Empire: Total War's delay until March 2009, it seems, hits with good reason. No, they're not just "polishing" the game, they're also adding a fancy new feature, developers The Creative Assembly tells us.
"The extra development time will allow us to finalise and polish Empire, making it the most accomplished and epic of the Total War series." said Kieran Brigden, Studio Communications Manager at The Creative Assembly. "There is a great deal of anticipation around Empire: Total War and we want to ensure that it is the benchmark for strategy games upon its release."
So polish, check. But what about that new feature:
"Significantly, the additional time will also allow The Creative Assembly to implement the underlying technology for a much desired feature: a multiplayer campaign mode. An opportunity to participate in the one versus one multiplayer campaign mode beta will be made available to all who purchase Empire: Total War post release."
Aha, fancy multiplayer campaign mode, check. Seems worthwhile, though since it sounds like it would be ready at launch, why not just drop that as a patch and get your game out in time.