'Final Fantasy VII Remake' Shipping Early in Europe, Australia Due to Coronavirus

Elsewhere, including in the Americas, copies will ship this week, "and we feel optimistic that most of you will receive the game for launch day," April 10, the firm says, appealing to gamers not to spoil the fun for others.

Square Enix's video game Final Fantasy VII Remake, which has been near the top of many video gamers' list of most-anticipated releases of 2020, is being shipped extra early in Europe and Australia amid postal delays due to the novel coronavirus, meaning some gamers will get it ahead of the April 10 launch date. 

"We had some hard decisions to make during the final few weeks before launch due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus," the video game maker said in a statement attributed to the game's producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura. "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."

Square Enix also discussed the shipping plans for the U.S. and beyond. "For other western regions, including the Americas, copies will be shipped this week and we feel optimistic that most of you will receive the game for launch day," it said. "However, due to the challenging situation we cannot provide delivery dates for each country and each retailer."

The game makers also asked everyone who has ordered a physical copy of the game a favor. "If you get the game early, please think of others and don’t spoil it for them. We know there are potential spoilers that have been out there for over two decades as the original Final Fantasy VII was released in 1997," they said. "But 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."

The game, which serves as the first chapter of what will eventually be the entire FFVII story, focuses on the Midgar portions of the original, which roughly covers a quarter or so of the first disc of the 1997 version, which has three discs in total.