In Nintendo’s October 28th Direct Mini Partner Showcase, Bravely Default 2 news and a brand new gameplay trailer, got the first slot of the day. During the video, there is an official confirmation that the game has been delayed until 2021, apparently because of the pandemic. Despite this, the developers of the game have made lemonade out of the situation by using player feedback to improve the development of the game.
Developed by Team Asano and Claytechworks, Bravely Default 2’s demo was released to the Nintendo eShop back in March. The game’s publisher, Square Enix, subsequently released a survey for players to take based on their experience playing the demo. It appears the developers have listened, because Nintendo released another video later in the day, detailing developer updates that have been based directly on feedback from players who tried out the demo.
The development team took player feedback very seriously, addressing and fixing almost every criticism that the more than 20,000 fans who took the survey had. Direct correspondence with players seems like a rarity, and suggests a valuable willingness by developers to create a stronger, more detailed game. While the pandemic unfortunately caused the game to be delayed, it also has provided the opportunity for the developers to use player feedback and work more directly with the Bravely Default player community.
A major concern amongst fans was the difficulty of Bravely Default 2 in the demo. The high level of difficulty is an intentional feature, and there is a warning about it before the demo gameplay starts. The demo was made to be challenging, so that players would be forced to grind up character levels, thereby getting a better feel and more play time out of such a brief demo.
Still, Bravely’s developers have responded to fan concerns, making the decision to include difficulty levels that can be changed at any time in the retail version of the game. Some other player concerns with Bravely Default 2’s demo have also been addressed for the slated retail release. Namely, that the demo has a somewhat clunky overworld experience, a difficult to read UI, and many players found it difficult to tell which character’s turn it is during battle, which has led to more big changes for the game’s eventual release. Many other quality of life changes are set to be implemented as well. See the full list and the developer video, here:
Bravely Default 2 so far seems to be a relatively complex RPG, and the developers wanted to give players new to the Bravely franchise the time to get a feel for its mechanics. Some players in the west might have missed out on the first installment of Bravely Default, as it was a Japan-only release for the 3DS for a period of time before a version arrived on US shores in February, 2014. Its complexity could prove alienating to new players, especially in regards to the Default and Brave battle mechanics.
Bravely Default 2 is set to release on February 26, 2021, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.