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.
An important update regarding Outriders. pic.twitter.com/HHZrq5GIik
— Outriders (@Outriders) January 6, 2021
(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 VR, The 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 X, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Deathloop, Kerbal Space Program 2, Stronghold 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.