Volcanic ash causes game delays Down Under

Delayed freight flights due to Icelandic eruption pushes out Australian release dates for Konami titles Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Wii, Karaoke Revolution, and Puzzle Chronicles; other publishers say disruption will be minimal.

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The hard-to-pronounce Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southeast Iceland has been causing havoc for global travellers in the last few days, and it looks like the games industry isn't immune. Ash from the erupting volcano has grounded flights to and from Europe since last week, resulting in significant freight delays for games being shipped around the world. Australia has been one of the nations hit, with confirmation today that some Konami titles will miss their original street date thanks to the flight cancelations.

Can't play Silent Hill on your Wii? Blame Eyjafjallajokull.
Can't play Silent Hill on your Wii? Blame Eyjafjallajokull.

In a statement from Konami's Australian distributor Mindscape, it was confirmed that Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Wii, Karaoke Revolution (Wii and PlayStation 3), and Puzzle Chronicles (PSP and DS) will all face delays. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was due for release in Australia this Thursday, and while the PlayStation 2 and PSP versions will still be available, the Wii version "will be delayed until the cloud of volcanic ash subsides and flights resume," according to Mindscape. Scene it? Twilight (Wii and DS), GTi Club Supermini Festa (Wii), and Sports Island (DS) may also be delayed.

"The flight delays are greatly impacting the industry with Mindscape not the only publisher and distributor facing such delays," the company's statement said. "Mindscape’s freight forwarder continues to remain in close contact with airline partners at local, regional and global levels to monitor the situation and develop alternative capacity solutions as the situation evolves and airspace begins to open up."

GameSpot AU contacted other publishers based in Australia to see if the Icelandic volcano will affect their game shipments, but most have reported minimal to no disruption. Spokespeople from Sega, Ubisoft, and EA said no delay is expected for any of their titles. Ubisoft--the distributor of Square Enix Down Under--reported no delay for Nier, which is scheduled for release this week. Namco Bandai reported some delays for new stock of back-catalog titles such as Just Cause 2, Medieval Games, and Wheelspin.

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