Ace Combat Social Distancing Emblem

An emblem encouraging social distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing real-world pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[1] As of July 2022, more than 500 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, resulting in more than 6 million deaths.[2]

This article goes over the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Ace Combat franchise.


Clown's voice actor, Brad Venable, passed away on January 7, 2021.[3] According to fellow voice actor Kyle McCarley, Venable died of a heart attack, but had been diagnosed with COVID-19 the day before.[4] COVID-19 has been observed to cause heart attacks due to blood thickening,[5] making it likely that Venable died as a direct result of COVID-19.

25th Anniversary Delay[]

On March 26, 2020, Kazutoki Kono and Manabu Shimomoto participated in a Famitsu live stream to promote updates related to Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and the 25th anniversary of Ace Combat which would occur on June 30 that year. Kono revealed that they planned to announce more news but felt doing so would have been "problematic" during the pandemic. Instead, they chose to save more news for the anniversary itself in June if the global situation improves.[6]

As the year went on, the global situation worsened. By June 30, the date of the anniversary, over 10 million cases and over 500,000 deaths were confirmed worldwide while the rate of infection was accelerating.[7] In a statement, Kono admitted that he would look back on the 25th anniversary and "feel slightly disappointed" while noting that "there are many people who are struggling to get through each day, all around the world." He confirmed that all of the plans Project Aces made for the celebration "have been postponed or suspended" but pledged that "the things that we were not able to do this year, we will make it happen, though it might be at a later date."[8][9] He confirmed that one such plan was a 25th anniversary ACE COMBAT/S THE SYMPHONY.[10] In an effort to continue providing entertainment for the fans, the Original Aircraft Series DLC was released in October 2020, adding three aircraft and a set of Ace Combat Zero skins to Ace Combat 7. Project Aces also designed the Ace Combat 7 Premium Edition, exclusive to Japan, which includes the game and all of its DLCs.

In Famitsu's weekly issue for the last week of 2020, the website interviewed over one hundred creators in the video game industry about the past year and their upcoming plans. Kono announced that Project Aces is beginning their "Ace Combat 25th Anniversary Extension Plan," explaining that whatever they couldn't do in 2020, they have to do in the future.[11] Shimomoto echoed Kono's sentiments, hoping to carry out their 2020 plans, "though in a different form."[11][12]

Weekly Wallpapers[]

Starting on April 14, Project Aces began releasing new desktop wallpapers every few days on Twitter. Most of these wallpapers were designed to act as virtual meeting backgrounds for fans using webcams to attend online school or work meetings.


Keiki Kobayashi playing the main theme to Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on piano

On April 27, Project Aces "hurriedly" launched an official Ace Combat YouTube channel with the goal of providing entertainment during the pandemic.[13] Keiki Kobayashi helped to launch the channel by providing piano recordings of the main themes to Ace Combat 7[14] and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.[15]

Project Aces asked fans who could play any musical instrument to record themselves playing along to the Ace Combat 7 theme and upload it to Twitter using the hashtag #ACE7Music.[16] Kobayashi assisted by releasing the theme's sheet notes the next day.[17] On May 1, Project Aces created a Twitter moment of all of the #ACE7Music creations uploaded up to that point.[18] The team also uploaded a comedy video of various artists accompanying Kobayashi on a toothbrush, a capsule toy, a ruler, hand farts, a glass harp, and an Otamatone.[19]

On May 7, Project Aces uploaded three separate videos of Kobayashi's Ace Combat 7 theme being accompanied by Takanori Goto on guitar,[20] Ayako Himata on violin,[21] and Katsuki Kato on drums.[22]


  1. "WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19—11 March 2020". World Health Organization. Published on 11 March 2020. Retrieved on 11 March 2020.
  2. Johns Hopkins University. "COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)". ArcGIS. Retrieved on 26 July 2021.
  5. Conklin, Audrey. "How Luke Letlow's COVID-19 case likely led to a heart attack and his death". Fox News. Published on 5 January 2021. Retrieved on 10 January 2021.
  7. "WHO warns coronavirus pandemic is speeding up as countries ease lockdown rules: 'The worst is yet to come'". CNBC. Published on 29 June 2020. Retrieved on 10 January 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1
  12. "Famitsu interviews Japanese creators on 2021 ambitions". Gematsu. Published on 27 December 2020. Retrieved on 10 January 2021.