Irem Pulls The Plug On Disaster Report 4

By Spencer . March 14, 2011 . 12:52am

iremWhile Irem did not mention the current situation in Japan in their announcement, the publisher decided to cancel Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories. The game was originally slated for release this past February before being delayed twice to a "spring 2011" release.


Disaster Report 4 begins with an earthquake and like other entries in the series players had to survive afterwards. Similar to past games in the series players could collect costumes and compasses too. Crutches, an item which allows players to walk on an injured leg, and a hygiene meter were added to the series.


Irem also announced Disaster Report 4 would have 3D effects for 3D TVs and PlayStation Move support, although they didn’t explain how their game would utilize the feature.

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  • M’iau M’iaut

    Nice call. Don’t care how far along this was, no reason to play pretend when reality is this tragic.

    • landlock

      Not really according to other stories the pre-order ranking for Disaster Report 4 went up from Rank 86 to Rank 10 in the last couple of days in term of pre-orders. Looks like people wanted it more then other now.

      • dusk

        The stories of this series are usually quite nice. There’s always a happy ending, and even the bad endings aren’t that tragic. Also, the game actually have a lot of educational information on what to do if you’re stuck in an earthquake disaster area. For example, what kind of food to stock up, what to do if you’re injured, how to alert people to your location, to wait for rescue from outside if you’re trapped by debris instead of digging your way out yourself. Playing the games are actually better than doing drills or just reading them up on books or the internet.

        Of course, given that I live in a country that probably will never encounter an earthquake, I can’t really speak for those people in Japan who have to live through it. However, those are still my honest opinions. It is a great series with educational value and good stories.

        Edit: Opps, I wanted to reply to M’iau M’iaut. Haha. Still, hope that he can see this.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          If it played more as a real-life simulation, perhaps. But at the end of the day, they are survival horror games with a little dating sim thrown in. You even worry about climbing a ladder to take a peep in the middle of the disaster. Fun yes, perhaps a bit healing to the right folks but still not something from a corporate standpoint you wanted to be announcing or advertising. As the process moves beyond controlling nuclear meltdowns and finding all the bodies we will see if the cancel becomes a hiatus, but just not now.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        I’d almost chalk that one up to ‘speculation’ that an under the radar (even for Japan) title would get released, uproar would ensue regarding the subject and the game would get yanked from shelves.

    • I dont see why they have to cancel it though… They could release it the next year… And it’s not like is a bad game (as in bad that there is evil/blood/kill/assasins/etc), it is really useful for to learn a lot of things people barely learn about in life, and if they learn something is normally after the tragic event occurs.

      From a bizz point of view, even if it sounds cold to talk about this (maybe this pharagraph may sound cold), I can already imagine the money they will lose with the lights going out everyday, and now they gotta add up a cancelation of a game… I mean… Let’s be possitive, they still gotta thing about the future as a company, is not like because of what happened in Japan they (japan) will always be with problems, they will go back to what they once were soon enough, and the economy too, these kind of things may make the company be in a really bad position once everything normalizes.

  • It’s sad, but also appropriate. I do hope they decide to pick this up again in the future. It would’ve been one sick piece of irony if this was already out before the quake.

    • Yui

      Funny Aneurysm Moments for everybody?

    • M’iau M’iaut

      I’ve got the hack job localizations for both of the ones that came stateside, and actually was hoping to see the new one. Certainly don’t want to see Irem fall over the right decision.

      Perhaps the best thing that can come out of this decision is Irem getting back to Bumpy Trot.

  • I jinxed this when I predicted it yesterday

    sorry guys.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Naw I was reading the same tea leaves.

      • Testsubject909

        Zach, my morning coffee was right.
        This truly is a tragedy.
        Such sudden news to come over night.
        A shame I’m sure no one was ready.

        So says Mr. Stewart.

        • nice deadly premonition references :S

          • Testsubject909

            I’d like to think of it as a Deadly Premonition reference within a Deadly Premonition reference that was in itself a Deadly Premonition… of Disaster Report 4’s future, in the past, albeit presented late and after the event that transpired.

            Yes, this is needlessly complicated.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    *Sigh* I guess I can’t blame them. Can’t’ blame anybody. It’s for the best given the current situation, I guess. Ironically made worse that it could be played in 3D.

    EDIT: Took my complaining elsewhere. I really shouldn’t say anything more about this. I’m going to shut up now.

  • It’s understandable but it’s a real shame, especially since the game was supposed to be very educational on what to do in the event of such disasters.

  • idofgrahf

    If the data was not destroyed during the quake and tsunami I’m guessing they will probably resume it a year or so from now, its not cheap for a company to fund a ps3 game close to completion and then scrap the whole thing.

  • 128bitigor

    Strange because I heard of reports of previous games from the series selling suddenly better on Amazon… I guess it is appropriate, but I thought the Japanese mentality somewhat differs from ours in this case.

  • Icon

    The clean-up and recovery from this situation (which is still ongoing) will take so long that I don’t think a market for this type of game will exist for a long time (at least in Japan). That’s why it’s better to cancel it than to just put it on hold. I was hoping to play this one, too.

  • I saw this coming and I completely understand, it would be disrespectful and distasteful to release such a title as this time. I also feel for Irem as they are great company from era I remember from childhood (a great publisher on the PC Engine)

  • Good call, Irem. At least this one’s tasteful.

