Square Enix Shuffles Forspoken to January 2023, Valkyrie Elysium to September

| July 6, 2022
Square Enix Shuffles Forspoken to January 2023, Valkyrie Elysium to September

As the holiday game release calendar begins to fill up, Forspoken‘s arrival has been moved into next year, while Square Enix confirms Valkyrie Elysium for a September launch.

Forspoken, the long-awaited action-adventure developed by Luminous Productions, has been moved farther back once again and will now launch on January 24, 2023. The game’s official social media accounts broke the news this morning, citing the “strategic decision” as “a result of ongoing discussions with key partners.”

“All game elements are complete, and development is in its final polishing phase,” the statement elaborated.

This marks the game’s second delay. Originally displayed as a tech demo codenamed “Project Athia,” Forspoken was formally announced at the PlayStation 5 reveal in summer 2020 as an exclusive for Sony’s next-gen console. First dated for May 24 of this year, Square Enix pushed it back to October 11 in March, and now it will miss 2022 altogether.

While a series of delays isn’t a great look, this news may not be as grim as it sounds. Now that we know God of War Ragnarok is launching November 9, Square Enix and their “key partners”—likely Sony themselves—might be looking to get Forspoken out of its wake. Sony recently saw the fanfare of Horizon Forbidden West, another exclusive, get cut short by the arrival of Elden Ring, a bigger, long-awaited blockbuster. Kratos’ next outing will certainly be a main contender for game of the holiday season, and it may be wise to move Luminous Productions’ isekai adventure to a release window with more breathing room.

Square Enix has a stacked 2022 lineup as it is, even losing Forspoken as a tentpole and with the recent sale of their North American partner studios: Live A Live on July 22, The DioField Chronicle on September 22, Nier: Automata hits Switch October 6, Star Ocean: The Divine Force October 27, and the curious new farm sim Harvestella November 4. Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion is also due in “Winter,” sometime between October and March.

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Last night Square Enix added another date to their calendar when they announced Valkryie Elsyium will release on Sony platforms September 29, and Steam on November 11. This unexpected revival of a cult-classic franchise “draws on the richness of Norse mythology to present an original story set in a world on the brink of destruction.” A new trailer showcases the sequel (or reboot?)’s modernized combat, which has broken out of its turn-based roots, as well as a sampling of the allies the new Valkyrie heroine will recruit.

Valkyrie Elysium will arrive alongside a PS4/PS5 port of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, the PSP remaster of the PS1 original, which will be included in the Digital Deluxe edition or sold separately. Both Lenneth and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria for PS2 would make great additions to the expanded PS Plus library, but fans will have to be sated by this move for now.

Forspoken will be shown off more “later this summer,” which is sorely needed to help counter the bad taste of multiple delays and to help convey how its unique world and combat will be utilized. It certainly has great talent at its wheel, including Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s Janina Gavankar as the villain Tanta Sila and Ella Balinska of the upcoming Resident Evil Netflix show as protagonist, Frey. Having Gary Whitta and Amy Hennig on the writing team, and Bear McCreary composing, are strong assets as well.

Following a preview last December, CGM’s Philip Watson was left “with the impression that this game is in amazing hands. The atmosphere, the combat, even Frey’s highly relatable potty mouth while beating on enemies feels just right. The menus are not cumbersome, and the landscape is done fashionably. […] The worst part about Forspoken so far? We, as fans, have to wait for the game to release to get our hands on it.”

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