Back in 2018, Bandai Namco announced and teased a Digimon-themed tactical RPG slated for a 2019 release, and subsequently delayed it to 2020. We are running out of 2020, without so much as a peep about the game in months. Today, I’m digging in to piece together exactly what is happening with Digimon Survive.
- Bandai Namco announced Digimon Survive on 5 September 2018.
- Witchcraft Inc. is developing the game. Akifumi Kaneko founded this company, along with some other ex-Media.Vision staff. Kaneko is best known for creating the Wild Arms series.
- Bandai Namco announced at the Anime Expo 2019 that the game would be delayed to 2020.
- In April of this year, Famitsu changed the release date of Digimon Survive from “2020” to “TBA”. Bandai Namco was quick to say that this was an error on the part of Famitsu, and that the game is still on track for a 2020 release.
- Liam Doolan reported that the Toei Animation Europe website listed the release date as January 2021. They removed the release date within a week of discovery, now only displaying the title.
Just what is happening with Digimon Survive?
Kazumasa Habu, a producer in the employ of Bandai Namco involved in the development of this game, had this to say regarding the delay back in 2019:
Regarding Survive, the planned release date has been changed to 2020 because of a reorganization of our game development structure. Sorry to keep you waiting. Once again, I feel deeply the hardships of game development… We will continue to develop the game in order to make it a good product, so please look forward to it.
It’s hard to take that at face value. In the interest of staying as objective as possible here, I’m going to try. “Reorganization of our game development structure” says absolutely nothing about the status of the game’s development, except that it’s not going as planned.
There isn’t a lot of information available out in the wild, and I don’t want to resort to speculation. I think it’s fair to take a closer look at the developer, Witchcraft Inc. A name I hadn’t heard until I had a look at the official website for Digimon Survive, which you will notice has not been updated in over a year as of writing.
Witchcraft Inc.’s website has also not been updated since 2018. The company itself has not really been involved in such an ambitious project either – they have been involved in the development of games like Breath of the Wild and Bloodborne, albeit in a small capacity. Other than that, they have developed a few Japan-only titles, but nothing quite as ambitious as a multi-platform international release of one of Bandai Namco’s most recognizable franchises. This begs the question, was Witchcraft Inc. set up to fail from the start? Does the company even still exist?
Personally, it doesn’t bother me all that much when a company delays the release of a game. It’s disappointing, but totally understandable in most cases. Metroid Prime 4 comes to mind.
I find the dearth of information around Digimon Survive to be very strange, indeed. Disturbing, even.