NIS America announced late last week that the PC version of Ys VIII is delayed indefinitely, due to persistent framerate issues. A post on Ys VIII's Steam Community by NIS America's VP and COO Mitsuharu Hiraoka discussed the reason for the delay and offered an apology. Beta testing of Ys VIII revealed numerous framerate drops and memory leaks. NISA expected to resolve the memory leak issues over the past weekend, but the framerate issues were more complicated. Because of how Ys VIII was designed, it relies heavily on the PS4's architecture to render scenes. As the PC lacks the same architecture, NISA hoped to find an adequate substitute without changing the core programming.
Further testing revealed that was not possible. Following the release of the translation patch, NIS America will be "moving development to an entirely different developer who will primarily focus on frame rate improvements as well as other PC optimizations." NISA did not offer any information as to who that developer might be. With Ys VIII delayed indefinitely, NIS America is offering refunds via Steam's support channels.
This latest announcement comes just a week after NIS America locked down the PC release date. With Ys VIII delayed again, this is another chapter in NISA's struggle with Ys VIII's localization and PC release. Whether it's apologizing for the poor translation, pushing the patch back to 2018, or completely updating the script, NISA's road to release has been a long one. Thankfully, despite the delay, the translation patch for PS4 and Vita versions of Ys VIII will release on schedule. Barring any new developments, Sony platforms will see a marked improvement to an otherwise great RPG.
One might wonder how Nihon Falcom feels about the Ys VIII debacle. President Toshihiro Kondo talked with MCV last November about Nihon Falcom's choice to use NIS America as a publisher. In the interview, Kondo says he "would love to continue working with NIS America on a broader front globally going forward." Nihon Falcom has said little about Ys VIII's PC problems, or if they will indeed continue to use NIS America. Longtime publisher XSEED is working with Nihon Falcom to publish Zwei: The Arges Adventure later this week, and Trails of Cold Steel II sometime this year, both on PC.
XSEED, notably, worked with Durante for ports of Trails of Cold Steel II, and fixing Little King's Story's troubled port. With his experience working on Nihon Falcom games, NIS America might well contract Durante for Ys VIII. Without a release date, NIS America has much work to do, both in terms of porting Ys VIII, and salvaging their public image. We will keep you updated on any further news about Ys VIII, catastrophic delays or otherwise.