Earlier this week, Sony confirmed that the European and Japanese launches of Motorstorm: Apocalypse were delayed, given that the game is set in an earthquake-ravaged city and thousands of people had just died after an 8.9 magnitude quake and resulting tsunami in Northern Japan. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed that Motorstorm: Apocalypse's North American release date was also being postponed.
"Similar to news already issued from our Japanese and European territories, SCEA can confirm that we are officially delaying release of MotorStorm Apocalypse from its scheduled April 12th date," the company announced. "We will provide more information regarding release timing at a later date."
Where previous installments of the series featured exotic and eye-catching natural environments, MotorStorm: Apocalypse is set in an earthquake-ravaged metropolis inspired by the US Pacific coast, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only do the game's races take place in the aftermath of a massive tremor, but they are also interrupted by aftershocks that change the landscape and shift routes on the fly.
The game also includes a single-player story mode that lets gamers experience a narrative unfolding from the eyes of three characters that represent the game's different difficulty levels. Whenever it does arrive, Motorstorm: Apocalypse will feature five new vehicle classes, 40 distinct races, and a four-player split-screen mode that's compatible with the online modes for up to 16 players. Finally, Apocalypse will feature customizable vehicles and a game mode creator so players can put their own stamp on the action.
This is not the first time a disaster on the world stage has caused a publisher to think twice about a game's release date. Shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Sega indefinitely postponed (and later canceled) the release of Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship for the Sega Dreamcast. The game's original box art featured an image of planes flying close to high-rise buildings.
For more on Motorstorm: Apocalypse, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.