Square Enix’s highly anticipated Octopath Traveler exceeded expectations as the world sees a shortage of physical copies.
At the time of this writing, Amazon’s estimated arrival for a physical copy of the game is within one or two months. The problem is global, with the game’s official PR on Twitter apologizing for the lack of stock while suggesting gamers to buy digital.
This isn’t surprising news. JRPGs on Nintendo systems become sold out quickly, including Bravely Default for the 3DS, which is coincidentally developed by the same as those who did Octopath Traveler. One reason could be that these games are expected by Japanese developers to underperform in the west.
Gamefaqs user ObjectiveLogic laments about the Bravely Default shortage back in 2014:
“I can’t remember the last time I had this much trouble finding a game… I realize it’s a JRPG, but it’s Nintendo published and out on a Friday,” they said. “By 12pm noon, it was gone in every store I checked. So bizarre.”
Octopath Traveler’s shortage brings up a bigger issue: How can Japanese developers ascertain the demand for their games? It is nigh impossible to find a physical copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening or the original Xenoblade Chronicles without paying an exorbitant price. Granted, they are older games now, but even years ago they were highly sought after.
If you can’t find it in stores, Octopath Traveler is also out now on the Nintendo Switch eShop.