And/or a PS5 upgrade path
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has somehow managed to basically get better with every expansion: I don’t know how Naoki “Yoshi P” Yoshida and his team do it.
While many MMOs are content with braving severe ups and downs, XIV has remained consistently mesmerizing through its lengthy (seven years running) lifetime as A Realm Reborn. It’ll probably stay that way as long as Yoshida is in charge. That includes the next expansion, which could be announced on February 5, 2021 at 5:30PM PT, according to a new tweet from Square Enix.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
Fanfests, live gatherings where Square Enix typically announces new expansions, were canceled
For completely obvious reasons, the live Fanfest events all around the world were canceled, which threw a wrench in Square Enix’s announcement timeline.
For those of you who don’t play XIV, this is typically around the time a new expansion is announced. A lot of the “main” elements of 2018’s Shadowbringers have concluded on a narrative level, so it’s now time to slowly build into the next big thing: something the development team absolutely excels at with their slow-burn storytelling and worldbuilding.
Having been to a Fanfest event before, I can speak to how immensely passionate the entire affair is. While many cons are spread thin among many different properties, Fanfest solely focuses on one game: it’s a time for everyone to come together and absolutely pop for new announcements. There’s also multiple events across the world that trickle in new info to keep the party going and make the experience more accessible, globally.
Now it makes perfect sense why that all can’t happen. But it’s also putting a lot of pressure on Square Enix to deliver come February. I’m not worried though.
This February 2021 “Announcement Showcase” is likely a new expansion
So as I mentioned earlier, Shadowbringers is on its way out: it’s time for the new age.
But what does that mean? Well, the obvious new zone, storyline, dungeons, trials, and raids: but we’re also due for a few more classes. Shadowbringers gave us the Gunbreaker (tank) and Dancer (DPS) classes. The previous expansion, Stormblood, gave us Samurai (DPS) and Red Mage (DPS); so we’re due for another healer.
Healing aside, there are plenty more classic jobs to run with in FFXIV to spice things up, including the Geomancer or Time Mage archetypes. I’m not so sure an RNG-dependent Gambler would go over so well with raiders, but maybe they can make it work! They could also think out of the box and give us homage-related jobs like they did with Gunbreaker.
Whatever they come up with, I’m sure I’ll be drawn to level it like a siren’s song.
“Cool new things” could include other announcements though, like a PS5 edition or an Xbox port
So there’s so much unknown information in regards to this topic I don’t even know where to begin.
Just recently, the development team confirmed what we all assumed: that the PS5 edition would load faster due to the inherent use of the SSD. But Yoshida specifically noted that a PS5 edition hasn’t been confirmed…”yet.” So you’re saying there’s a chance! You bet.
A while back Square Enix slowly worked to completely offload the game from the PS3’s architecture, as it was holding back forward development. It stands to reason that a PS5 edition could debut as early as 2021, with a possible roadmap for the eventual phasing out of PS4.
But what about Xbox? “What about it?!” you’re probably yelling. Well, over a year ago Xbox boss Phil Spencer declared that XIV will be coming to the Xbox platform at some point. We’re not sure how those talks are going, but we’re currently looking into it. If Square Enix has a blowout announcement for PS5 and Series X/S versions in February, it’ll be a banger.
Either way, it’s going to be a “calendar marking worthy” day for XIV fans. I’ll be there.
Final Fantasy XIV [Twitter]