What a crazy, wild ride this one’s been!

If you are a Yoko Taro, whether from his work on the Drakengard or NieR series, or maybe something even more obscure, it’s likely you’ve heard of his Japan-only smartphone game SINoALICE that international fans have been salivating over ever since its release on June 6, 2017ー Yoko’s birthday, no less! Or perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard his name before!? That’s okay! In that case, let me introduce you to a series by one of the most brilliant-minded video game creators of modern time!

Fans were overjoyed when word dropped that an international release for SINoALICE was imminent, but along with those positive voices also came skepticism and concern over the chosen publisher, NEXON. The details aren’t important here, but suffice it to say, the international release came with a widely-publicized event in South Korea, not to mention the massive hype generated over the July 18, 2019 release date... that all came and went with nothing to show for it when a mere two days before the global release, this was the ominous announcement we received on the official SINoALICE Global Facebook page:

Hello, everyone.
This is the Management Team for SINoALICE.

First and foremost, we would like to express our sincerest apologies to inform everyone who has been waiting a long time for the World Wide Launch, that the service schedule has been delayed.

SINoALICE is a work in progress that began last year, during which we aimed to open its services on July 18th, 2019.

As the opening date draws nearer, we have been running our final maintenance and check-ups for the global service. However, we have come to the conclusion that the localization quality of SINoALICE is nowhere near perfect at this stage of development.

In this regard, we have made many discussions with the Japanese developers, and at the cost of rescheduling the World Wide Launch, we have decided to optimize the localization of the game to provide the highest level of satisfaction for all users.

As the service schedule has been delayed, we are fully aware that many of you are disappointed and once again, we take this opportunity to apologize for our shortcomings.

As much hype there was built up for the global service of SINoALICE, our priority is to provide you with an experience that exceeds your expectations. We hope you understand that we have made a very difficult decision in delaying our global services.

The future World Wide Launch schedule is currently being negotiated.

As much as you are curious about the exact date of release, we will try our best to bring you the fully localized version of SINoALICE as soon as possible.

Furthermore, compensatory rewards for the service delay are currently being discussed internally. We will notify you about the new World Wide Launch date and compensations through detailed announcements in the future.

Once again, we would like to express our sincerest apologies to everyone who has shown so much love and interest in SINoALICE.

SINoALICE's Global Facebook page

Our hearts were crushed. Much of the hype, gone. With this announcement alone, we had very little hope left remaining that the game would ever leave the shores of Japan and into the hands of international fans. This sudden hiatus of the project caused many fans to speculate further about the game’s future, commenting how unlikely it now seemed that the game would never reach international shores. Things like this do occasionally happen--it’s just part of the business, and it takes time for the dust to settle before any further official announcement can be made. It’s unfortunate that fans who were looking forward to the game’s release last summer were let down without a single hopeful word in nearly a year, but the game is still going strong in Japan, and there is no longer need to worry about the future of the international release.

Then suddenly, we got this new announcement:

This is the SINoALICE Team.

Firstly, we would like to send you our thanks and deepest apologies for your patience in waiting for the grand opening of SINoALICE.

To provide an immersive gaming experience to our users, we decided to transfer the game service to the SINoALICE developer (Pokelabo, Inc.), who better understands the original concept of the game.

As of March 23, 2020 (Mon), all matters related to the grand opening of SINoALICE will be transferred to Pokelabo, Inc. The grand opening schedule will be separately announced by Pokelabo, Inc.

SINoALICE's Global Facebook page

This means that all rights that NEXON had over the international publishing of the game has been returned to Pokelabo and Square Enix, the developer and publisher, respectively. This is absolutely the best news imaginable! Perhaps companies are thinking twice about dumping the rights to their intellectual properties on just any international publisher willing to purchase them. I, for one, am not all that knowledgeable about the business that goes on behind the scenes, but I can imagine it must feel amazing to reclaim the rights to what was rightfully yours to begin with. This can only mean good things in store for not only the international SINoALICE brand but also Square Enix as a whole. Here’s to hoping something can still be done about Yoko’s manga series “Thou Shalt Not Die” as well!!

