Japanese Game Releases Delayed, Cancelled in Tsunami Aftermath
Sudden, mass distress often has entertainment industry effects, due to virtually everyone’s emotions being rocked in some way. Many movies and video games were altered, delayed, or cancelled in the United States shortly after the terrorist attacks which knocked down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Here in Japan, even in areas not directly affected by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami, all hearts are heavy. That, in addition to power being short in supply and shipping routes in many regions being disrupted, has caused some game companies to react.
Disaster Report 4, a game in which players must escape an earthquake-ravaged Tokyo, has been cancelled. This was to be the series’ first console outing of the current generation, after there had been two entries on PlayStation 2 and one for PSP.
Sega’s Yakuza: Of the End has been delayed to an unspecified time. This game also has an apocolyptic tone, though obviously less realistic than the above. The company has not given a specific timeframe for the game’s release.
Sony has put offroad racing game Motorstorm Apocolypse on hold, pointing at “various circustances” (obviously the shipping logistics and cultural sensitivity). This game once again has natural disasters as a key part of the gameplay, as players race through terrain being torn apart by earthquakes and the like. It’s not yet known whether the North American or European release will be affected.
Capcom has said that it will hold off on releasing DLC for Marvel vs. Capcom 3. That’s probably a combination of a business move and just wanting to stay respectful.
Eventually of course, things will be back to normal and people will move on, but right now, it seems like everyone in the country knows someone either dead or missing after this disaster. I’d speculate that outsiders might raise questions, which are understandable. Honestly though, it might be hard to fully comprehend without being here. It’d be like releasing a game called Flood Survivor right after Hurricane Katrina or Plane Hijack Hero right after 9/11, for two hypothetical examples. People in the industry don’t feel right releasing these things at this time, and hopefully the worldwide audiences will understand that.