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Will 2023 be Another Year of Big Gaming Delays

This year is set to see some huge releases, though we'll have to see how many actually make it to launch.

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While 2022 managed to produce some incredibly well-received titles like Elden Ring, God of War: Ragnarök, Stray, and plenty more, it was meant to see the release of a lot more big names. Starfield, Redfall, and Hogwarts Legacy were all supposed to make their big debuts last year, but to no avail.

Even the heaviest hitters of 2022 like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, and God of War: Ragnarök all had initial release dates of 2021. As we finally move out of the pandemic era and hope to see some more stability in the world at large, we have to wonder whether we'll get some more solid release dates in our games or if we'll be stuck wondering if yet another game is going to be pushed back by a few months if not a year.

As much as this is a bit of a cop-out, the short answer is that we can't fully say how bad 2023 is going to be for delays. There are plenty of unknown factors around game development that you'd only know about if you were part of the team working on a title. There are also unpredictable circumstances that can lead to games not being able to reach their launch date.

Will 2023 be Another Year of Big Gaming Delays
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However, as it would be unsatisfying to just simply shrug our shoulders and say we'll never know, I'm going to go out on an optimistic limb and say that largely, the big games we're looking forward to this year should be okay. There are a few reasons for this, with one of the most obvious being that as stated, a lot of the bigger games this year were meant to see their release in 2022. So, while there are reported internal pushbacks on Redfall's release date, for example, it would be quite surprising to see such a title sent flying into 2024.

There's also the aforementioned fact that we are beginning to leave the pandemic era of game development now. The aftermath of COVID will still be seen throughout the world for some time, but hopefully those titles and studios that were hit the hardest are in their recovery now, and are going to have a better chance at living up to promised release dates.

Moreover, it seems now more than ever a lot of studios are forgoing the idea of making a firm release date promise. Rather than say Starfield will be available on July 2nd, 2023, Bethesda and Xbox have kept their cards incredibly close to their chest, and have just given us the vague release window of the first half of 2023.

Will 2023 be Another Year of Big Gaming Delays
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Not only does this mean that there's less pressure to rush a game out, but it also lessens the chance of a studio having to push a game back and back again due to them having the freedom to launch any time in a given year. As development nears completion, we can see a more concrete date come to fruition.

While a lot of these reasons do point to 2023 being a year marred by less delays, there are a lot of games proudly wearing that "2023 release" badge, meaning that there will almost certainly be a few outliers we'll have to wait a while to see.

The cold reality is that game development has changed a lot, and if work began for a title now it would be for the next console generation. So much effort goes into making ambitious AAA titles that sometimes they cannot meet a promised release date, which can leave consumers feeling as though they've been lied to or that they're just in the dark on when this game they've seen so much marketing for will be ready to launch. And so, while things look more hopeful this year than they did in 2022, to say 2023 will be a perfect gaming year with no delays and only sunshine and rainbows would be taking a massive shot in the dark, but I am cautiously optimistic that we won't be seeing as many major delays as 2022 was rife with.

Will 2023 be Another Year of Big Gaming Delays


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