Excited about a new game coming out soon? Odds are it just got delayed.
The last week has seen a number of the most hyped videogames of Spring 2020 getting pushed back deeper into the year. Sometimes it’s by just a few weeks, sometimes by several months. Delays aren’t inherently a bad thing, of course, especially if they’re enacted to prevent the kind of crunch time that has turned making videogames into an absurd and unconscionable death match for developers. Of course the teams behind some (if not all) of these games were already crunching, so, uh, a delay’s not really helping anybody on that front. Delays can also lead to better games, theoretically, and that’s a fine reason to pump the brakes a bit, as long as it doesn’t prolong crunch. Despite the general reaction to the news by the gaming public, delays shouldn’t always be cause for anger or disappointment, and in fact many of the most beloved games ever made didn’t arrive until months after they were originally scheduled to. So don’t stress about it: you’re still going to be able to play your most anticipated games, most likely, only the leaves might be falling instead of blooming.
Here’s a quick rundown of the most notable games to get hit with delays so far in January.
Previous Release Date: April 16, 2020
Current Release Date: September 17, 2020
Perhaps the most widely anticipated game of the year (not necessarily by me, but, like, by the populace) was just pushed back five months. CD Projekt Red, the team behind the Witcher games, has delayed its latest epic from April to September, putting it squarely within the pre-Holiday crush of new games. That’s also right before the new generation of consoles is supposed to launch with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, so it’s possible the Keanu Reeves-starring Cyberpunk could go down as one of the last major releases for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. There are currently no plans to release it for the upcoming systems, but it’d be a major shock if it doesn’t hit those platforms at some point in the future.
Previous Release Date: May 15, 2020
Current Release Date: September 4, 2020
Square Enix’s top two Western studios, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, are jamming together on Marvel’s Avengers, which promises to dive deep into Avengers lore but isn’t directly based on the extremely popular movies. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this game, which made its recent delay from March into September not at all surprising. Based on what Square Enix has shown at various conventions, this looks like a big cinematic action game, starring the most recognizable Avengers characters, but without the voices and likenesses of the actors that have defined them for an entire generation. I had a solid three decades of Avengers familiarity under my belt before they ever even cast a single Chris for the MCU movies, so I can handle different versions of these hoary characters, but one of the most frequent comments heard about this new game is how off-putting it is to not see a Robert Downey simulacrum underneath Iron Man’s helmet. We won’t know if the game’s able to win people over until right before Labor Day.
Previous Release Date: March 3, 2020
Current Release Date: April 10, 2020
Square Enix also pushed back the long-awaited remake of Final Fantasy VII. You won’t be able to square off with Sephiroth again until April, only a little over five weeks later than originally announced. People have been clamoring for this remake for years, so a month and some change shouldn’t hurt anybody. Plus if you really can’t handle it you can just go play the original game, again. It’s been kicking around since 1997, and has been rereleased for all the current consoles, so it’s not too hard to play it today.
Previous Release Date: February 28, 2020
Current Release Date: May 15, 2020
Sony’s virtual reality shooter and Iron Man sim was long poised for a February bow, blasting into PlayStation VR headsets everywhere a mere 24 hours before Leap Day. After Marvel’s Avengers was pushed back, though, Ol’ Shellhead claimed its original date for his solo adventure. If you’re excited about strapping in to Tony Stark’s world, you’ll have to bide your time for an extra two and a half months.
Previous Release Date: Spring 2020
Current Release Date: TBA
Square Enix is also publishing Dying Light 2, whose delay was just recently announced by its developer, Techland. Our assistant games editor, Holly Green, is especially excited for this parkour-heavy zombie survival game, and no doubt hopes that TBA gets filled in with a specific date real quick. Of all the games on this list, I could see this being the one most hurt financially by a delay—the other games are either major titles or have large built-in fanbases, whereas a game like Dying Light 2 easily could’ve capitalized on the relatively slow release schedule found early in the year. If it’s coming out in the fall, up against the biggest games of the year, it could be fighting an uphill battle.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s also on Twitter @grmartin.