2021’s Delays Have Already Begun

2021’s Delays Have Already Begun
Image: Outriders
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January is so often the season for delays in the video game industry, and 2021 has already delivered with Outriders getting pushed back by a few months.

The first game to get a slight bump? Outriders, the co-op looter shooter from Bulletstorm and Pankiller developers People Can Fly. It was originally planned for a 2020 release, before getting pushed back to February 2.

Understandable, and not a massive delay given what other studios have faced in the last 12 months. But early Thursday morning Australian time, the Polish studio has announced the game will be launching internationally on April 1. Really.

As a primer, however, everyone will get access to a “free demo” — aren’t all demos free? — on February 25. It’ll contain “the first few hours of the game with all four classes — in both singleplayer and co-op”, the studio says.

(Note for Aussies: If you’re playing Outriders through Steam, the game won’t unlock until April 2. Interestingly, the studio also published their Steam announcement on 3:33PM AEDT, which is kind of cute.)

As much as we like to think about games and their virtual potential, the coronavirus has completely ravaged a lot of studio’s regular flow. CD Projekt Red blamed the pandemic for impacting their external QA studios. Bloober Team, the devs behind The Medium (which finally got classified in Australia, thank God), said problems that would ordinarily take 3 minutes to troubleshoot could take “3 hours or 3 days” now.

And that’s not to mention all the countless COVID delays from last year: Mafia: Definitive Edition, Cyberpunk (multiple times), Iron Man VRThe Outer Worlds‘ Switch port, Far Cry 6, Warframe‘s Duviri Paradox update (due out this year), No More Heroes 3 (postponed into 2021), the final Cuphead DLC, Tales of Arise, Harvest Moon: One World, Digimon Survive (another 2020 to 2021 casualty), Wasteland 3, Ninjala, Rainbow Six: Quarantine, Crossfire XKena: Bridge of SpiritsDeathloopKerbal Space Program 2Stronghold Warlords, and the list goes on.

For Australians, it’s easy to think of the pandemic being largely over, smaller outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne aside. But in countries with large development hubs like the United Kingdom, or the constant shitshow that is the United States, COVID-19 is still running rampant. So Outriders won’t be the last game to be bumped by the time January is said and done. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of games from 2020 to catch up on.

Comments

  • Hopefully everyone in the industry is leaning towards the damage that might be done to their sales/reputation through a delay versus the damage that absolutely will be done to their sales/reputation if they pull a Cyberpunk.

    • Or an Ubisoft, despite the massive delay in Watch Dogs Legion and AC Valhalla after the dismal effort of Ghost Recon Breakpoint…. Internal company strife and PR nightmares drag the company further and they didnt actually deliver 7 months of improvement, but games that were just “meh, its another ubisoft game”

      … and still had save corruption bugs, rough console ports, bloated gameplat they promised to remove, and an Asian region port thats been reviewed bomb for poor implementation.

      • I think the key difference here is that ‘Just another UbiGame’ doesn’t hurt Ubisoft’s reputation, so there’s no lesson to learn, there.

        Unlike being quite possibly the first and only AAA blockbuster to be so poorly-received and cause such a demand for refunds that it was literally removed from sale by the world’s largest console digital marketplace.

        If anything, that shows Ubisoft where they could end up if they keep walking on thin ice. They’re not the lesson, they’re the beneficiary of the lesson.

        • Its like a flip side variant of Arkham Knight, where the PC version got pulled because of how terrible the port job was. Both demonstrate how cross platform releases can go balls up, particularly when cross gen is factored in.

          It may have hurt but the benefit of hindsight says they should have done what everyone did with the Wii U editions when the Switch was announced. Cancel and be done.

    • exactly, to the media and everyone they will play it off as being covid related but behind doors 100percent every studio now is scared of being the next cd red

  • Alas, the concept of ‘paid demo’ has been taking off in recent years, where those that preorder get access to a demo that others don’t.

    AAA games that seems a bit mean, but it brings to mind how there was backer exclusive demos… of a type, since the feedback was used to change/fix the game. (And boot a certain dev from working on the game, like an anime nerd on prom night)

    • oops. Was meant to mention the KS backer exclusive demos of Bloodstained was what I was talking about in the second paragraph.

    • That’s what I thought, but pretty sure those are betas. They still use that data for development as well.

      Demos are available for everyone for free at all times. Every game should have to have one. Whether it’s like Hitman where you get the single intro level, or GR: Wildlands where you get 5 hrs before you have to buy the game.

      It’s basically an advertisement for your game (which is probably why they don’t do them) and there’s many ways of making it work, so there’s no real excuse for why it doesn’t apply to certain games. It’s a bit shitty tbh, because you can’t really tell if you’re actually going to like the game until you try it

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