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Rejoice! The ‘Xenoblade Chronicles’ 3 Release Has Been Moved Up to July

Or panic—like me—because I'll never be able to play the previous two in time.

Screenshot from the trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 3

The biggest announcement of the February 2022 Nintendo Direct was probably Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Not only did the trailer confirm the game’s much-rumored development, but it notified fans that the third installment would launch this year, in September. But Nintendo just surprised absolutely everyone by moving Xenoblade Chronicle 3‘s release date up two whole months to July 29, 2022. Tried-and-true Xenoblade fans are ecstatic. I, as someone who was using this as an excuse to catch up on a franchise I’ve been meaning to play for ages, am despondent.

Nintendo’s surprise announcement is counter to everything we’ve come to expect in the COVID era. Since 2020, almost every developer in the gaming world has experienced major delays due to the pandemic and the complications it imposed on workflow. For Nintendo, this has included the sequel to Breath of the Wild. Given this landscape, moving a major title like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 up two months is like a freakin’ miracle. (Xenoblade Chronicles, by the way, is a Nintendo-exclusive title, developed by Monolith Soft.)

However, if you are like me, this is discouraging news. You see, I’ve never played a Xenoblade Chronicles game, but I’ve been wanting to for ages. The Xenoblade Chronicles series is a beloved, highly-lauded, well-reviewed franchise, but both installments have had the bad luck of getting somewhat overshadowed. The original Xenoblade Chronicles came out in the twilight years of the Wii, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 came out in the same year as both Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Even though I adore JRPGs, my attention has always been torn elsewhere. Also, the friend who told me he’d lend me his physical copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 never got around to it. Tsk tsk.

So, when Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was announced, I told myself, “Okay. This is it. I’m finally playing these games.” But then it happened again: shortly after the Nintendo Direct announcement, Elden Ring came out, and I sucked 130 hours of my precious life into an as-of-yet unfinished wormhole. The Xenoblade games aren’t Elden Ring-level big (thank you, sweet lord Turtle Pope), but the main story-only gameplay times of 1 and 2 are approximately 52 and 64 hours, respectively. Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in particular, has over 250 hours worth of content. I gotta get moving if I’m doing this by July! Will I ever sleep again if I take on this quest? Who knows!?

So, to Xenoblade Chronicle fans, I say, “Congratulations! I’m very happy for your revised summer timelines.” To my fellow aspiring Xenoblade Chronicle fans, I say, “Let’s freakin’ do this, team.”

featured image: Monolith Soft

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.