  • This reminds me of when Hollywood started canceling or altering movies with Muslim/Arab villains after September 11th. Meanwhile, the number 1 rented movie at the time was The Siege. Still, I can see why they’d do this.

  • As much as I would have loved to have the game, I can totally see why they stopped it and I’m not complaining about their decision, they’re not insensitive enough to release a game like that at a time like this. I just hope Irem pulls through and that everything is going well for them and their families.

  • I can see why they did this, but on the flip side, I would also think people would (eventually) want to play this as a way of making them feel empowered (for a lack of better term) in overcoming the odds.

    I think it would have been better to delay it until Japan recovered somewhat.

    • Xeahnort

      People can be very sensitive. after September 11 attacks occurred in 2001 several modifications were made in a few videogames due its controversy.

      • Oh I agree and I’m not saying they should stick to release schedule. But I think cancelling the game outright is – as landlock put it – a knee-jerk reaction. They should have just said “okay, we’re going to delay this game for an indifinite amount of time” and just waited.

  • Croix

    While I’m not necessarily going to criticize their decision, I do think other options could have been available. In spite of the number of delays, I got the notion that the game was still very close to completion. The subject matter doesn’t have to be negative in light of recent events; what about setting up a situation where those who purchase the game, or maybe a special edition of it, have part of those proceeds go to funds for reconstruction?

  • I respect the decision though I am disappointed.

    • landlock

      Honestly I think this is just a knee-jerk reaction. One they most likely will change later.

      maybe it’ll be delayed 1 year or whatever, surely they can’t afford to cancel the game now after all the money they pumped into it. It’s not like Irem do many games.

  • I’d like to see some western developers pick this up since it has to be almost gold by now. I understand that releasing it in Japan is not an honorable thing to do with the focus on the welfare of the state, but this game couldn’t have been cheap. I hope somebody does something and gives this company a bit of a break.

  • Guest

    They didn’t even give us the demo. damn I was looking forward to this game too.. : (

  • Yukito

    Delaying, okay, but cutting it completely? They could have used it and it’s sales as support aid or something. The interest in the game obviously skyrocketed, and people DO want to play it. As said I too can see why they did it, but I wish they gave it atleast a week of thought before doing it so fast. They had a huge budget on the game, or seems like they did….. and heck, depending what was going on in the game, it could have been like an awareness thing….. you know, if something severe happened in it, maybe some survival skills could have helped people think in such dire times?…. I mean, they did say they wanted it to be realistic….

    Meh…..Irem, Irem, Irem. I love you guys, and support whatever you do, but like I said, I hope it doesn’t “stay” canceled. The game has moved too far along for it.

    And yes, I feel bad for the people in Japan, but this game was in development long before the tragedy and if people don’t want it, they simply don’t have to buy it.

    Outside of that, I am sorry about the whole disaster thing in general over there.

  • It should be mentioned that nothing was cited regarding an overseas release, so that might still go ahead.

  • Ultimate_Tifa_Fan

    oh the irony.

  • nyobzoo

    understandable but it’s a shame as the game was pretty much finished

  • PrinceHeir

    i kinda see why they cancelled it.

    but still all the hardwork gone to waste? it would have preferred if they put it in indefinite hold(release it a year later) instead of canceling altogether.

    hopefully japan recovers from this. such a shame the game’s cancelled but what can you do?

  • Well, can’t blame them.
    With game development costs so high, perhaps they reconsider in a year or two, or at least reuse some assets and the engine.

  • Bummer. I like the Disaster Report series… but this was for PS3 (only)? I wouldn’t have bought it probably anyhow. :

  • They can’t release it now, it would be terrible insensitive. Think of it from the perspective of a person who lost their house or a loved one died. It just wouldn’t work. Sometime down the road, maybe. But now you just can’t…

  • Xeahnort

    Too bad, I was waiting for this game. It seems that tragedies also affect videogames.

    Somehow i knew this could happen

  • NetscapePizza

    Real shame but understandable, hope Irem can recover financially.

  • Istillduno

    I don’t really see the point in canceling it, I mean it just seems like it would be too petty for the people who you would assume to be bothered about it to be bothered about it.

    I mean think about it for a second, if you’d just lost your home or family members, would you really be in the frame of mind to give a damn about some video game coming out?

    And yeah, it’s probably just a hatius, I doubt any company can afford to chuck away all the money that mst have already gone into developing it at this point.

  • Completely understandable

  • daizyujin

    Seems like a real rash choice. Can’t imagine the stockholders are going to like this one much. Now may not be the time, but a year or two from now?

    Can’t say I blame any company for holding back any game right now at this point though. With all the media in the country surely fixated on the disaster, it seems to me like marketing a game would be akin to shouting next to a jet on a runway anyways.

  • It is completely reasonable why they did this. This would be the last thing the people would need to see, or the developers would need to produce. I bet the developers canceled because they themselves have lost family and friends, and are dealing with the tragedy themselves. Usually developers are head strong until they get road blocked. However I could imagine this game could of been a break from reality, and a ray of hope for the people playing it.

  • Darn I was hoping this game would come over to the US atleast. Now it’s not gonna get released at all. Guess I could always just go back and play Disaster Day of Crisis. Mother nature is the devil.

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