Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has been pushed out of its 2017 release, and will now take flight in 2018, Bandai Namco announced. Kazutoki Kono, current Ace Combat franchise director and producer on Ace Combat 7, penned a letter to fans detailing the delay.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to speak directly to you, our loyal Ace Combat fans, and give you a first-hand update on the launch timing for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The Project ACES team and I have been working hard on Ace Combat 7 and we’re determined to achieve the vision we have set for the game. In order to reach that vision, we have decided to move the launch of Ace Combat 7 to 2018,” he wrote.
Kono explained that launching in 2017 would limit the team’s ability to accomplish everything they wanted with the seventh numbered entry in the long-running series. He went on to suggest that the move to Unreal Engine 4, along with the power afforded to the developers by this generation of home consoles and PCs, has “literally opened the ‘skies of opportunity’ to us to develop the best Ace Combat experience to-date.” The delay also seems to be linked to the numerous platforms Ace Combat 7 is being designed for, specifically PSVR.
Ace Combat 7 was originally announced at PlayStation Experience 2015 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive with PSVR functionality. Earlier this year, Bandai Namco announced that the game would also be launching on Xbox One and PC. Although fans have been waiting almost 10 years for a direct sequel to Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, there have been seven Ace Combat games released within that gap — most recently, Ace Combat Infinity, a free-to-play 2014 title for PS3.
So far we’ve only seen the VR component of Ace Combat 7 in action. Kono promised that Ace Combat 7 will be present at E3 in June, with a new demo showing traditional gameplay footage.