SNK's upcoming King of Fighters XV has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Rising cases in Japan have led SNK to move the game's release from its original window of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022.
Why was King of Fighters XV delayed?
According to an SNK press release, King of Fighters XV has been delayed due to "ever-still rising cases of Covid-19 within Japan". As a result of the pandemic's acceleration in that country, SNK says it made the decision that "the product's quality must come first", which is why the release window has been moved. Of course, SNK says its development teams will continue to work hard on the game. SNK doesn't actually state how the pandemic is affecting development, but it's likely that the team is now having to work remotely, so development will slow down to a certain extent.
When King of Fighters XV was originally announced back in January, creative director Eisuke Ogura said he expected "some obstacles" to get in the way of development. However, Ogura said he thought the team would be able to release the game in 2021. It seems that Covid-19 was one of those obstacles. It's also not clear whether SNK means the new release date will be in the first actual quarter or the first financial quarter of 2022. There could be a few months' difference in when King of Fighters XV sees the light of day depending on which one it is.
What is King of Fighters XV?
As you might expect, King of Fighters XV is the fifteenth mainline instalment in the long-running King of Fighters one-on-one fighting game series. It'll bring back plenty of fan favorite characters and will retain the signature fast-paced gameplay of the franchise, but with new elements to "make it more exciting", according to Ogura. The creative director also says that the team has been able to do new things with visuals and sound that haven't been possible before.
We'll let you know as soon as we get a concrete release date for King of Fighters XV. By the time the game rolls around, it will have been almost six years since the previous game. Here's hoping King of Fighters XV stays on track for Q1 2022 and that it doesn't get delayed again.
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