Today Joe Clary, the Co-Head of Animation at Rooster Teeth posted an update on Twitter explaining that in order to not rush production and protect the team working from home, RWBY Volume 9 is now planned to release in 2022. And everyone seems to be understanding and supportive of this decision.
And it’s impossible to say that these people are being insincere – every RWBY fan would much rather wait a little longer than have the people creating it suffer from stress and crunch. Fans are also understanding that if CRWBY did rush the show to be released in 2021, its quality would most likely suffer. Although Rooster Teeth’s animation department is definitely no stranger to crunch, as seen in current and past Glassdoor reviews, if the reason why the volume is delayed is to protect CRWBY from working overtime, then it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
If the reasons for the delay are clear, why am I still surprised to see everyone take the news so well? In my case, I’ve been in my fair share of fandoms, and entitlement is definitely prevalent among most of them. It’s easy to forget that there are real people living real lives that dedicate a part of themselves to create something you enjoy. And sometimes that entitlement can lead to people feeling like the thing they’ve been owed was stolen from them… To see an extreme version of that, just take a look at what happened when 2020 hit video-game Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed the second time. The people working tirelessly at the game, crunching for months were harassed and threatened by entitled fans who wanted the game to come out earlier. At that point, the game was nowhere near completion, and arguably it wasn’t completed when it was released 21 days later. In Cyberpunk 2077’s developer CD Projekt RED’s case the crunch didn’t stop after the delays, it got worse. The very same fate could potentially happen to CRWBY and unfortunately the only thing we can do is put our trust in Rooster Teeth that the same situation wouldn’t happen.
So why are RWBY fans different? Why does it look like everyone (alright, realistically it’s mostly everyone, but we’re not splitting hairs) is more than okay with the team taking more time to finish the volume? Well, first of all, RWBY fans didn’t pay $60 or more for a pre-order… In all seriousness though, the circumstances are different. We’re neck-deep in the pandemic now and most of us have personally felt how unproductive work or studying from home could really be. The last Volume looked and sounded incredible and set a new high for the series, not to mention it was the longest by far. Finally, Rooster Teeth, as a company, is a bit more visible and engaged with their fanbase, as opposed to most anime and western animation companies, letting people more easily connect to individual people working behind the show. And we don’t want people we connected to suffer, hence why so many people are so supportive. I read through all of the comments on the Twitter post (over a hundred at the time of writing) and it took me about 79 positive, supportive and lovely people until I saw my first negative, or rather, first comment that expressed disappointment without any words of encouragement or support. The rest of the comments after that one were also heartwarmingly sweet.
But did this announcement come as a shock? Nope, not really. Besides the pandemic and RT’s promise to reduce crunch in the workplace, we have more evidence to show that it was inevitable. The past volumes!
|Volume||Date of release||Date of final episode||Days since last volume’s finale|
|1||July 18th, 2013||November 7th, 2013||–|
|2||July 24th, 2014||October 30th, 2014||259|
|3||October 24th, 2015||February 13th, 2016||359|
|4||October 22nd, 2016||February 4th, 2017||252|
|5||October 14th, 2017||January 20th, 2018||252|
|6||October 27th, 2018||January 26th, 2019||249|
|7||November 2nd, 2019||February 1st, 2020||249|
|8||November 7th, 2020||March 27th, 2021||280|
Generally speaking, while the time between volumes stayed about the same (if we’re not counting V2-V3, which is offset by V2’s bizarre runtime), beginning with Volume 6, volumes started to be released later and later. Volume 8 was the first one to be worked on during the pandemic, but even that it didn’t take too long to release. However, since Volume 8 had a six-week mid-season break and was in general the longest volume so far, it stands to reason that work for Volume 9 began much later than the other volumes. So if we take the same amount of days between volumes 7 and 8, and we add those days to volume 8’s finale we could get an approximation of when realistically Volume 9 could be released.
You ready? January 1st, 2022. The numbers don’t lie and they spelled disaster to any chances for Volume 9 to be released in 2021 even before today’s announcement. And while I can’t blame anyone who was hoping that the newest volume would be released this year, especially since I was one of those people, I still absolutely love how the community responded to this announcement.
Take your time, CRWBY. We’re gonna enjoy V9 whenever its ready.