In a monthly update posted to Kickstarter, director Koji Igarashi announced that not only will Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night be delayed, but the Vita version had been canceled. After publishing the beta backer demo in June, the team at ArtPlay and DICO took the copious feedback into account and delayed the release. You may recall that this is not Bloodstained's first delay, as it was moved from a 2017 release to 2018. Still, the latest delay ensures an even finer coat of polish, and with 2019 not far off, we may well get our hands on Bloodstained before long.
The update also announces the cancellation of the Vita version. The Vita port was one of the original stretch goals of the campaign, which was achieved when Inti Creates raised 3.5 million dollars. The full quote from IGA is as follows:
This decision is largely due to Sony’s plans to discontinue the Vita console, ending production of physical copies and stopping certain online store support features.
It is extremely unfortunate, but as a result, we won’t be releasing the game on Vita. For the backers who have ordered the PS Vita version of the game, you will be able to choose another platform or request a refund.
This process should be expected through an email that will be sent by Fangamer. It may be troublesome, but please be sure to respond and make the changes. [Note: Vita backers will be receiving an e-mail with additional instructions soon. Vita backers who would like to change platforms can do so now on their survey pages. Vita backers who backed at an unlimited tier and can receive a refund over PayPal can submit a request before 9/20/18 to initiate a manual refund of the affected games.]
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment, but rest assured we are working harder than ever to deliver the game we all made happen together, please bear with us for a little longer and I thank you for your continued support.
Indeed, with the end of physical production for the Vita, while the decision to cancel the release stings for backers, as a business decision, it makes sense. Of course, this is not the first time that the Bloodstained team has canceled a platform release; the Wii U, Nintendo's oft-maligned console will also never see a release. Bloodstained fans do have a way to get a taste of the game before its release next year, though. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon released earlier this year, and garnered rave reviews.
Still, a further delay and the loss of yet another Vita release is certainly not going to go over well. Many of the Kickstarter comments are filled with frustrated backers asking for refunds. Comments on the Youtube video are far more receptive but still disappointed over the loss of the Vita release. Hopefully, IGA is able to get Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to an acceptable state sometime early next year.