Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has officially had its release date pushed back from sometime in 2017 to the first half of 2018.
Bloodstained producer Koji Igarashi (known to the internet as IGA) explains in the video below, “Between our current production set-up and release deadline, I’ve realized that at this rate the game may not end up meeting my quality standards.” He goes on to explain that they are in the midst of adding a new development team to the main production, and that he offers his “sincerest apologies” for pushing the release back to a goal of the first half of 2018.
The comments on the above video are supportive. And while there are parallels to be drawn between this Kickstarter and the fraught development of Megaman creator Inafune’s Mighty No. 9, there are reasons gamers are more optimistic about Bloodstained.
IGA, who was one of the main creative minds behind Castlevania at large, especially fan-favorite Symphony of the Night, looked into Kickstarter after seeing the success of Mighty No. 9. Although Mighty No. 9 needed $900,000 to produce the game; IGA only needed $500,000 to secure the final 10% of funding his game needed, and instead received 11 times that amount. While Bloodstained will currently take the same 3 years to come out that Mighty No. 9 did, IGA has only delayed his game once so far; Mighty No. 9 had three delays (four, if you count the last-second Xbox 360 delay).
The main reason, however, that backers are much more optimistic about this game is that they’ve already seen a demo of the game (preview here), which was very well received. While somewhat brief, beatable in around 25 minutes, the demo showed complex but balanced systems, several traversal options, gorgeous animations, and enough borrowed and enough new to make this a proper spiritual successor to Castlevania. For instance, you still steal powers from enemies and find hidden rooms, but those mechanics have been expanded upon greatly. (You can see IGA/Castlevania fans Super Best Friends playing through said demo below with contextual commentary.)
Maybe the final reason that fans are so willing to follow IGA is a certain naïveté to his campaign, not with regards to his development experience, but with regards to its presentation. The original Kickstarter announcement had him posing all over a castle, and even this delay video features IGA standing in front of a white screen wearing a studded hat with animated candles on either side of this video. The announcement ends with hand-drawn art of IGA in Castlevania-esque clothes; it seems hard to believe this man would, or could, try to pull one over on anyone.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will come early 2018 to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Mac, and Linux.