Action RPG Granblue Fantasy: Relink will launch for PlayStation 5 in addition to its previously announced PlayStation 4 version in 2022, publisher and developer Cygames announced at Granblue Fantasy Fes 2020.
Additionally, the publisher premiered a new 23-minute gameplay demo showcasing protagonists Gran and Djeeta, equipment, abilities, party formation, and an airship stage and boss battle.
Get the latest details below.
■ Relink‘s Release Window
■ Relink‘s Development So Far
- August 2016
- December 2017
- December 2018
- December 2019
■ Current Stage of Development
Granblue Fantasy: Relink has passed the following stages of development:
- First Playable – The game is in a playable state so game feel can be experienced.
- Pre-Production – Missing elements are added and improvements are made to problems identified in the first playable build. Core of the game is fleshed out in preparation for vertical slice development.
- Vertical Slice – A limited amount of characters, maps, items, and features are available, but a small portion of core gameplay can be experienced in near-finished quality. The final budget and development schedule are determined based on the quality of this build of the game.
And is currently on the following stage of development:
- Alpha Version – Various features and resources are either unfinished or using temporary assets, but the game in its entirety is generally in a playable state.
Remaining stages of development include the following:
- Beta Version – Planned features and resources are fully implemented. Some potential bugs and glitches may still need to be fixed, but the game should be nearing a releasable state.
- Master – Ready for release. Generally three-to-six months before actual release. Day-one patches have become common alongside in development.
■ Short-lived Protagonist: Blue
Blue was originally designed to be the protagonist in the early stages of Relink, rather than Gran and Djeeta from the mobile game. Sometime after 2015, however, Gran and Djeeta were no longer considered blank slates for players to project themselves onto, but characters with their own unique personalities. Due to their rise in popularity among players, the decision to shelve Blue in favor of Gran and Djeeta was made in the early stages of development.
Blue’s character design made a cameo appearance in Granblue Fantasy: Versus as Djeeta’s 11 color. Internally, this color was given the nickname “A nostalgic color,” but…
Her outfit has since been repurposed for Gran and Djeeta, who will change into this outfit at some point in the story.
■ Development Cycle Since Developer Change
- Reassure fans that no development news doesn’t mean development isn’t happening.”
- Make a commitment to dispel any worries by releasing new information by the end of the year.
- Large increase in team size at Osaka Cygames calls for a larger work environment.
- Building a workflow plan, preparing development tools, reshaping the Osaka studio into a fully-fledged back office.
- Focus on building a framework for development organization rather than speed.
- Have the implementation team focus on content to be shown at Granblue Fes. Restructuring development plans that were still incomplete, such as refining the game engine, etc. in order to be implemented in time for a 2022 release.
- Implementing real-time four-player gameplay to be revealed at Granblue Fes.
- Demonstrate an in-game quest showing new resources created in 2019.
- Gauge the amount of work needed to rebuild an action game from the ground up.
- Assess the performance of the new engine to identify potential development issues down the line.
- Resolve issues found within the game engine in 2019.
- Refining of the game’s engine began at the start of 2020, scheduled to be finished by August 2020. Finished on schedule, greatly improving development efficiency (especially in regards to graphics).
- Begin development on all parts of the game based on the final documentation.
- Begin development on all elements of the game simultaneously in addition to the presentation shown in 2020.
- Finalize the development schedule to include PlayStation 5 support and begin the main phase of development.
- We’re currently nearing the final stages of development and going all in on asset creation!
■ Gameplay Demonstration and Cygames Magazine Article
This demonstration will be uploaded to YouTube with English subtitles on the official Granblue Fantasy YouTube channel.
Don’t miss the next issue of Cygames Magazine on December 14 for an exclusive article about Relink‘s graphics!
Watch the latest gameplay demo below (from 6:16:50 to 6:39:50). (Update 12/18/20: Watch the direct-feed version here.)