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.