Final Fantasy XV Delay Rumours Trigger Fan Meltdowns

Remember when rumours of a No Man's Sky delay led to outrage, fan hysteria and amateur detectives calling dozens of GameStops? Would you believe me if I told you the same thing just happened again? Last night, Square Enix announced that they'd delayed Final Fantasy XV two months to November 29 in hopes of optimising and polishing the game as much as possible. This news came after an entire weekend of delay rumours that led to fans flipping out all across the internet, trying hopelessly to find proof that it wasn't true.

It started Friday night, when reporter Ben Lamoreux wrote on a little-known website called Gamnesia that he'd heard Final Fantasy XV was delayed to November 29. Citing a source at GameStop who had given him correct information in the past, Lamoreux said the delay would be announced on Sunday or Monday.

Almost immediately he got a torrent of nasty messages from fans who didn't want to believe the news.

One fan chimed in with his own stab at investigative journalism, in a move reminiscent of when that one guy called 30 GameStops about No Man's Sky:

As the weekend progressed, Final Fantasy fans across the internet started looking for reasons to declare that the rumour wasn't true. Upset about the thought of having to wait two extra months for Final Fantasy XV — and unwilling to put faith in a small site like Gamnesia — fans insisted that this was a hoax, that Lamoreux was lying to them. That after holding a big event just to announce FFXV's release date, Square Enix wouldn't dare delay it again.

On Saturday, Gamnesia offered more evidence, publishing a photo of GameStop's instructions for applying a new release date sticker to Final Fantasy XV marketing displays. Amateur investigators on Reddit immediately insisted that it was photoshopped.

Things escalated pretty quickly.

It got worse, though. On Sunday, I confirmed that Gamnesia's scoop was correct, posting both on Kotaku and on Twitter that I'd heard from a non-retail source that the delay was real. You might think that corroboration from Kotaku would help convince people that something was up, but instead, a whole bunch of Final Fantasy fans decided to double down on the idea that this was a big conspiracy to, uh, make them really mad?

The funniest messages by far were on GameFAQs:

At least a couple of people had the right idea:

Others let confirmation bias get the best of them:

If you can't trust 4chan, who can you trust? Meanwhile, over on Reddit, some suggested that the amateur detective squad start calling Square Enix's offices. Some said they would cancel their pre-orders if this turned out to be true. Some said both.

Voices of reason were downvoted and shut down.

Lots of people threw around the word "clickbait", which is a word that has lost all proper definition and now simply means "thing on the internet I don't like":

One guy, who would later go on to flood my inbox with emails about how I should be fired for reporting this false news, was very, very upset:

These screenshots, which I gradually took as I saw them over the weekend, make up just a fraction of the nasty messages that have been floating around Final Fantasy communities since Friday night. It's a snapshot of what it's like to do original reporting on the video game industry, especially when you're delivering what some fans see as bad news. (Put aside the fact that a two-month delay for optimisation and polish is unequivocally good news for anyone who wants Final Fantasy XV to be as great as possible.)

But hey, at least there were no death threats!


Comments

    GameStop friends seem to be an unquestionable source.
    Plus they seem to stack.

      I trust them as much as my friend's uncle who works at Nintendo.

        "omg my most anticipated game of the year got delayed, brrrrffffffffmmmmmgrrrrrrr"
        http://i.imgur.com/4MjblnB.gif

    This ridiculousness has got to stop. It's a game. It got delayed. If it doesn't get delayed and releases with bugs it gets vitriol anyway.
    Does anyone remember waiting an extra, what, 2 years for mechwarrior 2?

      Does it really need to stop? I mean we're talking about a handful of people annoying an internet reporter who should know better than to engage them. The GameStop employees probably find it annoying too and I feel bad for them but dealing with tools is part of the package when you offer pre-orders. These 'meltdowns' are about as inconsequential as the delay itself. I'm pretty happy to just continue like I always do and ignore them. Hardly a cause to rally against.

        But "gamers" have to be over now!

          That's some leap there and has little to do with this ridiculous attitude of attacking people and sending death threats to devs over delays and inventing conspiracies whenever it suits them to keep their narratives.

        It's more terrifying than anything else to me. These people, look at how they respond to hearing what they don't want to hear. They go from denial to unbridled rage. Think about how these people respond to the same things in the real world. I'm honestly so concerned that I have to share my society with people like this.

