NieR: Automata's Steam version still isn't out in most of Asia, but don't sweat it yet

By Melvyn Tan on Apr 26, 2017

Note: Some players have reported on both Steam and Reddit that they managed to get the game via third party sellers and have no issues playing it thus far.

Remember when the Japanese Twitter page for NieR: Automata finally broke the silence on the Steam version's availability in Asia (aside from India, Japan and even Brunei apparently) with this tweet from March 17, stating that it'd be out in April? Well, look at how time flies -it's already the 25th of April (soon to be the 26th as I type this) and the action RPG is still nowhere to be found. Forget a release; there isn't even a store page to check out.

Meanwhile, NieR: Automata's first DLC has already been announced, set to arrive in May with costumes and CEO boss fights. And still, not a single update on when most of Asia would be able to finally get their hands on the base game on Steam! Hardly surprising, given pretty much nothing helpful was said prior to the April release announcement, but still an annoying practice nonetheless. On a Steam discussion thread dating back to March 4 that's titled "Is Nier Automata region locked?", the number of comments has reached 1,785, and while they consist of more than just complaints, the general atmosphere is clearly far from being pro-Square Enix. Some have lost interest to varying degrees, prefering to reward Square Enix by waiting for a good discount or not make a purchase at all, while others wonder if the game will actually be released before the month ends.

The latter is indeed a good question to ponder, as the clock continuously ticks and we inch ever closer to May. But here's the thing: there's still a few days left before April ends, and the game could be released on any of those days. I'm not sure if Square Enix is deserving of the trust, but I've chosen to believe that there would be the case. Sure, our patience will continue to be tested sorely, but just because we can't get NieR: Automata yet doesn't mean we won't be able to this month.

If you've been following the Steam thread and still are, one of the more recent comments might've given you some confidence regarding that. A user commented that Street Fighter V went through something similar last year, with a big update promised to arrive in April showing up on the 3oth. 

So don't fret! Yet. Keep calm, remember that there's still a few days of April left, and play some other games in the meantime. It probably won't be surprising to see NieR: Automata suddenly pop out on the 30th, or even earlier, if we're being optimistic.

But while we shouldn't worry at the moment, there's certainly room for annoyance at Square Enix. On March 15, a Capcom post announced that balance updates would be out at the end of April. "End of April" isn't an exact date by any means, but it sure is a lot more informative than Square Enix saying "April" only and having us find out when exactly that is by ourselves. I'm still sufficiently interested in the game to get it at full price on Steam the moment I can do so, but Square Enix's wonderful practice of general silence is hardly one that'll win praise. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise however, if this Kotaku article is any indication, but that doesn't make it any less unfortunate.

It's also pretty laughable, in a way. "NieR:Automata(JE-Voice/JEFIGS-Sub) will be available on Steam..." reads the Twitter post, with those letters referring to Japanese, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish languages. There's certainly no "C" that could be used to spell "Chinese" or "K" for Korean, whereas versions of the game containing those two Asian languages will be arriving on April 27 on PS4, according to both Play Asia and the PlayStation store. So coinciding with those releases and having Chinese and Korean subs for the Steam version doesn't seem to be the reason we're having this delayed release for then.

So what is the reason, then? Price-setting? An attempt for the PS4 to sell more copies of the game in Asia by restricting the PC release (a conspiracy theory that I've read on Steam)? A surprisingly reasonable reason that will be sprung on us when Square Enix finally announces that the Steam version is available for Asian countries that don't have it yet? We'll probably never know.

Melvyn Tan
About the Author
Freelancer for Gamehubs since 2015. He enjoys various forms of entertainment, in particular anime and gaming (naturally). Was a devout servant of the Imperium, until he won a free Tau battlesuit.
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