Game delays became more prevalent in 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19, as studios adjusted to the logistical challenges and limitations of working from home. With the pandemic still raging and eight game delays already announced, the early days of 2021 indicate that trend will likely continue throughout the new year.
To track the pandemic’s continued impact on game development, we’ve compiled a list of every game and notable DLC delay announced this year (so far). This article will be updated as more release dates and windows are inevitably pushed, but for now, these are all eight games delayed in 2021.
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- Delayed from February 2 to April 1, 2021
Developer People Can Fly announced the delay in early January, saying, “We have decided to move the release date of Outriders to April 1st 2021 (no joke!). We will spend this extra time fine tuning the game and focusing on delivering a fantastic play experience at launch.”
This is Outriders’ second delay; it was previously pushed from Holiday 2020 to February 2021.
- Delayed from 2022 to 2023
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey
- Delayed from Early 2021 to Late Spring (PC) and Fall 2021 (Console)
Frontier Developments delayed its upcoming Elite Dangerous expansion due to the “ongoing impact of the pandemic.” The studio said the effects of the pandemic, “including the [U.K.’s] renewed lockdowns in 2021, continues to put added pressure on our teams and ultimately our development timeline.”
- Delayed from 2021 to 2022
On January 13 Portkey Games announced it was delaying its open-world Harry Potter action-RPG by a year. “Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” read a statement from the developer.
Cyberpunk 2077 Free DLC
- Delayed from Early 2021 to Later in 2021
CD Projekt Red initially planned to begin releasing free Cyberpunk 2077 DLC in early 2021. However, that DLC may no longer hit its target window, as the developer has prioritized “working on the most important fixes and updates,” specifically for the poorly optimized PS4 and Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk.
- Delayed from February 25 to Later in 2021
On January 14 Ubisoft announced it was delaying Riders Republic from its former February release date to sometime “later” in 2021. “This additional time will allow our passionate team to deliver the best fun fueled experience to our players,” said the company.
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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
- Delayed from Late 2021 to 2022
Originally set to be released later this year, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will now arrive at some point in 2022. Publisher Nacon announced the new date for the stealth-focused Middle-earth adventure in late January, though it didn’t provide a reason for the delay.
- Delayed from March 19 to April 30, 2021
Returnal was pushed from mid-March to late April “to give the team extra time to continue to polish the game to the level of quality players expect from Housemarque.” The roguelike third-person shooter will be released exclusively on PS5.
Which of these are you most disappointed by? Which games of 2021 are you hoping don’t get delayed next? Let us know in the comments.
Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.
Source: IGN Video Games All