As the world crumbles around us and infections rise, we have some good COVID-19 news: Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy 7 Remake early in some regions. It's not much, but it'll certainly put a smile on some gamers' faces during these tumultuous times.
The coronavirus has disrupted every industry, including gaming. Critical supply and shipment lines have been interrupted, leading to delays of physical copies of key big AAA marquee games. In an effort to counterbalance this disruption, Square Enix will release its massively-anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Remake a week early in Europe and Australia.
"We had some hard decisions to make during the final few weeks before launch due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These unique circumstances have made it very difficult to align timing of our global shipping. Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we made the decisions to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia," reads the announcement.
"As a result, there is a greater chance that some of you in these regions will now get a copy of the game prior to the worldwide release date of April 10."
Digital copies won't be unlocked until April 10, though.
This is extremely rare. Big-name publishers never really do something like this unless there's extreme circumstances, especially not with a Final Fantasy game. Square Enix is mostly tight-lipped and keeps the franchise under lock and key until it's ready to share info. Simultaneous worldwide launches are big deals for spoilers, sales, and overall industry presence.
Square Enix won't release the game early for other regions though. And they make no promises that North American gamers will get their copies on time.
"For other Western regions, including the Americas, copies will be shipped this week and we feel optimistic that most of you will receive the game for launch day. However due to the challenging situation we cannot provide delivery dates for each country and each retailer."