It was announced on the official Level-5 blog that the studio’s upcoming soccer RPG, Inazuma Eleven Great Road of Heroes (formerly Inazuma Eleven Ares), has once again been delayed and will not see a release until sometime in 2021. The game was previously delayed back in 2018.
According to a translation by BlackKite and JapaneseNintendo, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino stated in the blog post that production has been in a difficult state due to problems in game development, including rising online criticism and declining staff motivation. The currently ongoing global pandemic was not cited as one of the problems in development.
Hino continues to say that the team almost gave up on the game altogether, but decided to restart development. This new Inazuma Eleven game will utilize the development system and engine used for recent titles in the Yo-Kai Watch series, to ensure that it will be completed and remain at a high quality.
Level- 5 will also be creating the new Inazuma Eleven without having it more directly tied to an anime series, as was originally planned with Inazuma Eleven Ares. However, it is expected to have a much higher degree of freedom, possibly integrating features from all previous games in the series while also still adding some new ones.
Hino said he also would like the game to be more beginner-friendly and be a “brand-new title with a new feeling.” Further clarification on this statement has not yet been provided.
Whether this new Inazuma Eleven game will still keep the Great Road of Heroes title or have another name change has not yet been revealed.
The brand-new Inazuma Eleven title is planned for release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in 2021 in Japan. Although Inazuma Eleven Ares was previously confirmed for a Western release, it is not yet known if this new game will be released in any other territories.
The first Inazuma Eleven can be purchased digitally on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in North America and Europe, and the corresponding anime series is available on Amazon Prime Video in North America. Inazuma Eleven 3, as well as the Inazuma Eleven GO series, can be purchased on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Europe.