A Look Into AAA Game Delays

The only certainties in life are death and taxes…and game delays.

It seems like every time a AAA game announces its release date, everyone rolls their eyes nowadays. Announced earlier today, the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake has been delayed for a second time. Initially set to be released in January of this year, the game was originally delayed to March 18. Today, a tweet from the official Prince of Persia Twitter account announced a second delay but didn’t specify when the game will launch. This got me wondering about how often AAA game delays have occurred in the past year.

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a whole slew of problems and workplace interruptions into the game making industry since it began early last year. This article doesn’t serve as a critique of game delays just a look at what was delayed in 2020.

I took a look at DualShockers insta-forum from February 2020 focused on the most anticipated games of the year and did some research to see just how many of them were delayed. The figures are quite interesting. Here are the games I looked into:

  • Dreams
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Nioh 2
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • DOOM Eternal
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Gears Tactics
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Wasteland 3
  • The Last of Us Part II
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dying Light 2
  • No More Heroes 3
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Godfall
  • Gods & Monsters
  • Watch Dogs: Legion
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Halo Infinite

Out of all 24 of these, only seven did not experience any sort of public delay. It’s important to remember that delays happen for all sorts of reasons, but the vast majority of these game delays happened in part as a result of COVID.

Personally, I appreciate it when developers are able to announce delays because it means that the game will be better off in the long run…usually. While I am bummed that I’ll have to wait longer for Prince of Persia, I think it’s the right move. COVID has thrown such a wrench in our every day lives that it’s foolish to assume that game development will go unhindered. Take your time Sands of Time, I’ll be waiting for you whenever you’re ready.

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