        It's perplexing to see these people think delays are a conspiracy when there's literally no benefit to lying about them. Especially in this current age of "every single triple A game gets delayed at least once". It really reminds me of climate change deniers, where they try and think of all these reasons why someone telling them a hard truth might be trying to benefit from that instead of asking what those who deny it have to gain (which is a much easier and longer list).

          I think it's worse than it looks. I mean these are just cherry picking places like Reddit and comment sections populated by people who are specifically there to vent their frustrations. Personally I find it more alarming that places like Reddit, Twitter, etc are treated as legitimate venues by websites like Kotaku even though everyone knows those places are magnets for stupid jerks. It worries me that there's a part of my brain that can't tell the difference between Reddit simply being a large cluster of people and Reddit being an accurate sample of the population.

          Plus you've got to factor in that most people suck at communicating via text. You just wrote up a few nicely structured points and expressed them clearly, which makes it seem easy, but if you weren't a good typist and didn't really care you'd probably just write 'fuck those clowns they need to shut up' without realising how hostile that makes you sound. Not that the main posts being displayed here fall into that category, but I'm guessing a lot of the lesser/supportive ones do.

        You might consider them inconsequential but have you been the subject of these meltdowns? Have you had deaths threats due to delaying your game?

          If you want to get technical then yeah. Back when I used to make little F2P games people did threaten to kill me over all sorts of trivial stuff. It was the default reaction to a forum ban (usually with a little 'this is illegal! Freedom of speech!' on the side). The audience was loser teenagers who weren't creative enough to come up with anything better than threats of violence when they were angry. Admittedly back then the internet felt a million miles away so it was easier to dismiss them as nothing but hot air, but that's all they were.
          More importantly though I've had death threats from an actual murderer who had a reason to kill me (or at least he did from his ridiculous perspective). I've sat there thinking 'we're going to die because I didn't call the police right away'. I know exactly how it feels to live my day to day life after receiving a credible death threat.

          The sorts of death threats outlined in the No Man's Sky article (keep in mind not a single death threat has been mentioned in this article) should be taken seriously on principal but it's important to take a step back and recognise that just because we take them seriously as a precaution doesn't mean that they actually are dangerous. These people are just idiots letting off steam in a really ugly way. Frankly if Jason was actually concerned I don't think he'd be baiting further responses out of them like this.

      While I concur that these idiots need to pull their head in, a case could also be mounted that Jason and fellow journalists should stop "reporting" on innuendo and rumour and wait until the official announcement of the delay. He's the only one who actually gains anything from it since Square obviously wanted to announce on a specific date, and the fans dont want to know about a delay either way. Not to mention the gamestop employees who seemingly get a ton of extra calls just because some heresay was posted on a gaming news site. The only benefit goes to Kotaku and Mr Schreier who get hits on their effectively clickbait articles.

      Again, not trying to say that death threats or nastiness towards Mr Shreier etc are warranted, but you know, a rumour is not news.

        Yeah, I think you take a risk of looking stupid posting something that's not confirmed, but at the same time, most of the time they are pitched as a "rumour" but in reality it's 100% confirmed but they can't reveal the source in any sort of detail without revealing their identity. Saying it's rumours protects the source while getting the information out there.

        As for who it benefits, well think about someone who might be thinking about pre-ordering it (If they are still living in a fantasy world where pre-ordering triple A games is a good idea) or taking the day off in advance. That extra few days might make the difference to them.

        I also like hearing about this sort of stuff just from a general "how the industry works" perspective. Sometimes these rumours come with a little more explanation about how and why, and it's interesting to see the cogs turn without a PR statement in the way.

          Some good points you raise. I am still of the opinion though that it's not 100% confirmed until the company in question announces. They have their reasons for announcing on the day they do. At the end of the day Kotaku can publish whatever they want. All I'm saying is, they are opening themselves up a bit by posting this stuff without any official comment from Square etc, whether the source is correct or not. I dont know who your source is so why should I believe what you're saying, true or not? Again, still not worth the vitriol that some idiots are piling on though, especially not death threats.

            I think you can always tell the veracity of the claim by whether or not a website like Kotaku is posting it in the first place. They definitely would have fact checking and rep protecting processes in place to make sure they're not just posting something they overheard a kid say on the street.

            I am far more trusting of a journalistic source stating facts and dates such as delay information (as opposed to opinion pieces and reviews, which by their very nature you take with a grain of salt) than I am of the publishers / developers. They have many reasons to keep the truth secret such as share prices, stockholder satisfaction, marketing, etc.

