Saturday, January 9, 2016

Could These Games Get Delayed in 2016?

There were a ton of games in 2015 that were delayed into 2016, as happens every year, but what about 2016? Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Scalebound are already the first “victims,” who’s next? Game development isn’t easy, and a small part of me usually cheers when a development team has more time to work on a game, to hopefully deliver a stellar finished project. Taking a good, long look at the industry, as well as the release dates and studios at the helm, the following games won’t hit their targeted release dates in time, either for better or for worse.

Hellblade (PS4)


Expected Release Date: Release Window of 2016
Probable Release Date: Early 2017

Hellblade is developer Ninja Theory’s latest project. Taking inspirations from Celtic Myth, you play as Senua, as you embark on a very personal, and nightmarish, journey through manifestations of Senua’s mind. It is supposedly in development with a team of just 15 people, and looks to be a PS4 home console exclusive. Using Unreal Engine 4, the game looks great, but the development team
stated, in September of 2015, that the game has moved into “the production phase,” and the wording reads as if they’ve decided to fine tune and scrap several major, original ideas. Ninja Theory won’t rush the development of the game either, as this will be a new, original IP about a Celtic warrior suffering from PTSD, so the material will no doubtedly need to be handled with the utmost care. 

Game of Thrones Season 2 (Multiplatform)

Expected Release Date: Release Window of 2016
Probable Release Date: January/February 2017

Telltale’s Game of Thrones Season 1 launched in the fall of 2014, and the remaining of the episodes were released throughout 2015. The last episode ended on a cliffhanger which heavily hinted at a second season, and Telltale Games confirmed that Season 2 will release in 2016. However, seeing as the sixth season of the television show of Game of Thrones premieres in April, Telltale is probably not launching a new Game of Thrones season in a few short months. The developer also has a Batman series, their original IP Super Series, a Michonne miniseries, and The Walking Dead Season 3. There’s a good chance that Telltale’s Game of Thrones series is their best selling game, but I think they can afford to take more time on the development of the game, and wait to release the next season in January or February of 2017, closer to the television show’s season 7 premiere.

Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Expected Release Date: Fall 2016
Probable Release Date: May/June 2017

Seeing a pattern? Any game that simply has a “release window,” I feel, has a much better shot at being delayed than a game with a hard release date. Coming from the developers behind the hit summer game,
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Cyberpunk 2077 was teased at E3 2014. The developers have gone on record to state that the game has both been in development for a long time, and will be bigger than The Witcher 3. The team stated that they want to try to launch the game this fall in 2016. It’s ambitious, and CD Projekt Red is totally up to the task. However, they’ve also said they’re focusing on Blood and Wine DLC for The Witcher 3, due out in the first half of 2016, as well as updates and other tweaks to the main game. That’s an insane commitment. I get the feeling they love making games, but these games are huge, with hundreds of hours of content. Just like The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077 may be delayed a few times, not a bad thing, in order to create the near-perfect followup to The Witcher 3, one of the most well received games in recent memory. Cyberpunk 2077 may benefit from a summer release as well, since the game’s breadth of content will warrant hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Crackdown 3 (Xbox One)
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Expected Release Date: Release Window of 2016
Probably Release Date: Summer 2017

One of Xbox One’s highly touted exclusives, Crackdown 3 promises to use the power of cloud technology to create fully destructible environments, while boasting the impressive Azure engine for exciting, explosive, multiplayer matches. The third-person shooter may remind some of Saint’s Row or Grand Theft Auto, as gamers can control a variety of superpowers with a considerable amount of freedom. A multiplayer beta is scheduled for the summer of 2016, and it’s a good sign that the studio has remained virtually quiet since Gamescom 2015, but cloud-driven engines in videogames will be revolutionary, and Microsoft, as well as Regent Games, the developer behind Crackdown 3, knows it. They’ll want to make sure Crackdown 3 runs to perfection, fully utilizing the Azure Engine on an unprecedented scale, and the multiplayer beta may prove there is a lot more work to be done when the game is put on local servers and consumer’s home consoles.

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)


Expected Release Date: Release Window of 2016
Probable Release Date: Spring 2017

I’m making this prediction half-heartedly, because it would be crazy for Nintendo to further delay The Legend of Zelda. The Wii U hasn’t had a proper Zelda game yet and with the upcoming release of the Nintendo NX, it looks like The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U will receive the same treatment as Twilight Princess, i.e. it will release on both the Wii U and the Nintendo NX. There are a lot of rumors that state the Nintendo NX will release this holiday season of 2016. It makes sense, since Nintendo usually releases consoles during the holiday season due to their broad appeal to families, so The Legend of Zelda won’t be delayed if it comes out on both the Wii U and the NX in 2016. But, if the rumors turn out to be just that, rumors, and the NX doesn’t come out in 2016, I think The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U will be further delayed, making it the launch title the NX needs.

Nier: Automata (PS4, PC)


Expected Release Date: Fall 2016
Probable Release Date: January 2017

Revealed during Square Enix’s 2015 E3 Press Conference, Nier: Automata is the sequel to the 2010 action adventure RPG Nier, which was developed by Cadvia. Then who, you might ask, is developing the sequel? Platinum Games is the correct answer. The studio currently has, in development, this game, as well as the console exclusive Scalebound, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, Star Fox Zero, and Project Guard. While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is console agnostic, the rest of the games are only coming to one home console, meaning they will be easier to develop for. Star Fox Zero will most likely be out sometime this year, as the game has seemingly been in development the longest, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks to be coming this year as well, with the recent achievement leak that indicates the game is playable from beginning to end in one form or another. Platinum Games may just not be able to juggle so many games at one time, making Nier their 2nd delay of 2016. But maybe aside from simply not being ready for launch, this game needs to be properly marketed. The first game had poor sales and lukewarm reviews, indicating fans weren’t exactly begging for a sequel.

Doom (PS4, PC, Xbox One)

Expected Release Date: Spring 2016
Probable Release Date: Summer/Fall 2016

Ah, Doom. The grandfather of first person shooters. Video games wouldn’t be what they are today without shooting aliens and demons in the face with then-innovative game mechanics. Previously titled Doom 4, Kotaku
published an expose in 2013 that described the sequel as being stuck “in development hell,” beginning development as far back as 2006. Five years into the development of the game, and still nothing to show for it, id Software decided to reboot the series entirely in 2011, meaning this new game will be a reboot rather than a proper sequel. It won’t be a huge title in 2016; it’s just a different world we live in nowadays. Objectively speaking, Doom looked great this past E3. Bethesda and id stated the game will come out in Spring of 2016, but I think they’ll take some more time to refine the experience to near perfection, so their 10 year journey ends on a high note. Even though Amazon France has Doom listed as coming out June 30th, 2016, that’s the last day of the 2nd fiscal quarter of 2016, meaning the listing is nothing more than a placeholder. We also haven’t seen a whole lot besides the gameplay showed at E3 2015. Heck we haven’t even had a beta for Doom’s multiplayer.

Realistically, any game  can be delayed, but I think these could just be some of the biggest delays of the year. What do you think? Agree or disagree with us in the comments below!


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