— FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (@finalfantasyvii) March 30, 2020
Square Enix has confirmed it has shipped Final Fantasy VII Remake physical copies ahead of schedule in Europe and Australia, meaning some players will receive the game early.
The decision was made due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the publisher said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier this month it warned that some Final Fantasy VII Remake physical pre-orders wouldn’t arrive in time for the game’s release date on April 10.
However, it’s now confirmed it’s decided to ship physical copies of the game early in order to give players in regions facing “the biggest disruption” the best chance of playing before release.
“We had some hard decisions to make during the final few weeks before launches due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the company said in a statement credited to director Tetsuya Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase.
“These unique circumstances have made it very difficult to align timing of our global shipping.
“Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we 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.”
For other western regions, including the Americas, copies will be shipped this week and Square Enix said it feels optimistic that “most of you will receive the game for launch day.”
However, the statement goes on to ask fans who receive the game early to “please think of others” and don’t spoil it for them. “Final Fantasy VII Remake is a new game that still has many surprises for everyone,” it reads.
Amazon’s UK and US warehouses have stopped taking deliveries of non-essential items until early April, in a bid free up space for priority items needed by customers such as medical supplies and baby products, according to the Guardian.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake release date was previously scheduled for early March but in January it was delayed by approximately one month in order to polish the game.
Final Fantasy VII Remake will be exclusive to PlayStation platforms for one year.
A Final Fantasy VII Remake demo launched earlier this month lets players sample the game’s opening chapter, the Mako Reactor 1 bombing mission.