Horikoshi says the story may conclude soon (Jump Festa 2021)

Bakazuki Bakainu

The Seventh Wonder.

Thoughts on this? This arc has felt very climatic but there's still so much to see and resolve. We've only had 1 year of UA so far too.

There are still major plot elements to resolve and see too.

Are we heading towards a major timeskip and sequel series Naruto Shippuden style? Although I think Naruto continued as it was in the manga but only gained a new series for the anime?

Honestly, this could mean a number of things. I remember back in an interview with Oda, Horikoshi had stated that he originally wanted to have the entire story wrapped up by Volume 30. Which we can clearly see isn't happening now, and Oda told him to shoot for about 50 with Horikoshis response being "Can I really do 10 more years of this?". Now we've got his comment saying something similar that he the story may conclude soon, but how soon is soon? Let's say he's got it planned out and the series is done in Volume 50, just like he and Oda talked about in the interview, that's still a couple of years worth of content.

That's also not even taking to account holidays, breaks, sicknesses, or anything else that may possibly delay a chapter outside of it's normal schedule. I'd argue that that could qualify as soon, cause those years go by quick, but that's still a lot of time to develop and flesh out story content and proceed to an end goal for the story. Not saying this is the case that's going happen, just speaking figuratively if this is the route Horikoshi did decide to go down. Horikoshi could even underestimate how long a specific arc or scene could go, something could take up more panels than expected, he could have a new idea he wants to flesh out.

Now this would I'm sure upset a few people, since I know a ton of people are speculating that this means a "My Hero Academia: Shippuden" style time skip. Where the Academia gets dropped, and we get a new name change, but I really think that when he means the series is going to end he means the series is going to end imo. Any time skip tom foolery we get, I am fully expecting to remain in the My Hero Academia vein. Just my two cents on that matter though.

Overall, it's just way to hard to judge on how soon soon is. There are way to many uncommon variables that could come into play that would affect the length of the series. Even Oda has gone on multiple times to say he's almost finished, but keeps coming up with new ideas and adding them into the story. Inspiration is a scary thing when doing anything creative, because it can throw off your plans and really get you into a groove of wanting to expand upon that. I really wouldn't put too much stock into the series ending soon, and focusing primarily on just enjoying it since we won't know until we get something from Shonen Jump saying the series is ending in said amount of chapters.
I'd expect there to still be another major arc left and maybe more past that due to how much there is left unresolved in the story. We're already +300 chapters in, it's understandable that we're at a point where Horikoshi is looking to end it but it could easily be another 100 chapters before that. Either way, the story is still going pretty well and I'm sure he won't lose steam as he progresses the story further and heads to it's conclusion whenever that is.