I am sure you have already heard by now but from Thursday night South Africa will be locked down in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. SA lockdown will begin on Thursday 26 March at 23:59 and end on Thursday 16 April at 23:59. If you are a gamer you would know that during the SA lockdown, we have a number of major video game releases planned. Resident Evil 3, Persona 5 Royal, and of course Final Fantasy VII Remake.
NOTE: The official Launch date for Resident Evil 3 is 3 April and not today as per previous communication. Please contact your nearest branch for more information.
Video game retailers in SA will not be open during this time which means if you ordered online for delivery, it won’t happen until the lockdown ends and if you plan on picking up your game, you won’t be able to either. As of now, expect delays across the board for these upcoming releases when it comes to the hard copies. That means all physical releases won’t be available to you until 17 April 2020. Should the lockdown last longer than these dates, it will obviously mean this will prolong it even further.
Final Fantasy VII Remake might see a longer delay in SA as unlike Resident Evil 3 and Persona 5, the stock has not arrived yet. With the lockdown in place, this means imports will also be put on hold for the game. This could drastically affect the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake in the country. Square Enix already announced last week that the game might suffer delays in retail as physical copies are struggling to make their way to stores in time for release. This more present in the UK as the country is also on lockdown.
Right now, the situation is clear. If the game is releasing during the lockdown, you are not getting it until the situation changes. As for Final Fantasy VII Remake, it might be pushed back to the middle of April 2020. It all depends on stock and when these lockdowns will end across the globe.
Just Buy Digital Then?
Sure, these delays are strictly for physical copies of the upcoming delays but there’s more to the story than you think. South African gaming is in a tough place right now especially when it comes to physical copies. This lockdown is going to do more damage than you could ever imagine. This is why I plead with you to support the local scene by sticking to your pre-orders. Sure, it means you won’t play the game on time but it could determine whether or not people lose their jobs and businesses. The situation is serious.
It is a hard request to put forward. Especially given that the lockdown means you need something to play. However, to put it into perspective, Final Fantasy VII pre-orders are quite high in SA. if everyone replaces those orders with a digital copy, it will have a massive impact on the business and jobs responsible for the physical copy of the game in SA. The effects will be detrimental to the future of gaming in SA.
With that being said, there’s a lot of things we could be doing to help the situation. Keeping your pre-orders and waiting for the hard copies to release is one of them. Let’s be honest, hard copies are often a lot better than digital games. Final Fantasy VII has some cool editions releasing including the Deluxe Edition which comes with SteelBook case, artbook and soundtrack of the game. You won’t get that with a digital copy. It looks pretty and people get to keep their jobs too. If you got cash, why not buy both? You can always splurge on the digital edition of the above games in the time being and when the hard copies are released in SA, grab yours and sell it. You might lose a hundred rand on it but it goes a lot further to help local businesses than you can ever imagine.
Once again, I know it is a tough request to ask but the future of the gaming industry in SA is at stake. Support local as much as possible even if it means buying a game twice or hanging onto your order until a later date.