March 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM ET
In the wake of last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, video game companies have delayed and, in one case, completely cancelled games that feature apocalyptic themes.
"Disaster Report 4" — a disaster-survival game for the PlayStation 3 — has been cancelled by its Tokyo-based developer, reports Japanese game blog Andriasang.
The game (which is known as "City in a Desperate Situation" in Japan) which had originally been scheduled for a spring launch in Japan and would have been the latest in the adventure series. But "Disaster Report 4" (as it's known outside Japan) hit much too close to home: The game opens with an earthquake devastating a city.
Meanwhile, Kotaku reports that "MotorStorm 3: Apocalypse" and "Yakuza: Of the End" have both been delayed in Japan. Both feature apocalyptic settings and depict cities laid to waste by disaster.
The PS3 racing game "MotorStorm" was due to launch this week in Japan and Europe and in the U.S. on April 12. The game tasks players with racing vehicles through locales caught in the throes of natural catastrophes. The U.K. release is "under discussion at the moment," according to GameSpot. I have contacted Sony to see whether the U.S. launch has been postponed and will update that information when it's available.
"Yakuza: Of the End" — an action-adventure game for the PlayStation 3 and the latest in the "Yakuza" series — is set during a zombie outbreak in Tokyo. It had been scheduled for a Japanese launch this year but there's no word from Sega on how long its arrival will be delayed.
Kotaku reports that Capcom has delayed the downloadable "Marvel vs. Capcom 3" characters Shuma-Gorath and Jill Valentine in Japan. The company has not announced whether this will affect their availablity in the West.
Meanwhile, Nintendo — which is based in Kyoto, Japan — says there will be no delays in the launch of its games (none of which feature end-of-the-world scenarios). The company issued this statement:
We appreciate the concern shown in the aftermath of the recent disaster in Japan. We can confirm that at this time it appears that no one from Nintendo in Japan was injured and there was no apparent structural damage to our company headquarters in Kyoto and other offices and facilities in Japan. Business operations, including future product shipments, have not been affected. Our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone who has friends and family members who may have been affected by the earthquake or tsunami.
Video game companies are in the midst of sending big donations to the recovery effort in Japan — which is home to many of the industry's biggest and best-known players.
To read more on that effort and about how you can help the recovery in Japan, follow this link.
(Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.)
For more on this topic, please read: