Arc System Works’ latest entry in its long-running Guilty Gear series of 2D anime fighting games, Guilty Gear Strive, has been delayed from its original launch window of late 2020 to sometime in early 2021, according to an announcement made earlier today by producer Takeshi Yamanaka. The reason for the delay is, of course, all this shit going on right now.
“We have previously announced the release of Guilty Gear Strive for late 2020, however we have decided to change the release schedule to early 2021,” Yamanaka said on Twitter. “While our company’s staff and our business partners are putting in a sincere effort in dealing with the changes due to the spread of COVID-19, every aspect of our development schedule has faced delays. In addition, we have decided to set up a schedule to further improve the quality of the game responding to everyone’s help and feedback from the recent closed beta test.”
Strive‘s closed beta, which ran between April 16 and 19 on PlayStation 4, featured seven playable characters returning from previous Guilty Gear installments: Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, May, Axl Low, Chipp Zanuff, Potemkin, and Faust, formerly known as Dr. Baldhead. The beta ran on the same delay-based netcode as seen in Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev. 2, but Arc System Works has said that the final release of the game will feature rollback-based netcode, which would be a first for the developer. (For more information on delay- and rollback-based netcode, please see the bottom half of this post. Or don’t. Rollback is better, that’s pretty much all it boils down to.)
“We apologize sincerely to everyone who has been anticipating the release with keen excitement,” Yamanaka continued. “Ourselves, we are dedicated to bringing you a new Guilty Gear game that will satisfy all of our fans. Please be assured that we will make good use of that extra time to do this. Thank you for understanding.”
Yamanaka has been involved in Arc System Works’ 2D anime endeavors for some time, having served as a director on Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, Guilty Gear 2: Overture, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, and Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2, which is a different game. Dude even has a character model artist credit on Granblue Fantasy Versus according to MobyGames, so he’s got some range. It’s 2020 y’all, you gotta diversify your talents to stay competitive in this job market.
While having to wait another few months for new Guilty Gear is definitely a bummer, it’s nothing compared to what Guilty Gear fans have weathered in the past. Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, released in 2014, was the first new entry in the Guilty Gear series since 2003’s Guilty Gear XX (Guilty Gear XX #Reload and other updates notwithstanding), as Sammy Corporation and not Arc System Works owned the intellectual property rights to the Guilty Gear franchise. Arc had even gone on to create the BlazBlue franchise, a spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, in the years between Guilty Gear XX and Xrd. For those of us that waited more than a decade for Xrd to show up, another few months is nothing.