[UPDATE: Clarification from Nintendo has confirmed that Trinen was not referencing Bayonetta 3 when discussing a "sooner than expected" release.]
Bayonetta 3 is the long-awaited third title in Platinum Games' iconic series all about the titular witch fighting angels and demons with style, grace and giant fists made of her own hair. But despite being announced with a brief teaser trailer during the 2017 Game Awards, there has been absolutely no new information since. Between that and the recent departure of Yusuke Hashimoto (director of Bayonetta 2), some fans have started to become anxious over the title's future. Fortunately, Nintendo have themselves have stepped in to alleviate worries.
Earlier this week, Nintendo hosted a brand new Nintendo Direct all about their Switch titles coming out this year, which included a full-fledged remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and a new IP from Platinum called Astral Chain. Though Bayonetta 3 didn't make any sort of appearance, Nintendo's Deputy General Manager Yoshiaki Koizumi did state that it was still being worked on. Following on from that, Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen confirmed on the latest episode of the Nintendo Power Podcast that it would release by the end of the year.
“Bayonetta 3 is still in the works…and of course that’s another game that’s maybe coming a little bit sooner than people anticipated. Later this year," he said. Considering that only last month, Nintendo announced that development on Metroid Prime 4, another highly-anticipated title, had to restart, fans can breathe easy that Bayonetta 3 hasn't met the same fate. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean it might not be subjected to delays and could potentially be pushed until 2020.
While fans wait for Bayonetta 3, they can at least enjoy the aforementioned Astral Chain, which has a definitive release date of August 30th and will also be exclusive to Switch. With Nier: Automata's designer Takahisa Taura in the director's chair and Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya supervising, it looks set to be another insane action title from Platinum, with players taking control of a pair of police officers to protect their futuristic city from all manner of giant monsters.
Bayonetta 3 will launch as a Switch exclusive later this year.