In context: Game delays are common. Sometimes they are frustrating, but consumers have learned to become patient as purchasing a bad release is worse than waiting a little longer for something to come out. Developers also know that in a highly competitive market, their products have to shine. This is especially true with ambitious projects in beloved franchises.
In June 2019, Square Enix announced a release date for Final Fantasy VII. It was set to launch on March 3 of this year, bringing a five-year wait to an end.
On Tuesday, the publisher tweeted that it has to push the game back abut a month to “apply final polish.”
“We are making this tough decision to deliver you with the best possible experience,” said FFVII Producer Toshinori Kitase. “I, on behalf of the whole team, want to apologize to everyone, as you know this means waiting for the game just a little bit longer.”
The apology was a bit unnecessary as gamers would usually rather wait than play a game that was rushed out the door. Fortunately, the set back is not too long. The new release date is April 10, so it is only about a month off schedule.
The decision to delay the game is probably sound, as the remake is not just a port of the original 1997 title with a new coat of paint. The episodic release has new bosses, environments, characters, and the story has been tweaked significantly to appeal to a modern audience — more or less a complete rebuild and reimagining of the much loved game.
As such, it has some big shoes to fill to satisfy fans of the original. Releasing something that is less than a stellar improvement over its predecessor is likely to be disastrous. Making sure it is up to snuff is vital for its success. However, the delay does have its pitfalls.
By pushing it back to April, Square Enix will be directly competing with CD Project Red’s highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, which debuts less than a week later on April 16. The Last of Us Part II, which was also pushed back, is in the pipe for May 29.
Both these games will be vying for their portion of the spring gaming pie, so early reviews of Final Fantasy VII will have to be spot-on to persuade gamers to dole out their cash for it. The standard release will be $60, while a digital deluxe version runs $80, There will even be an extremely expensive physical-disc "1st Class Edition" selling for $330 with collectable bells and whistles.
Here’s hoping the extra time makes for a bug-free and spectacular new Final Fantasy VII experience.