And as SINoALICE quickly approaches its 3rd Anniversary on June 6th --Yoko’s birthday!-- the team is gearing up with some fun events to celebrate! On Monday, the official SINoALICE YouTube Channel broadcast the 3rd Community Live program, detailing all sorts of new events and things to look forward to in the game. For anyone interested in this recent program, please understand that it is only in Japanese and no subtitles in any other language is available.

Collaborations with NieR!!!

Well, first of all, if you are a NieR fan like me, the first couple collaborations with SINoALICE are the two with NieR Replicant and NieR:Automata. Unlike their original releases in Japan, this will be a sort of 2-parter for the International release! Originally, the NieR Replicant collab didn’t drop until February 21, 2019, and before that, the collab with NieR:Automata dropped on Pretty cool!

And, it may come to somewhat of a surprise to International fans, but NieR Replicant, which features brother Nier rather than father, is generally considered to be more “canon” of the two games: NieR Gestalt vs NieR Replicant.* The companion short story “The Lost World”, which was published in the all-encompassing guide Grimoire NieR, is considered to be the standard truth of the series.

* NieR Replicant, which depicted a brother main protagonist, was originally released in Japan on the PS3. All other regions received NieR Gestalt on the Xbox 360, which depicted a father as the main protagonist. NieR Gestalt was also released in Japan on the Xbox 360; however, the Japanese release featuring brother Nier has been the standard for later installments in the series.

And if this is your first time to hear about this title, here’s the official English introduction and more!


SINoALICE is a smartphone game developed in a joint effort by SQUARE ENIX and Pokelabo. Its Japanese launch was on June 6th, 2017.

The title, an original dark fantasy tale, comes from the mind of creative director Yoko Taro, with music composed by Keiichi Okabe and MONACA.

The Japanese release was awarded “Best of 2017” on Google Play and ranked first in both the Google Play and App Store free game charts.


Characters in SINoALICE have one wish: to revive their author. But in order to fulfil that wish, they must take each other's lives. The project’s character designer, Jino, adds a unique twist to each character; a sight to be seen in large real-time battles.


Storybook characters weaving “tales of terror.”
Up, down, left, right... Here, it’s all the same.
Books are piled high in every direction.
Welcome to the “Library.”
A space ruled by stories and words.
The sounds of penitent sobs, mournful howls, withering laughter, and terrible screams rebounding off the shelves.

These are the voices of characters from countless tales.
The muttered curses of the inhuman.
They all share a single wish:
To revive their Author.
But for this simple wish to come true, every other character must die.
Regardless of the outcome…


・Real-time battles

Battle in real-time in co-op.

Advance through the story and meet other characters.
Form alliances and work together in battle to defeat foes who would otherwise stand in your way.

・Auto Mode

When using Auto Mode, characters will attack foes automatically.
Auto Mode is recommended for effortless gameplay.

・Guild Battle/Co-Op

In GvG, you'll find yourself facing off against guilds of other players, with up to 30 participants.

Communicate with your comrades by sending original stickers and even text.


Original Story/Creative Director: Yoko Taro
Music: Keiichi Okabe/MONACA
Character Designer: Jino


[Bondage] Alice: M・A・O
[Justice] Snow White: Reina Ueda
[Brutality] Red Riding Hood: Rika Tachibana
[Languor] Sleeping Beauty: Kaede Hondo
[Masochism] Princess Kaguya: Shizuka Ito
[Dependence] Pinocchio: Yuko Sanpei
And many more.

Game Information

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Role-playing game
Regions: To be released in 100 countries
Languages: English, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Thai
Price: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)
OS: Android(TM): Android4.4 or later (RAM2GB or greater)
iOS: iOS 9.0 or later/ iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad mini2 or later, 6th generation iPod touch or later
* Some devices may not be supported.
Official Site
Copyright © 2017-2020 Pokelabo Inc./SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Official Press Kit.

By - Terra Dragos.