Yesterday brought the news that Nintendo's oft-delayed 2nd party title Disaster: Day of Crisis, under development by Monolith, had been given a classification by Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) ratings board. This has helped to renew hopes that the game will actually see release, since it seems likely that the board would only be asked to review and classify the game if it were on the verge of completion.
But, if you have been anxiously awaiting this title, this only intensifies an already nagging question: When will Disaster actually be released?
Dissatisfied by that answer? So was I, so, rather than, say, wait patiently for official news, I turned to the OFLC database for clues.
A quick search of the database reveals 19 games that were classified on the 11th-14th of August, including Day of Crisis (classified on the 13th). Here's the list, including classification dates:
1 SPACE INVADERS GET EVEN 14/08/2008
2 WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE 2 14/08/2008
3 NEED FOR SPEED UNDERCOVER 14/08/2008
4 FUNFAIR PARTY 14/08/2008
5 GOLDEN AXE BEAST RIDER 14/08/2008
6 DISASTER : DAY OF CRISIS 13/08/2008
7 MORE TOUCHMASTER 13/08/2008
8 MORE GAME PARTY 13/08/2008
9 HOME SWEET HOME 13/08/2008
10 PONY LUV 11/08/2008
11 FABLE 2 11/08/2008
12 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 11/08/2008
13 SINGSTAR HOTTEST HITS 11/08/2008
14 KIRBY SUPER STAR ULTRA 11/08/2008
15 SKATE IT - NINTENDO DS 11/08/2008
16 WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB 11/08/2008
17 ARMORED CORE FOR ANSWER (AKA CORE 5) 11/08/2008
18 WARRIORS OROCHI 2 11/08/2008
19 DISNEY SING IT - FEATURING CAMP ROCK 11/08/2008
[Sorry about the caps and formating. This is a lazy copy/paste job from the OFCL site.]
First, let's disregard Millionare 2, Funfair Party, More Game Party, Pony Luv, Women's Murder Club, and Disney Sing It. These titles are either quick spin-offs of non-gaming licenses or blatant shovelware, and, as such, have different development and release cycles than games that require more diligence and time. Also, several of these titles (Millionare, Funfair Party) may never see North American release. Let's also disregard "Space Invaders Get Even" and "Home Sweet Home," because these are WiiWare titles and are victim to the whims of an erratic release schedule generally limited to one game per week and which is often independent of the time of the game's actual completion.
Now, here are the current North American release dates for the remaining titles (sans D:DoC, of course), courtesy of Wikipedia:
1. Need for Speed Undercover - November 18, 2008
2. Golden Axe: Beast Rider - September 2008
3. More Touchmaster - TBA
4. Fable II - October 21, 2008
5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 - November 12, 2008
6. SingStar Hottest Hits - September 18, 2008
7. Kirby Super Star Ultra - September 29, 2008
8. Skate It (DS) - Holiday 2008
9. Armored Core: For Answer - September 9, 2008
10. Warriors Orochi 2 - September 23, 2008
All of these release dates, aside from More Touchmaster (for which I could find no date) and Skate It DS (which has a vague "Holiday" release window), are in September through November, meaning that most games classified in mid-August seem to be preparing to launch in the Fall.
Does this mean that Disaster must necessarily be released prior to the end of November? No, but it does make it seem likely that we will see the game before Christmas. This is speculation, of course, but based on the release schedule for other games recently classified by the OFLC, there may be reason to be hopeful.