Australian and European gamers may be getting their copy of the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake earlier than the expected release date of April 10.
Square Enix announced on March 30 that pre-orders will be shipped out early to both regions in order to circumvent “disruption to distribution channels” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Some players have already received their copies as early as yesterday (March 31), per Kotaku Australia.
However, digital copies of FFVII Remake that had been pre-ordered through the PlayStation Store will still only be available on April 10.
Retailers in Australia have also begun selling physical copies of the game. JB Hi-Fi and EB Games both announced today (April 1) via Twitter that the game is now available for purchase. The early launch also means the game avoids its original release date on Good Friday, a public holiday and a restricted trading day for most retailers across the nation.
The wait is over. Final Fantasy VII Remake is available now at JB Hi-Fi! 💥
— JB Hi-Fi (@JBHiFi) March 31, 2020
In a statement on the official FFVII Remake Twitter page, Square Enix said the early release would ensure fans worldwide have access to the game at its official launch date.
“The unique circumstances have made it very difficult to align timing of our global shipping,” the company said. “Our highest priority is that all of you […] can play the game at launch, so we have made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.
“As a result, there is a greater chance that some of you in these regions will now get a copy of the game prior to the worldwide release date of April 10.”
Read the full statement here:
— FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (@finalfantasyvii) March 30, 2020
The FFVII Remake game producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura also urged those lucky enough to receive the game early to not “spoil it” for others.
“Final Fantasy VII Remake is a new game that still has many surprises for everyone. All our fans and players deserve to experience the game for themselves, and we ask for the support of our dedicated community around the world to ensure that,” they added.
Square Enix reiterated Kitase and Nomura’s no-spoiler policy, reminding fans to abide by the game’s Material Usage License which states that those who get the game early are not “publicly authorised to post content before April 10, 2020”.