Welcome to the age of game delays, thanks to your friendly neighborhood coronavirus pandemic.
As the pandemic kicked into full swing last year, we saw almost immediately the impact on our work, social, and school lives. Game developers were no different. With home lives disrupted from school closures, lockdown measures forcing premises to shutter, and social distancing measures closing down open-plan studios, entire dev pipelines had to switch to the web. Naturally, that brings with it a whole host of additional layered challenges, from communication breakdowns to tech problems, and beyond.
To that end, it stands to reason that with many games getting delayed towards the end of their development throughout 2020, we could see an even bigger impact on games that were in mid to late development, i.e. titles that were originally going to ship in 2021 or late 2020. We've already started to see a few games slip, but we do expect this list to grow as time goes on.
So, with that in mind, we thought we'd put together a list of all the games, expansions, and major game updates that are currently hit with delays so you can track and adjust your expectations accordingly. For a list of all our most anticipated upcoming Xbox and PC games, head over to here.
Microsoft and Remedy teamed up to bring Korean tactical shooter CrossfireX to Xbox and PC in the West, complete with an all-new story mode built by Remedy. The game was originally penned in for 2020, but slipped to 2021, with developer Smilegate placing the blame firmly on our favorite global virus.
Can CrossfireX find similar success in the West that it does in Asia? Only time will tell.
Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update (Autumn 2021)
Cyberpunk 2077 has been mired in controversy almost non-stop since it launched after several delays last year in December. The game absorbed mountains of scorn for its poor adaptations on past-gen Xbox One and PS4 consoles, and despite a decent launch showing on Xbox Series X and PC, the game managed to alienate millions who were previously looking forward to it. Many Xbox Series X gamers will have been waiting for the promised next-gen update, which was originally slated for early 2021. Owing to pressure to fix the past-gen versions, Cyberpunk 2077 will now not be updated for Xbox Series X, Series S, and PS5 until the Autumn of 2021.
If you were waiting for next-gen console versions of Cyberpunk 2077, you may be waiting a fair bit longer.
Dying Light 2 (TBC)
Dying Light 2 is the next title from Techland, and has unfortunately been mired in development hell for what feels like years at this point. Dying Light is all about a zombie apocalypse, and the sequel sought to double down on story delivery, with choices that affect the game world, with writing from Chris Avellone. Avellone was expelled from the project after abuse allegations emerged, and even before then, there were multiple converging reports about problems with the game's development. Early in 2020, Techland announced that the original Spring 2020 release date was undoable, and delayed the game indefinitely.
Hopefully, Dying Light 2 will not suffer the same fate as Hellraid, and we'll see it emerge from secrecy in the near future.
Far Cry 6 (2021)
Ubisoft's famed open-world first-person shooter series Far Cry is undertaking its sixth outing this year, albeit with a slight delay. Originally penned in for February 2021, Ubisoft revealed last year that it would delay Far Cry 6 further, owing to the pandemic. A listing on the Xbox Store seemed to suggest it could drop in May 2021, but this is most likely to be a placeholder date and has since been removed. It seems fairly likely that Far Cry 6 will launch in the second half of 2021, in any case.
Far Cry 6 grabs a pandemic-inspired delay, but hey, it features Gus from Breaking Bad, and will most likely be worth the wait.
Halo Infinite (Late 2021)
It's no secret that Halo Infinite was supposed to launch with the Xbox Series X towards the end of 2020, but after a weak showing over the summer and negative fan reaction, 343i decided to delay the game. Now, Halo Infinite is gearing up for a Q3-Q4 2021 release, with many expecting it will drop on the 20th anniversary of Halo.
Halo Infinite has been delayed, but that's most likely a good thing.
Outriders (April 1, 2021)
Originally planned for a holiday release, then delayed to early 2021, Outriders has now been delayed again through to Spring 2021, to April 1st specifically. Outriders is an upcoming class-based loot-shooter, although the studio wants you to think of it as a story-first co-op experience. Built by the developers behind Bulletstorm, it looks pretty damn great.
People Can Fly's next big game Outriders drops on April Fool's Day, at least, we hope it will!
Psychonauts 2 (2021)
Psychonauts 2 is the next mind-warping game from Tim Schafer's Double Fine Studios, reviving the classic IP from almost two decades of dormancy. Originally thought to be arriving in 2020 from the Xbox Games Showcase, Psychonauts 2 slipped to 2021 with an unknown launch date.
Psychonauts is a 3D puzzle platformer set inside the minds of quirky Tim Burton-esque characters in a vibrant and twisted universe. The sequel looks every bit as wild as the original, and hopefully, we won't have to wait too much longer to try it.
Rainbow Six Quarantine (2021)
Rainbow Six Quarantine is an upcoming zombie shooter spin-off of the popular tactical game, Rainbow Six Siege. Rainbow Six Quarantine hasn't exactly been detailed in full, but has been faced with multiple delays, and joined Far Cry 6 as one of the games Ubisoft delayed last year.
This zombie shooter has yet to break cover, and we could be waiting a fair while before it re-emerges.
Skull & Bones (TBC)
Remember Skull & Bones? Built on top of Assassin's Creed's ship and sailing mechanics, Skull & Bones looked to be Ubisoft's answer to Sea of Thieves, but like Rainbow Six Quarantine and Far Cry 6, Skull & Bones was slapped with a hefty delay. There's no word on when this pirate adventure will return, with Ubisoft stating only that the game has "grown in scope" since its initial reveal.
Want a more realistically-styled Sea of Thieves? Skull & Bones might be it.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Cult-classic Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines launched head-to-head with Half-Life 2 back in the day, and was summarily trounced. In the years since its launch, the game garnered a passionate fanbase of RPG enthusiasts for its branching narrative, going so far as to patch and improve upon the game's various technical flaws. The game's sequel, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was originally slated for March 2020 but was delayed multiple times to address feedback from early previews.
Vampire: The Masquerade is all about blending into a shadowy underworld full of vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural entities.
Elite Dangerous – Odyssey (Spring 2021, Autumn 2021)
Elite Dangerous Odyssey is the next big update to the massively multiplayer space game, which boasts a near 1:1 scale density replica of our favorite galaxy, the Milky Way. Odyssey adds player avatars, allowing you to engage in first-person combat and on-foot missions. Originally slated for early 2021, Elite Dangerous Odyssey has been delayed to Spring 2021 for PC, and Autumn 2021 for consoles.
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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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