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Digimon Survive - What We Know So Far

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Digimon, which were meant to be a mashup between Pokemon and Tamagotchi when they were introduced in the late '90s by Namco Bandai, started out as digital pets aimed at boys. Today, they're the subject of an entire franchise that includes anime, movies, clothing, toys, and more. Naturally, there have also been a series of video games, although they've been overshadowed by the many Pokemon releases that have come out over the years. The latest game that's coming is survival simulation RPG Digimon Survive.


Digimon Survive is designed to be bit of a departure from some of its predecessors. The game, which is being developed by Witchcraft, will feature a darker tone and offer a tactical element missing from previous Digimon titles. More than 100 Digimon will be available for players to train and use, and the story focuses on a boy, Takuma Momozuka, who leads a group of teenagers who get lost on a school camping trip and find themselves transported to a different, dangerous world. Here's what else we know so far about Digimon Survive.

Does Digimon Survive have a release date?

Digimon Survive was announced back in summer 2018 as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration of the anime that focuses on Namco Bandai's digital monsters. However, delays pushed the game back from its originally planned 2019 launch date into 2020 and now 2021. In October 2020, a message posted to the @Digimon Games Twitter account from producer Habu Kazumasa blamed "current world events" for the shift in timing and said the game is now planned for a 2021 release. He's likely referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many development delays in different quarters as people adjust to working out of their homes.


However, it won't be during the first part of the year, so patience is key. Kazuma's message said to expect updates in spring 2021, so it'll probably be closer to the end of 2021 before the final product is available.

Is there a trailer for Digimon Survive?

The teaser trailer from 2018 is available, as is a longer opening movie trailer that was released in mid-2019, showing off the art style and the more adult sensibility of the project. A developer diary also exists — in it, Habu Kazumasa says that developers are hoping to "do new things with Digimon," using a 2D and 3D art style that takes its aesthetic from the anime and applying strategic RPG elements to the battling and training of Digimon.


Commenters on the videos definitely appreciate the fact that developers are attempting to take the franchise beyond childhood to match the ages of those who grew up with Digimon. The idea that death and danger, caused by players' decisions, may play a role in Digimon (or player) survival has them anticipating emotional upheaval as well. It's safe to say that fans are excited about the possibilities. However, it remains to be seen how all this manifests within the game. 

What is the gameplay like in Digimon Survive?

In December 2019, Kazumasa told Siliconera, "Digimon Survive is unique in that the setting and story appeals to Digimon fans while also featuring classic, turn-based battle gameplay often found in JRPGs." 


He noted that the game would feature many opportunities to make decisions, from dialogue options to Digimon evolution trees. Evolution in Digimon Survive depends on "intimacy points," which are obtained by choosing certain dialogues, while story changes are determined with "karma points," which depend on player actions during battle.

The game is set to feature different types of gameplay, including "Drama Parts," which tell the game's story through text, and "Search Action" and "Free Action" within that, which allow you to search for means of survival in a crisis and choose where to go and who to talk to in a limited timeframe.

Digimon that have been confirmed to be among the 100 in the game include Floramon, Agumon, Falcomon, and Labramo, each designed to complement the emotions and influence of their human partners.


Which platforms will Digimon Survive release on?

According to the game's official website, Digimon Survive will release for PCs, the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

However, given how much the game has been delayed, there's always the possibility that Namco Bandai will decide to release the game for the next-generation systems, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Don't expect it as a certainty, though — since the new consoles are backwards-compatible, prepping Digimon Survive for the new systems isn't necessary and might add more time to development. At this point, the developers at Witchcraft probably don't want that and could simply decide to make sure the game is compatible with all systems before launching it. 


Either way, fans should be able to play the game by the end of 2021, unless there's another delay. Here's hoping for less disruption this year and more good-quality game development time leading to a title everyone wants to play.