delays come in due to “work-from-home network issues, reduced debug efficiency, and the general stresses of adjusting to this new work environment – a gap we mean to close as time goes on”.
COVID-19 has also forced Square Enix to cancel the planned North American Fan Festival this November. The team is looking to schedule a replacement event for North American fans in the first half of 2021.
Just over a month ago, the devs provided a preliminary set of 5.3 patch notes breaking down what to expect from the update. One of the big changes is a long-promised rework of the main story, which will condense the monstrously-long main quest of the original game into something a bit more reasonable for new players.
Final Fantasy XIV’s buzz as one of the best MMOs on the market isn’t slowing down, even with a delay to one of its biggest non-expansion updates.