And Yet Another Game Has Been Delayed To Dodge Cyberpunk 2077

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And Yet Another Game Has Been Delayed To Dodge Cyberpunk 2077

You wouldn’t ordinarily think a game about giant mechs with massive lasers would be scared of anything, but it turns out Mechwarrior 5 has the same kryptonite as everyone else in the industry: Cyberpunk 2077.

Mechwarrior 5, a game that was deeply disappointing and flawed at launch, was due to get its first DLC pack this week. Heroes of the Inner Sphere, which comes with a new career mode and different career paths for players, was due out earlier this year but got bumped thanks to COVID-19.

The date was eventually shifted back to December, which would have been fine — until CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077 decided they were going to take up the pre-Christmas window all for themselves. And as soon as that happened, the Piranha Games studio made a pretty reasonable decision to postpone their DLC into autumn 2021.

“As many of you know, the delay in the release of Cyberpunk 2077 until December 10th had us reconsidering our release date for the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC, as well as the launch of MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries on Steam and GoG,” Piranha Games said on their website. “Any developer wants their titles to get as much attention as possible, and obviously sharing a release date with Cyberpunk was less than optimal.”

“Day one sales and marketing are so important to a successful product launch, and we believe that rescheduling our release date will allow MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries to have the opportunity and attention it deserves.”

It’s not a complete dodge of Cyberpunk 2077: the extra time will let the studio concurrently release the game’s Xbox version at the same time the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC launches, which is a big deal. Mechwarrior hasn’t been on consoles for over 15 years. So hopefully the delay into the Australian autumn gives the team plenty of time to rectify some of the outstanding AI issues.

Here’s the full statement:

As many of you know, the delay in the release of Cyberpunk 2077 until December 10th had us reconsidering our release date for the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC, as well as the launch of MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries on Steam and GoG. Any developer wants their titles to get as much attention as possible, and obviously sharing a release date with Cyberpunk was less than optimal. Day one sales and marketing are so important to a successful product launch, and we believe that rescheduling our release date will allow MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries to have the opportunity and attention it deserves.

While exploring our options, we saw the potential to fulfill a longstanding dream of Piranha Games. To simultaneously ship across multiple platforms, including delivering a modern MechWarrior title to console gamers worldwide. So after much consideration and debate, we have decided that moving the release date of MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries DLC Heroes of the Inner Sphere to Spring 2021 is the right choice. This will allow us to fulfill that dream and more. We are excited and proud to announce that now, in addition to playing MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries on PC, it will also be available on the XBox Series X|S and XBox One. This will be the first MechWarrior title on a console since 2004’s MechAssault 2, and in our opinion, the first true MechWarrior experience ever on a console.

Along with the XBox release, this delay will allow us some additional opportunities that will benefit the game, as well as the MechWarrior community at large. First and foremost, the combined release on Steam, GoG, EGS, Microsoft Store, and XBox consoles will give us more exposure and a broader reach than we’ve ever had before. We will capitalize on this increased exposure with our largest marketing initiative to date, bringing as many new eyes to the MechWarrior franchise as possible. This will give us more time to add improvements and quality of life features to the base game, including AI, UI, art, customization, and content. We will continue to tune the single player campaign and new career modes, making running your Mercenary Unit the most rewarding experience possible.

With the recent acquisition of Piranha Games by EG7, we have even more resources available to support these efforts. We will leverage this new relationship to take our MechWarrior titles to the next level, and increase our growth and presence globally. We understand that this news is not ideal for those that have been waiting to purchase the game on Steam or another platform, or for those that have been ready to dive into Heroes of the Inner Sphere, but we promise that the wait will be worth it.

I hope the team nails this. A really good Mechwarrior experience is honestly like nothing else. In the meantime, Battletech is probably the best modern alternative you can get on that universe — just make sure you get the mod that helps correct some of the performance issues.

Comments

  • I have ‘jilted lover’ levels of bitter resentment for the failure of MW5, but I still keep clicking when I see anything about it. Just… keep hoping that this time is finally the time they get their shit together. Given that they’ve promised then failed to do that multiple times already, I’m deeply skeptical. But still hopeful.

    I just want a good Mechwarrior experience, god dammit.

  • A hell of a lot of game companies seem to have discovered The One Great Easy Excuse to any and all development delays.

    It’s almost as if the devs believe that in the absence of Cyberpunk 2077 they’ll have the entire media to themselves, instead of still competing for attention with every other game that is also delayed “because of” Cyberpunk 2077, as well as competing with with every other game not delayed due to Cyberpunk.

    • Also worth adding that the imminent release of Cyberpunk 2077 appears to have not prevented coverage of all of these games being delayed because of Cyberpunk 2077.

    • As I’ve said before though, games more highly anticipated than these have gone up against games less highly anticipated than Cyberpunk and been lost in crowd.
      Even if Cyberpunk turned out to be a red hot mess, the negative press will still dominate coverage across the industry for months.

      On the subject of your additional comment, yes there’s definitely a strategic bonus is announcing the delay in relation to Cyberpunk as well because it’s not like we’ve seen any coverage of some of these games here without it. 😉

      • Still, I gotta imagine coverage of literally everything else is going to take some kind of an exposure hit after Cyberpunk’s release. Can you imagine being a game reviewer who really just wants to play Cyberpunk every hour of every day after it comes out, but having to fire up games that aren’t Cyberpunk? That’s gotta suck. I’d be unenthusiastic as hell. I assume some simply won’t bother.

        • I wonder if it might be possible to find a reviewer or two whose primary interest in computer gaming isn’t massive 100 hour+ open world RPGs?

          • That’s not it so much. It’s not about finding reviewers who want to review different genres — sites have a responsibility to cover the game their audiences want to see the most. Obviously everyone wants to cover everything they can, but a lack of hours, a lack of staff and diminishing returns means you can’t get to all the things you could justifiably cover, let alone the things that would have strong audiences.

            (Good example – we haven’t had much local coverage on Genshin Impact because it’s just not been possible to fit it in amongst everything else Leah and I have done.)

          • @Alex Walker seems to me that a gaming website with the resources to cover only one game isn’t really a gaming site, eh? It’s not like too many games and too few staff is a new issue, but that’s hardly the problem we’re discussing, is it. And in any case, there’s always KotakuUS picking up some of the slack.

            The problem is not two games and one staff member, it’s one game with a lot of coverage allegedly taking oxygen away from other less prominent games, which seems to me missing the point a bit. Seriously, most sites including Kotaku seem to be able to cover a few different things in a day, and quite frankly if I wanted Cyberpunk-exclusive content I’d probably be hanging out on the relevant community on Reddit instead of here anyhow.

            But I do look forward to the Kotaku Genshin Impact review. Also, Amazing Cultivation Simulator needs a closer look.

          • Also, this isn’t new, or exclusive to Cyberpunk. Look at every gaming site when the next Animal Crossing or Smash bros or Pokemon or Fall Guys or Overwatch etc comes out. There are smash hits that occupy the attention of the industry. And competition that launches alongside it suffers for it. It’s bad enough for ‘also ran’ AAA games like Battleborn, but it can be fucking apocalyptic for indies.

            Cyberpunk is undoubtedly going to be one of those supertankers that scoops small indie or AA sailboats up in its wake and churns them through the propellers. But it wasn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last. This is the way of attention. It is finite and in much demand.

    • Releasing with a bunch of smaller games would absolutely be easier than release against a massive game release…it happens with every big game that gets most people’s attention.

      Instead of absolutely losing on exposure against a bigger game, they actually have a chance to surface and go above the games that are otherwise similar in scale to them

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