As the official release of Elden Ring looms around the corner, some Japanese companies are taking drastic steps in preparation for From Software’s highly anticipated title. One such company has formally declared February 25, 2022, the game’s release date in Japan, a day off for all staff. For those who beat the game and become the Elden Lord, the company is also releasing the proceedings on Monday.
Pocket Pair gives all employees a day off on the release day of Elden Ring
That company is Pocket Pair, a Japanese indie game developer best known for the games Craftopia and Palworld. Palworld, in particular, caused quite the stir last year due to its strange, almost disturbing trailer featuring Pokemon-like creatures holding guns and being forced into factory labor (which can be viewed below). In a formal document to staff, Pocket Pair CEO Takruo Mizobe predicted that many employees “would not be able to focus on work during the day”, and announced that staff could take a paid vacation.
—- Craftopia/クラフトピア (@PocketpairJapan) February 22, 2022
Companies that give employees whole days off to release popular games aren’t entirely unheard of, at least in Japan. With the release of Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch last year, another company gave employees paid time off for similar reasons. It’s also a well-documented fact that the Dragon Quest series is so popular in Japan that developer Square Enix decided to release its games on Saturdays to prevent schoolchildren from skipping school and adults calling in sick at work.
While we probably won’t see the same thing happen to western companies anytime soon, it makes sense for a game studio to understand how hard it is to focus on work when a new game is waiting to be played at home. If you’re one of those people, you can also look at the timing of the worldwide release of Elden Ring to find the exact moment when you can play.
In other news, Activision has postponed Call of Duty 2023 until next year, breaking the traditional annual release schedule. The launch of Shadow Warrior 3 on PlayStation Now has also sparked rumors of a reveal of Sony’s Project Spartacus.