Fighting games have taken a big hit this year in the competitive space due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But the pandemic-related hit appears to extend beyond competitive circles and into development as a whole. Late Thursday night, Arc System Works announced that its most anticipated release of 2020 will not make its projected date. Guilty Gear -Strive- is now set to arrive in 2021.
This is an abrupt change in direction from just five weeks ago when Arc System Works stated that Strive was on track for its late 2020 release window. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected aspects of Strive's development, Thursday's decision undoubtedly comes in the wake of heavy criticism stemming from the recent closed beta. Many in the Guilty Gear community, as well as our own TJ Denzer, observed an ugly UI and several technical hiccups, including more than a few related to the game's online play. And given the importance of online play for fighting games in these COVID-19 times we're living in, it's understandable why Arc System Works would choose to take a step back.
In the meantime, we'll continue to monitor any further news on Gulity Gear Strive. Keep an eye on our 2020 video game release calendar for more on what is set to release later this year.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Guilty Gear Strive delayed to early 2021 due to COVID-19
As a fighting game fan I'm actually happy about this. It provides some breathing room to get the net code right, fix some of the UI issues and make sure the gameplay is fun. The gameplay graphics/animations already look great, just make everything else live up to the looks. With most tournaments cancelled for the year, there's no real rush and if things are able to start getting back to normal with local tourneys it will be in a great spot.