            As I said in another comment here, you just need to ask yourself who has more to gain from their actions. Nobody likes hearing about delays, nobody likes writing about them, it's not really good news, so a website like Kotaku writing about it lends it credibility. Whereas think of all the benefits for keeping the fact that the developers or publishers aren't doing their job correctly secret.

            Basically, don't put all your stock in official confirmation. It's best to listen to those who have no skin in the game.

    If this is what "gamers" are, then I am no longer a "gamer". Instead, call me a "well adjusted adult who also likes games and isn't a fucking self-righteous emotional man-baby with a desperate need to validate his piss-weak skewed priorities to strangers on the internet".

    Just kidding with the well-adjusted adult bit, but everything else is close enough.

    And people wonder why developers don't like giving out release dates..

    Love reading these delusional comments and the rage that follows. These people have no life.

    On the one hand, these people are a constant source of entertainment. On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of these people are the future of our society.

      Iodiocracy is looking more and more likely by the day -.-

    You just dont understand there has never ever been a game delay in the history of Square Enix, the next Kingdom Hearts is right on schedule for its release in... oh!

    Square Enix has NEVER released a game on schedule, their art is ambitious and the scale is grandiose... that puts pressure and delays. Any Enix fan would know and accept this... not lose their shit instantly quoting imaginery my friend of a friend says your lying.

    That saids no more Kingdom Heart delays or I will stab a Chocobo.

    Eurgh. I'd love to think that people in the gaming world are pleasant, mature, responsible human beings, and not whiny, entitled brats. But well...
    Eurgh.

    The people that express anger at the delay of a video game must have genuinely depressing lives.

      To be fair if you were living the sort of depressing life that was "you have 3 months to live", and the game you had been waiting 10 years for gets delayed for 2 months, I think you'd get pretty pissed.

      Other than that though, just make sure you don't project the importance games / film / books / art have for you onto others. It's not really fair to say "there's more important things guys" when for some people, there isn't, and that's a perfectly valid individual life choice.

      But yeah the list of people who have a valid reason to get so furious at rumours of news they don't like the sound of is tiny.

        Yeah agreed. This game has taken over ten years to get out! I normally don't care for delays but to me this feels frustrating because I really wanna get this Final Fantasy XIII Versus shizz done with and out of my life.

        That being said. I'm also the type of guy who spent a few years learning Japanese so I could attempt to play Persona 5 without having to wait for the EU/AUS localisation.

        ...I'm also the type of guy who despite learning said Japanese near fluently, ended up deciding to just wait for the English version of Persona 5 anyway :/ (because they revealed the EU/AUS release would be same as America (thank Yeezus), and I loved Persona 4 way more in English than when I played through it in Japanese (which felt more like work).

        Last edited 16/08/16 12:34 pm

        I'd like to think that if you had 3 months to live you'd have a bit more to do than play the next Final Fantasy game...

        Be a bit depressing if you didn't.

          Well you're gonna die so your whole life's depressing. And I feel like my second paragraph didn't get through. Don't project your values onto other people. Some people might want to climb a mountain with their last days, other might want to play a game. Both are valid.

        If these emotionally stunted jackasses that rage so hard about game delays had 3 months to live it would at least give a warm, fuzzy end to this sad tale of entitlement AND have the added bonus of improving the human genepool.

    I've had the game on preorder for 10 years now, it was meant to come out a couple of days after my birthday, if anything, I see this delay as a good thing, I've waited all this time for a potentially fantastic game and I'd rather not wait all this time to have it come out broken. Anyone who is getting mad over this needs to calm down and wait, at least we are getting it.

    Been watching the shitstorm unfolding since I read the original article the other day. & while I couldn't help but jump in on the frenzy ,sarcastically mind you ; ) I still found it hard to believe that there are people out there that hold such resentment when it comes to a blimey article on the Internet. It's 1. take it with a grain of salt. & 2. Innocent until proven faulse. So just chill you little punks!

    I'll admit I was super bummed about the news, & vented a bit on Twitter, but turning nasty on jurnalist(s) who are just, well being journalists!!! Well fk. Gamers are the fking worst & maybe those little pricks calling out the people who in these cases on good merit, just try bring us the scoop. Well, what hope is there for these little bastards in the real world.

    A truly horrifying society we live in.

    Man, I bet Jason just loves writing these articles.

    i would love a study done on these individuals, to try and pin down the demographics and the reasons behind a rage like this

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