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More Post Quake Delays in Japan
Yakuza, Marvel vs Capcom 3 download content, and Microsoft's upcoming product line pushed back following Tohoku region quake and tsunami.
We already reported on some of the game cancellations and delays that popped today as game publishers returned to work following Friday's Tohoku region earthquake and tsunami. New delay announcements have continued through the evening, and they include some major releases.
Perhaps the biggest title to see an earthquake-related delay was Yakuza Of the End. The latest entry in the Yakuza series, whose installments usually sell half a million copies each, was scheduled for March 17 release, but is now flagged TBA by Sega.
Sega did not give a reason for the delay, but it's pretty easy to guess given the subject matter. Different from past Yakuza games, this one starts with the in-game city of Kamurocho, which is based off a real location in Tokyo, being destroyed as zombies and other giant beasts attack. Japan's Self Defense Force is deployed and erects a wall around the city, trapping Kazuma Kiryu and other familiar characters inside where they must deal with the attacking zombies using an arsenal of guns.
In Japan, Sega releases a new mainline Yakuza game once a year, usually around this time. Prior to the earthquake, Sega was giving Of the End a huge promotional push, with a nationwide signing and demo tour. Immediately after the quake, producer Toshihiro Nagoshi announced via his blog that the Hiroshima and Osaka legs of the signing tour, scheduled for the weekend, would be cancelled.
The predecessor to Of the End, Yakuza 4, is scheduled for international release this week. It's a more traditional Yakuza game, as you can see in our recent review.
Microsoft was forced to push back all March 17 Xbox 360 product, including two Xbox Live Gold Membership bundles, and Dragon Age Origins Awakening, the later published by Spike. Microsoft cited distribution issues arising from the earthquake as reason for the delay. Spike has yet to make a statement about the PS3 version of Awakening, which was also due for the 17th.
Microsoft also cancelled a Kinect demo tour that was scheduled to tour the nation starting from the 19th in Hiroshima.
Capcom did not have any retail product to delay, but it did delay a piece of digital content. Marvel vs. Capcom 3's Jill and Shuma-Gorath download content will not make their March 15 release date in Japan. A message announcing the delay was posted at the game's official Japanese site. It's unclear if the delay will apply outside of Japan as well. We'll let you know if we hear anything.
These announcements are all delays rather than cancelations. As relayed earlier, the biggest game related victim was PlayStation 3's Disaster Report 4, which was flat out cancelled by Irem.
Like its predecessors, DR4 is an adventure game that has players working through a disaster. In this case, the disaster is an earthquake that leaves a large city in ruins. The game appeared to be far along, and had already gone playable at last year's Tokyo Game Show.
Ironically, Irem had been marketing DR4 as somewhat of a disaster prevention guide. Before suffering a delay to a general Spring date, it had been scheduled for release on March 10.
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