Guilty Gear Strive, the latest installment in the long-running Guilty Gear franchise, gets shelved until 2021 on account of COVID-19.
Developer and publisher Arc System Works have recently declared via Twitter that their upcoming anime-inspired fighter Guilty Gear Strive will be delayed.
The 2D fighting game was initially slated for release late this year, but producer Takeshi Yamanaka announced the difficult decision to push it back till early 2021.
Yamanaka’s Twitter message
In his statement, Yamanaka cited COVID-19 as the main culprit behind the delay. According to the producer, despite all the effort put into adapting to changes brought about by the pandemic, Guilty Gear Strive’s development is still delayed across all levels.
They also had to tweak the game in response to the recent round of closed beta testing which further complicated matters. Yamanaka ended his message by apologizing to the expectant fans, and reassuring them that the additional time would be put to good use.
— ArcSystemWorks ➡️ Staying Inside (@ArcSystemWorksU) May 15, 2020
Minoru Kidooka’s Evo announcement
Arc System Works CEO Minoru Kidooka announced Guilty Gear Strive’s development at the Evolution Championship Series 2018 (commonly known as “Evo”).
He pointed out that the game wouldn’t merely be an improvement upon its predecessor or a return to some of the series’ older systems. Instead, the future title would be “a complete reconstruction of the franchise.”
The aim was to create something that would entice new players while still catering to hardcore fans.
— One Angry Gamer (@OneAngryGamerHD) August 5, 2018
Guilty Gear Strive’s presence in the Tokyo Game Show
The following year, directors Akira Katano and Daisuke Ishiwatari made at an appearance at the Tokyo Game Show 2019, mentioning that the upcoming fighter would be completely new and wouldn’t recycle assets from the previous games.
Moreover, the directors explained how Guilty Gear Strive was looking to fully harness its 3D engine, giving the game much more dynamic viewing angles.
Unfortunately for die-hard fans, Katano and Ishiwatari made it clear that not all the characters who appeared in the previous game, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, would be making a return.
— Gematsu (@gematsucom) September 14, 2019
Ishiwatari would make another announcement during an ArcLive stream two months later confirming an English dub for the game. This marks only the third time in Guilty Gear history that a title has featured an English voice cast. The two other games were Guilty Gear 2: Overture and Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN.
Arc System Works has confirmed that Guilty Gear Strive will feature rollback-based netcode upon release. While the developers just announced that the game is scheduled for early 2021, an official release date has not been set.
Image courtesy of Bandai Namco UK/Twitter