King of Fighters 15 was supposed to arrive this year, and many were looking forward to its release. In an announcement by SNK Producer Yasuyuki Oda, many of us learned more details about the game. Unfortunately, The King of Fighters 15 has been delayed and will not be released in 2021.
SNK has announced that they will delay the release of KOF15 until early 2022. As stated by the developers, the rising number of COVID-19 illnesses in Japan has been one of the most significant factors behind the delay. There is no getting around this, as many countries are feeling the strain of COVID.
Initially, King of Fighters 15 was announced at Evo 2019 with only a logo, but it wasn't until the start of the year that it was actually demonstrated in action. The studio has consistently introduced new characters and released gameplay trailers every week, maintaining interest and keeping fans interested. At the time of the delay, KOF15 had 22 characters confirmed, the most recent of which was Blue Mary last week. However, they will still have a long way to go to match The King Of Fighters 14's 48 fighters.
COVID has badly affected the development workplace of The King of Fighters 15
We are already in June of 2021, and SNK has yet to show or reveal much about the fighting game, this news may not surprise many people. SNK did not say whether it will continue to update its character trailers every week following the delayed-release. As for how many people were back at the SNK offices at the time of this decision, it may indicate the development team once again switching to a work-from-home environment.
We now have a new launch window between January 1 and March 31 since they started the first quarter of 2022. Below is the statement from SNK Producer Yasuyuki Oda regarding the delay:
"There are many fans who are anticipating the release of KOF15 in 2021, however at this point in time, we unfortunately have to announce that KOF15 will now be launching within the first quarter of 2022. The development timeline we set out to reach in the beginning has been affected by the ever-still rising cases of COVID-19 within Japan. We have made the ultimate decision in the end that the product's quality must come first, and so with that decision comes an altered release window. We sincerely ask for your kind patience and understanding as our development teams continue to work hard on KOF15 as we draw closer to its release."
SNK promised fans that they were indeed working to include a rollback netcode in the game, a first for the company with a brand new title. They were hoping that this delay would give them the time they need to make the online live up to the standards of the FGC. However, No full matches nor an indication of the user interface have been shown. We also do not know what systems The King Of Fighters 15 will release on, which is perhaps the most important thing.