Final Fantasy 7 Remake delayed? Coronavirus causes release date concerns
The coronavirus pandemic is sending shockwaves through the wider entertainment industry. Will it impact Square Enix next major release?
The release date for Final Fantasy VII Remake was delayed from March 3 to be April 10 back in January, but the coronavirus pandemic has caused some to worry about whether or not the game might get pushed back yet again. Following some confusion created by Amazon pre-orders being canceled, Square Enix has clarified when the remake will launch.
"We know that many of our fans are looking forward to the upcoming release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, and we want to reassure everyone that we are still moving forward with an April 10 release date," Square Enix CEO Phil Rogers wrote in a statement published on the company's website Thursday. "While our goal is to ensure that everyone can play the game on day one, it is increasingly likely that deliveries may be affected in select markets due to supply chain disruptions and potential brick-and-mortar retail closures resulting from governmental quarantine policies." This echoes a statement on Square Enix's Twitter account Wednesday saying the release "will go ahead" but that "it is increasingly likely that some of you will not get a hold of your copy of the game on the release date."
Quite simply, FF7 Remake has not been delayed, but you may want to opt for that digital download.
"Supply chain disruptions and potential brick-and-mortar retail closures" means that in areas greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, many people won't be able to acquire physical copies of the game from traditional retailers — despite GameStop pulling stunts like staying open to sell Doom Eternal a day early.
Square Enix assures gamers that the company will provide updates about the game's distribution on an as-needed basis. Square Enix was initially forced to provide updates earlier this week not just because of how the widespread impact of coronavirus is causing all sorts of cancellations and delays across the entertainment industry, but because issues with Amazon pre-orders for the game made many believe the game's release date was in flux.
Earlier this week, those who pre-ordered FF7 Remake on Amazon received emails claiming that the release date had been modified and that they would not be getting the game on April 10.
This led to rampant speculation that FF7 Remake had been delayed again despite the fact that it had already gone gold in early March, but it appears this is some kind of issue on Amazon's end.
"Some of our customers may have received a message that states that the release date has changed on Final Fantasy VII Remake," Amazon Gaming wrote in a statement. "The release date is still slated for April 10, 2020."
Still, the shipment of hard copies will undoubtedly be affected heavily by the coronavirus. Even if Amazon benefits in the long-run from this pandemic, the company will begin prioritizing needed shipments of medical supplies, leaving lower-priority entertainment products to face delays. (A fair tradeoff for helping minimize the impact of COVID-19)
Coronavirus isn't only giving Square Enix a headache with FF7 Remake's release, as the publisher also had to adjust its E3 plans. As its planned appearance (and likely a press conference) are no longer happening, Square Enix has explained that it is currently "exploring other options to share our games with you," on March 12. We when it more about FF7 Remake's ports or other big Square Enix games like Marvel's Avengers and Outriders again, it may be at a Nintendo Direct style digital event.
The Inverse Analysis
Amazon seems confident about its capacity to deliver FF7 Remake on its release date, but other factors may prevent it from doing so. Because of that, keep in mind that you may not be the game on Day One if you still plan to buy a hard copy of FF7 Remake via Amazon. Even if this game's launch won't be impacted, it's still safe to expect the delays of some highly anticipated titles.
"We'll have to see whether game devs can still get everything done remotely," Kotaku's Jason Schreier explained on Monday. "One bigger issue will be disc manufacturing plants. For games further out, ESRB ratings may be hard to come by. And many other logistical issues along the way." Titles like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima are supposed to release soon, but it's games like these that more realistically could face delays.
Final Fantasy VII Remake will still be released for PS4 on April 10, 2020.