‘King of Fighters 15’ delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic in Japan


SNK fighting title King of Fighters 15 will delay back to 2022 due to potential complications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

King of Fighters 15 received its first announcement at EVO Championship Series almost two years ago. Now, the game is pushing back its timeline to next year, listing it to early 2022. SNK notes that this comes after a rise of COVID-19 in Japan.

SNK sprinkles teasers for KOF XV

King of Fighters is one of the longest-running fighting game franchises of all time. The first title came out in 1994, aptly titled King of Fighters ‘94. With visuals and complexity that match Street Fighter, the game is hailed as one of the best.

SNK has sprinkled several teasers the past few months, including character reveals. From what it seems, they are gearing up to show off their full roster, likely during E3. Fans are enjoying the trickle of reveals they gave, but there’s a problem looming.

SNK, in a press release, revealed that they will be delaying their release of the game. Rising COVID-19 cases in Japan killed any possibility of the game coming out this year.

“Due to rising cases of COVID-19 within Japan, the development timeline for KOF XV was adjusted, with the release window changing from 2021 to Q1 2022,” said the tweet. “We apologize and thank you for your understanding and patience.”

SNK aims to for Q1 2022 release date

The delay for King of Fighters 15 due to COVID-19 is not surprising. Asian countries are heavily hit by the pandemic over the past few months. Japan is one of the hardest hit in the region too.

As of June 2, Japan now has as many as 750,000+ COVID-19 cases. A second wave up their cases up to as many as 7,000+ per day, with recent averages at 2000+. Most businesses are closing down, including video game studios.

For example, Super Nintendo World theme park closed down late last April due to the pandemic. Entire prefectures are also doing their best to mitigate the current spread.

“There are many fans who are anticipating the release of KOF XV in 2021, however at this point in time, we unfortunately have to announce that KOF XV will now be launching within the 1st quarter of 2022,” said KOF 15 producer Yasuyuki Oda in the press release.

“The development timeline we set out to reach in the beginning has been affected by the ever-still rising cases of COVID-19 within Japan. We have made the ultimate decision in the end that the product’s quality must come first, and so with that decision comes an altered release window.”

With EVO Online 2021 coming, King of Fighters 15 rules out of the tournament. More news and trailers will come to the games during this time.

Featured image courtesy of SNK Official/Youtube Screenshot

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