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The King of Fighters 15 delayed until 2022

Well that's a bummer

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • June 1, 2021 at 7:21 p.m. PDT • Comments: 64

Fighting game fans had been waiting to see just when they'll be able to get their hands on The King of Fighters 15, which was scheduled to release at some point this year, but it looks like we'll all be waiting a while longer now.

SNK announced tonight that they've made the decision to delay KOF15's release into early 2022.

The developers state the rising numbers of COVID-19 within Japan are a major if not the biggest determining factor for the pushed back launch window, which is unfortunate but probably something that can't really be helped given the circumstances.

It's unclear if this means the development team is once again switching to a work-from-home setup, and we also don't know how many SNK workers were back at the offices at the time of this decision.

Right after this announcement was made, Arc System Works made a similar statement that they would also need to postpone the launch of Guilty Gear Strive's arcade release because of COVID-19 cases and restrictions.

SNK first announced King of Fighters 15 at Evo 2019 with only a logo, but it wouldn't be until the start of this year that they actually showed off the game in action for the first time.

Since then, the studio has consistently announced new characters / released gameplay trailers for the fighting game almost every week to keep interest high and give fans something to look forward to.

At the time of the delay, 22 characters have been revealed in total for KOF15 with the most recent being Blue Mary last week though they've still got a ways to go to match its predecessor's launch roster of 48 fighters.

No information was given in the announcement as to whether SNK will be continuing to release new character trailers every week following the pushed back launch.

This news may not come as too big of a surprise to some considering 2021 is already almost half-way over, and there's still so much SNK hasn't shown or revealed about the fighting game.

While we've seen gameplay, no full matches have been shown off nor what the user interface will look like. There's also perhaps the most important information we don't know being which systems KOF15 will be releasing on.

After months of questions from fans, however, SNK did previously reveal that they are indeed working on including rollback netcode in the title, a first for the company in a brand new title, so hopefully this delay gives them the time needed to get the online working up to the FGC's rightfully growing standards.

Since they said the first quarter of 2022, that gives us a new launch window of sometime between January 1 and March 31. You can find the statement from SNK Producer Yasuyuki Oda about the delay below.

A message from KOF15 producer, Yasuyuki Oda

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.

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