The premise of Disaster Report 4 delayed the game for nearly a decade. Here’s why.
Video game delays are nothing new. Although widely hated among the gaming community, it is a necessary evil that prevents games from launching half-baked. However, some lags in video games aren’t caused by technical issues or a lack of resolution. Sometimes more serious problems, such as natural disasters, can cause delays.
This is the case for Disaster Report 4: Memories of Summer. The game has been the last developer of the game for nearly a decade after a series of catastrophic events that devastated Japan in 2011.
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The Disaster Report franchise is a long-running survival series that puts players in the middle of catastrophic natural disasters. Players must travel through dilapidated cities while searching for supplies and rescuing civilians. As the original developer of Disaster Report 4, Irem, preparing for the game’s release date in March 2011, the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan, triggering a massive tsunami that killed over 15,000 Japanese residences and displaced 470,000 others. A tsunami struck just days before the release of Disaster Report 4, causing Irem to delay the game.
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The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan to the core. It was the strongest earthquake in Japanese history and the fourth strongest earthquake ever recorded. The disaster caused hundreds of billions of dollars in losses and led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, forcing more people to leave their homes. Since the premise of Disaster Report 4 is nearly identical to the Tohoku Earthquake disaster, Irem called off the game just days after the fatal event.
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Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories was forgotten until Granzella acquired the rights to the series in 2014. The start-up company built the entire game from the ground up, putting into place its own role in the series while preserving its classic charm. After seven years of turbulent development cycles, cancellations and delays, Disaster Report 4 finally received a Japanese release in 2018. The game remained exclusive Japanese until making its way to North America in January 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into lockdown.
Disaster Report 4 doesn’t seem to be stalling. The game has been canceled for nearly a decade due to its similarity to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disasters, only to be resurrected and fall victim to COVID-19. Constant delays and poor timing ended up costing the long-term Disaster Report 4. Several players found its gameplay to be a bit outdated, indicating that it would have been more impressive over previous console generations.
However, Disaster Report 4’s strange and premature legacy will continue as one of the strangest legacies in modern video game history.
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About the author Zach Millsap (239 articles published)
Zach Millsap is an entertainer writer based in Dallas, Texas. Graduated from Texas State University with a degree in English in 2017. Zak is also a collector of vintage video games and movies. When Zack isn’t writing, you can find him either in boxing, gaming, or attending concerts.
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