It is fair to say now that the video game industry is in the throes of a second pandemic squeeze. The first came last year, and it came for our events. E3, Gamescom – one by one, they fell. But the games themselves remained an exciting place. Games will appear, and people will be stuck at home with more time to play them. Some titles like Animal Crossing still benefit from real world events, being released at the perfect time to be a perfect bait.
But now we're on a new wave, I guess. Not just of the virus, but of its effects on video games. At this time last year, games completed when the pandemic took hold could still be shipped. Now, game studios are being forced to make heavy delays to make up for the loss of in-studio development time. Some homes in development are not ready for working at home.
So they fall like dominoes. Sometimes games are pushed, but until within this calendar year, such as Back 4 Blood, Humankind, and Deathloop’s announcement yesterday’s delay. Other titles have been bumped out by 2021 in full, such as Gran Turismo 7, Gotham Knights, and Hogwarts Legacy. Beyond what’s in public, to be honest with you the off-the-record grape is a constant echo of internal delays and back-to-back milestones for games that have both been announced and not yet. revealed.
We are only in April, but the list of delays has not yet been made. Even if the situation for developers returns to fairly normal in the summer, it seems pretty reasonable to think that many games recorded for this holiday season, announced and otherwise, won’t make that space.