As we go deeper into 2021, a harsh reality is emerging for gamers major delays are huge. In the 2021 forecasts, we found that this is a very real possibility due to the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite pushing for some of the 2020 releases, those games have largely reached the end of their development cycle. The real concern is that the pandemic is meant for sports that are not too far away.
That concern is rapidly becoming a reality. Delays are falling to the left and right as some of the biggest games of the year are moving line or next year. This is leading to a much thinner release schedule than what fans initially thought was an exciting year for gaming. Here is a roundup of all the major video game delays that have happened so far.
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1. Outriders (April 1)
Outriders had a tough time locking down a release date. Originally positioned as one of the big games that would launch alongside next-gen consoles in late 2020, developer People Can Fly quietly pushed it back to February 2. As 2021 got into full gear, the game got delayed once again, this time to April 1. Before the release, players got a demo on February 25 that covered the first few hours of the full game.
2. Returnal (April 30)
Among Sony games, Returnal always seemed like the biggest lock to hit its release date. While Sony was vague about dates for games like Ratchet & Clank: Drift Apart and Horizon Forbidden West, it had been firm on the third-person shooter’s March 19 release date.
It had even shown up consistently in sizzle reels over the past few months, which made it seem like it was relatively safe from a delay. Unfortunately, Sony delayed it by a little over a month to April 30 to allow developer Housemarque to polish the game. At this point, this list is starting to look fairly identical to the list of our most anticipated PS5 games.
3. Humankind (August 17)
Even games that are just weeks away from launching aren’t safe from potential delays. Just a few weeks before grand strategy game Humankind was supposed to drop, the game was pushed back to August 17.
The Civilization-like game’s sudden shift sounds a little more standard than some of the other titles on this list. Developer Amplitude Studios simply notes that it’s taking more time to respond to player feedback from a recent test. It’ll take an extra few months to work on features like accessibility, A.I., and pacing.
4. New World (August 31)
Not even Amazon is immune from the current game delay wave, though that may have less to do with COVID-19 than it does for other games on this list. The company has been trying to break into gaming for quite some time now, with weak results. Its free-to-play multiplayer game Crucible had a particularly rocky life span after it was put back into beta and then outright canceled. Amazon’s next game, New World, is having similar problems.
Originally scheduled to launch this spring, the game has now been pushed back to August 31. Amazon says the decision was made to ensure the game had a proper endgame when it launched, so it’s likely the studio is trying to avoid the same pitfalls games that Marvel’s Avengers hit at launch. A closed beta for the game is now scheduled to open on July 20.
5. Resident Evil Re: Verse (Summer 2021)
Miraculously, Resident Evil Village looks like it’ll make it to its planned May 7 release date with no delay. That’s an increasingly rare feat among big studio productions this year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Resident Evil Re:Verse. ‘
The multiplayer game was supposed to launch the same day as Village, but now it’s been pushed back to a vague summer 2021 window. The decision came shortly after the game’s first beta, which was full of matchmaking issues. Capcom did not cite a reason for the delay.