No one wants to compete with FFXV.
Square Enix revealed at E3 that NieR: Automata had been delayed to early 2017, much to many fans’ (any my own) disappointment. However, as with most game delays, Square Enix and Platinum Games had a good reason for that. Speaking with Destructoid at E3, producer Yosuke Saito stated that the 2017 release window for NieR: Automata would help to give the game “a greater chance of being a financial success.”
‘While the publisher wanted to release Automata this November, there were concerns about how it might perform “against other big titles” that tend to release ahead of the holiday season, producer Yosuke Saito told me during a meeting at E3. Square Enix seems to think a winter or spring release would give the PlayStation 4 exclusive a greater chance of being a financial success.’
At the same time, lead designer Takahisa Taura also mentioned that the additional development time would give the team ample opportunities to make the game more balanced and accessible for fans too.
The delay makes sense. After all, part of the reason why the original NiER was so poorly received was because it was overshadowed by the juggernaut that was Final Fantasy XIII. By delaying Automata, the game wouldn’t have to compete with Final Fantasy XV, and will have its own space to shine.