On December 12th, the 2019 Video Game Awards were held and fans were expecting a lot of huge reveals. As it so happens, Bayonetta 3 was originally announced at the VGA in December 2017 and people were dying for more information on the game. This anxiety coupled with a twitter thread that came out that same day directed to a page on Best Buy’s website where you can pre-order the game. An informal leak without any information still reminded fans that the game was still in development.
There is still no new information on the Best Buy page only that the game can be pre-ordered for a To Be Announced (TBA) released date. There is not much to go on except that it is odd to have this page pop up on the day that coincides with the VGA.
Couple this with the Nintendo financial earnings report from this year and the lack of information creates quite the problem from a marketing/PR standpoint. Bayonetta is now coupled with Metroid Prime 4 with a TBA status but unlike Metroid Prime 4, there has been no update since its initial reveal back in December 2017.
Back in January of 2019, there was a Nintendo Direct that provided an update on Metroid Prime 4 stating that Nintendo wasn’t happy about the quality of the game and was scrapping the entire project and then handing it over to another developer. While some people were reasonably upset about the indefinite delay, from a public relations standpoint it was a wise move. Nintendo informed fans what was happening and why and then reassured them that it was for the best. This move allowed for fans to be excited and to look forward to announcements as they come out.
Switch over to Bayonetta and there is a major issue from Platinum Games, the developer behind the series, there is absolutely no marketing and no communication. During this time, Platinum games developed and released Astral Chain for the Nintendo Switch and are currently in development with Babylon’s Fall. The primary concern here is that Babylon’s Fall was announced back in June of 2018 and had a new trailer premiere at this year’s VGA. A game that was announced after Bayonetta had a recent announcement about its progress and offered the first look into what fans can expect from it.
Platinum Games is known for crafting high-quality games like Nier Automata and previous Metal Gear titles that are remembered to be exceptional compared to other competing titles released around the same time. Therefore it is not a stretch to say that they take their time to make the best game possible and perhaps Bayonetta 3 is having technical difficulties.
It is within the realm of possibility that Bayonetta may be stuck in development hell but some news is always better than no news. With Metroid Prime 4 setting the stage as a great example of PR when a project goes sideways, Bayonetta could do the same. It creates quite a concern when there is no update for a game announced over two years ago that even had its 10th anniversary back in October pass without any mention. This lack of communication and marketing leaves fans hanging especially when Nintendo has quietly moved the release date from this year to TBA. That shift in scheduling means that both companies know there are issues with the game and that they need to delay it until they have something of substance to show. But even if that is the case, remaining silent on the project does Platinum Games no justice when sites like Best Buy post pre-order pages that excite fans in a time where Bayonetta 3 is starting to become a distant dream like Half-Life 3.