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The release of Octopath Traveler for the Nintendo Switch has been a shocking success, so much so that the game has managed to sell out at various locations. The JRPG from Square Enix and Nintendo came out last Friday, on July 13th, and fans are already clamoring for more copies after the offerings ran dry. This prompted Square Enix to issue an apology for not making enough copies of Octopath Traveler, which is a rare reason for a publisher to have to apologize, but something that most executives are probably happy about, likely with grins from ear to ear.
The apology came via a tweet from the official Octopath Twitter account. It's in Japanese but the gist is that the retail version of Octopath Traveler has sold out. This caused the developers to come forward to issue an apology and say that one of the retailers in Japan, known as Lawson, will have additional copies of the game in stock soon enough.
The tweet goes on to state that if you can't get your hands on a physical copy of the game, you can still download a digital copy of the game, which is available from the Nintendo eShop. Not everyone is keen on digital distribution, since it's tied to your account, and if anything happens to the servers or your Nintendo Network account, people fear that they may end up losing out on precious progress or their digital library. So, for now, there are a lot of games that still move many copies whenever they're offered in a physical format, like Octopath Traveler.
In fact, the game is so popular that it's not just over in Japan where the title is out of stock. In the West there's also a shortage on the Square Enix JRPG, with Amazon showing that it's temporarily out of stock for the game.
When is it coming back? Well, likely as soon as possible. Square could end up missing out on a lot of sales if the physical copies aren't replenished quickly enough.
It's easy to see why the game itself is so popular, though. It's a throwback to classic single-player role-playing games that don't get made that often anymore. While most companies are chasing after the Battle Royale dollar signs and the multiplayer shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, there's still a large contingent of gamers who prefer playing story-oriented games from the comfort of their couch, or on the hard seat of a bus.
In the case of Octopath Traveler, it follows the story of eight different individuals and their intertwining paths that cross at certain points throughout the game. What makes it unique is that players get to choose who they start with and how they interact with the other characters, shaping a unique narrative that unfolds based on the player's decisions.
That's not to mention that the game uses a really cool mixture of 16-bit textures overlaying 3D geometrical environments, so it gives the game a 16-bit, paper cutout look that's wholly original for the home consoles. Many consider it a classical throwback to the Squaresoft era of SNES JRPGs.
You can pick up a digital copy of Octopath Traveler right now from the Nintendo eShop, or wait a little while and check a local retailer for a physical edition of the game.