07thExpansion circle leader and When They Cry creator Ryukishi07 took to Twitter this weekend to announce a delay to Septmeber for both Ciconia When They Cry and Umineko When They Cry: Saku, citing roadblocks in production and writing, as well as his own anxieties about the fifth When They Cry entry.
The circle’s announcement that they wouldn’t be attending this year’s Comiket earlier this month was perhaps our first taste that things weren’t proceeding as planned with the highly anticipated Ciconia When They Cry and Umineko remaster Umineko When They Cry: Saku, but it seems as though things have to a head with the announcement of this delay.
“Ryukishi07 here,” the 07thExpansion circle leader began. “Today I have an unfortunate announcement… Thanks to everyone’s support, I finished writing the script a few days ago! I’m now working on the Ciconia game, but unfortunately due to the sheer amount of work and fine tuning to do, etc., it looks like completion will be a little behind schedule.”
“We’re looking to release the game sometime in September,” he announced.
“For those of you waiting for Umineko Saku,” he continued, “the game is also in the middle of final checks, so it will release in the same timeframe.”
“This means that the game will be delivered to everyone just before the Ushiromiya family conference,” he joked, referencing the event that forms the basis of the story of Umineko When They Cry. “Everyone on the staff is giving it their all, so please accept our apologies for the delay.”
“I think I’ve really give my all with this latest title [Ciconia],” he continued, highlighting his anxieties about the project. “I feel like I’ll never be able to create something quite like this ever again. I also haven’t quite been able to push aside my worries about whether everyone will like or not, even though I’ve already finished writing the script… But, even so, I’m trying to believe that people will like it all the same… I think I’ll somehow make it through.”
It’s quite clear from this long chain of tweets that the main problems behind the scenes that have resulted in the delay of both Ciconia When They Cry and Umineko When They Cry: Saku are related to the production of Ciconia, mainly due to the fact that Ryukishi07 has only just finished the script for the first episode of the game and is only now moving on to the more technical side of production, including the aforementioned ‘fine-tuning.’
These problems are probably also why 07thExpansion decided to skip this year’s Summer Comiket, which was surprising at the time given how essential the event is to the circle’s success and their previous presence there, but is now much more understandable. Organizational changes to Comiket itself don’t seem to be the motivating factor behind that decision after all, or so it seems.
What is worrying about this delay, and particularly Ryukishi07’s comments, however, is that he seems to be really anxious about the story of Ciconia.
The first PV for the game seemed to hint at a more action-oriented focus as distinct from the previous focuses on mystery with Higurashi and Umineko (albeit to different degrees), and fans weren’t exactly happy about that – When They Cry has always been a series with a strong focus on mysteries, after all.
It certainly seems as if that might be truer than we once thought, as Ryukishi does seem to be genuinely worried about fan reception to the game.
Personally, as I’ve said in the past, I’d rather Ryukishi try something different and get it wrong or end up with a half-baked product than constantly do the same thing over and over again. I can’t speak for other fans, though.
I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves what Ryukishi is so anxious about when Ciconia When They Cry releases worldwide after a delay this September. Umineko When They Cry: Saku will also release around the same time.