It’s only January, but the early headlines this year have already pointed towards an interesting trend in 2020, game delays. While not entirely new, and some would even argue that it’s become more common in recent years, this particular grouping of game delays have pushed some of 2020’s early GOTY contenders (or pretenders) from their original launch dates to newer and increasingly later release dates/windows. Let’s review what happened and talk about what this could possibly mean for both the end of this console generation and the start of the new generation.
This recent rush of delays started on Tuesday, January 14th when Square Enix released information on two of their most anticipated games of this year. The first, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, got pushed back from March 3rd to April 10th. The game’s producer Yoshinori Kitase was quoted as saying, “…In order to ensure we deliver a game that is in-line with our vision, and the quality that our fans who have been waiting for deserve, we have decided to move the release date…in order to give ourselves a few extra weeks to apply final polish to the game and deliver you with the best possible experience.”
Developer Crystal Dynamics announced, that same morning, the second Square Enix published game that would see a delay. Its triple-A game Marvel’s Avengers will be moving from its original release date of May 15th to the new date of September 4th. The statement from Crystal Dynamics reads as follows: “We committed to delivering an original story-driven campaign, engaging co-op, and compelling content for years to come. To that end, we will spend this additional development time focusing on fine tuning and polishing the game to the high standards our fans expect and deserve.”
Thursday, January 16th brought some more game delay news. Via Twitter, CD Projekt Red’s co-founder and its head of studio put forth a joint message about their upcoming 2020 game, Cyberpunk 2077. “We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there’s still work to be done. Night City is massive – full of stories, content, and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing. We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation and postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect.” Originally slated with the release date of April 16th, it has now been moved to September 17th.
Friday, January 17th came to us with the news that Camoflauj’s anticipated VR title, Iron Man VR, which was slated to hit PlayStation VR exclusively on February 28th, has been delayed to May 15th. Camoflauj announced via Twitter, “In order to deliver on our vision and meet the high expectations of our amazing community, we’ve made the difficult decision to move Marvel’s Iron Man VR to a May 15, 2020 release. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding. You’ll be hearing from us again soon!” Holding the honor of being Sony’s very first ‘State of Play’ announcement back in March of 2019, I’m sure that both Camoflauj and Sony will want to get this launch just right.
Finally (at least for now) Monday, January 20th surprised with more game delay news. Dying Light 2, Techland’s sequel to its first-person, zombie-survival, open-world game will be seeing a delay as well. Originally windowed as a ‘Spring 2020’ release, the game’s release is now T.B.D. as the Techland CEO, Pawel Marchewka had this to say via Twitter, “…we need more development time to fulfill our vision. We will have more details to share in the coming months, and will get back to you as soon as we have more information. We apologize for this unwelcome news. Our priority is to deliver an experience that lives up to our own high standards and to the expectations of you, our fans.” Important to note here: Techland’s C.T.O., Pawel Rohleder, has previously confirmed that they have always had their eyes set on making Dying Light 2 a “cross-generation title”.
(see this article for reference – https://wccftech.com/dying-light-2-interview-e3-2019/ )
So, what conclusions can we make from these delays? What could this mean as we end this console generation and run headlong into the next generation, Holiday 2020? Aside from clearing a lot of space in our schedules for us to catch up on smaller/other titles or possibly hack-away at our gaming backlogs, I’m starting to wonder if this will be the start of the weirdest transition yet to next-generation console systems.
With multiple triple-A games being delayed until September of this year, with the still upcoming releases of The Last of Us – Part II (May 29th), and Ghost of Tsushima (Summer 2020) for the PlayStation 4, and with some rumors putting the PlayStation 5’s release date in October of 2020, I’m afraid that the urgency for next-gen games won’t be high enough for there to be that fever that comes from the beginning of the newest generation of consoles.
Now as of this writing, the PlayStation 5 has not had its moment in the sun yet (via a PlayStation Meeting style event, circa 2013) so the argument that there won’t be much anticipation for the next generation may seem silly or at the very least, seem antiquated to those of you reading this even a few weeks after its posting. Also, I frequently look at these things through the lens of a Sony PlayStation-centric console gamer, so this argument may not be holding water to any Xbox or PC fans out there. I only know that 2020 seems to have switched from a front-loaded year of blockbuster games, to what is turning into a very back-loaded year of blockbuster games WITH next-generation games right behind it!