The NieR Mobile Game, NieR Re[in]carnation, Gets Delayed

The release is now scheduled for the first half of 2021.

NieR Re[in]carnation, the NieR game coming to smartphones, has been delayed. It has now been pushed back to the first half of 2021.

The news was announced on the official Japanese website and shared via the official Japanese Twitter. The tweet says:

[Notice About the Start of Service]

From the beginning, we have been working on development with the goal of officially starting service within 2020, but this date has been pushed back to the first half of 2021.

We deeply apologize to everyone who has been looking forward to the release. (See the official website for more details.)

The blog post elaborates on the delay, stating:

[Notice About the Start of Service]
We would like to inform everyone who has been waiting for the release.

From the beginning, we have been working on development with the goal of officially starting service within 2020, but this date has been pushed back to the first half of 2021. We deeply apologize to everyone who has been looking forward to the release.

Additionally, let us discuss the current development status.

Regarding the development, most of the work on Ver.1.0.0 of the game has been completed. Currently, we are focusing on preparing additional content after the service starts, stabilizing and optimizing the game so it can be played smoothly.

When the new official release date has been decided, we will inform you again.

As the first smartphone game in the “NieR” series, the management team continues to devote themselves to making a game that will “surprise” many of those who play it.

We kindly ask for your patience until the official service starts.

The NieR Re[in]carnation Management Team

Creative director Yoko Taro shared on Twitter, “Maybe I told them to fix too much, saying ‘fix this’ and ‘fix that.’ Now the service has been delayed until next year… But, I think it will be for the best… Please hold on a little longer…”

In addition, NieR series producer Yosuke Saito commented on the delay, saying, “We are aware that you’ve been waiting for this, but we’d really appreciate it if you could give us a little extra time to improve the quality and debug the game further. m(__)m”

Lastly, the director of NieR Re[in]carnation at Applibot, Matsukawa Daichi, stated, “We’re very sorry to keep you waiting…The development team will continue to do their best so everyone can play as soon as possible…!!”

Many thanks to Fire Sanctuary for the Japanese to English translations.

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The delay doesn’t serve as much of a surprise, given that few game release windows are guaranteed in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Game development is an often chaotic and unpredictable process, after all. Square Enix first announced NieR Re[in]carnation on March 29, 2020. Produced by Square Enix and developed by Applibot, it will be released on iOS and Android devices and is the first mobile game in the series.

It will be free-to-play and supported by microtransactions; in other words, it will operate similarly to gacha games. Gacha games implement the capsule-toy vending machine mechanic that encourages players to spend real currency to receive virtual items. Some popular gacha or gacha-like games are Granblue Fantasy, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and Fire Emblem Heroes. Like loot boxes, the gacha game system has come under much scrutiny for its similarities to gambling. However, the gacha genre has done incredibly well in Japan, is achieving much success in China and Korea, and is enjoying an increasingly global market thanks to Genshin Impact.

NieR Re[in]carnation received its first gameplay trailer featuring some gorgeous music (which is to be expected from NieR) less than a month later after its reveal. It takes place sometime in the future within cages, a series of towers and dungeons. You play as who is currently known as the White Girl, a kind amnesiac who awakens on a stone floor with no voice and who suffers from mysterious nightmares. She is greeted by a strange ghost-like being who calls itself Mama, and who travels with her to reawaken fragments of a forgotten world.

As with NieR: Automata, Taro has expressed that this game does not require players to have played the previous games in the series. It is intended for players who own smartphones. Keiichi Okabe, the renowned composer of the NieR series soundtracks, has composed around 20 new songs for when the service starts. This information, and more, can be found in an interview with Dengeki Online published in May of this year.

The key staff for NieR Re[in]carnation consists of:

  • Producer: Yosuke Saito
  • Creative Director: Yoko Taro
  • Main Character Design: Akihiko Yoshida (CyDesignation)
  • Concept Art: Kazuma Koda
  • Music: Keiichi Okabe
  • Development: Applibot
  • Planning/Production: Square Enix

In the meantime, fans of the series can enjoy the remake of the original NieR game, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…, when it arrives on the PlayStation 4 on April 23, 2021. You can watch the latest trailer that aired during The Game Awards below.