Some bad news for fans of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris as Bandai Namco has pushed back the release date. The game is supposed to pick up where the anime and manga left off in the original virtual video game world, something that fans have been begging for in a game for a long time. Now those fans will have to wait a little bit longer as the coronavirus has thrown a wrench in the plans. The company released the statement below letting fans know that the game would no longer be coming out in late-May, but instead would arrive in mid-July.
"We have been working hard on Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris for our fans who are looking forward to the next Sword Art Online title," said Yosuke Futami, the executive producer for Sword Art Online game titles. "Due to the ongoing world events, we have made the difficult decision to move the release date of Alicization Lycoris to July 10, 2020. We believe that this is the best way to ensure that Sword Art Online fans are delivered the best Alicization Lycoris experience."
Considering how many games Bandai Namco has in progress at any given time, it's a little surprising we're only hearing about this delay now. But this push back, along with many of the others we've seen from gaming companies over the past few months shows that the timeframe and schedule for completion of video games need to be revisited. If a company is working on a game all the way up to release, along with all the Day 1 patches we've downloaded over the years, it gives zero breathing room for situations like the one we're dealing with. If anything, the coronavirus has shown that the current schedule many companies have set up on games is flawed. Hopefully, when all this is over, this will force them to take a closer look at how they're booking games and working their employees to race toward a date.