Delays, Delays, and Canceled Games. Is There Something Wrong in the Video Game Industry?

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hello world!
| September 8, 2023

The 2020s have proved to be a challenging decade, and we are only three years into it! These challenges have impacted a lot of industries, with one of those being the video game industry. A Semiconductor chip shortage affected the sales of the latest generation of consoles, with millions the world over not being able to get their hands on a Ninth-Generation console, more specifically impacting the PlayStation 5 stocks. With all these issues, it has still been one of the best times for gaming as it has firmly established itself as a premium home entertainment product.

But with increased demand, the industry has been feeling the pressure, and many developers have struggled to get out their latest games. Over the last few years, we have seen many delayed and canceled games. Some have even been huge triple-A titles. Here are some of the games that have suffered delays and some we should wave farewell to.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

A team of superheroes walking in front of a glowing orb of energy
These Guys Are Shiny!

Marvel’s foray into the tactical RPG space has been a quiet success following the big disappointment of The Avengers game. Although not commercially successful, critics did praise it pretty highly. The game did, however, have two high-profile delays. The original release was slated for March 2022, but it was eventually released on the 2nd of December 2022. It was released on previous-gen consoles six months later in May, with the Switch version ultimately canceled. Perhaps Marvel should stick to movies?

The Wolf Among Us 2

A wolfman walks down a dark alley at night
Bigby’s Got A Nose For Detective Work

The cult dark fairy tale hit was announced initially in 2017 and was set to release in 2018. In September 2018, Telltale Games went bankrupt and canceled the game. After LCG Entertainment rescued Telltale, the sequel was announced again at The Game Awards in 2019, and after internal reshuffling, the game was set for a Q1 2023 launch but was delayed yet again to 2024 with no official release date.

Skull and Bones

Three pirate ships battling each other in the ocean
Shiver Me Timbers, When Is This Game Coming Out!?

Originally slated to release in 2018, this game has faced a tremendous amount of development restructuring. It reportedly has had multiple changes in direction, scope and core gameplay, exceeding its budget multiple times. Delayed on numerous occasions, eventually landing on a March 9, 2023, release, it was delayed yet again to the next fiscal year by Ubisoft after a few underperforming recent Ubisoft launches.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Four villains looking down with weapons at the ready
Is This Game A Suicide Mission?

One of the most hotly anticipated games from 2023, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League premiered a cinematic trailer that got DC fans everywhere excited. The game is set in the Arkhamverse and is a story sequel to the masterpiece Arkham Trilogy of Batman games. It all sounded great, but this game has really been through the wringer. Initially announced in August 2020, the game hit a number of setbacks. It was delayed from early 2022 to April 2023, and then after a gameplay trailer was met with a huge amount of backlash from fans who called the gameplay underwhelming, the game was delayed a full year. Currently, it is set to release in February 2024, but who knows what will happen with this game.

Half-Life 3

Gordon and Alyx in front of a large citadel as crows fly away
It’s Time To Wake Up Gordon!!

Half-Life 3 is probably the most infamous example of a game never officially being canceled. Half-Life 2 is one of the greatest video games ever made and is often referred to as a game-changer in physics-based gameplay and FPS-level design. It was followed by two episodes of DLC called Episode 1 & Episode 2, respectively. Episode 2 ended on a huge cliffhanger and left gamers with a hole in their chest – I mean heart! (Sorry, Dr Vance!).

Episode 3 was announced and was reportedly being worked on for multiple years, even at one stage being redirected into a full sequel. Episode 3 was eventually canceled, but notoriously, the developers, Valve, never officially commented on the cancellation or the planned sequel. Technically, Half-Life 3 could still happen, but it’s been 19 years, so don’t hold your breath. Valve even released another game set in the same universe to rub our faces in it! Alyx, the VR title from 2020. It was pretty damn good, to be fair.

So, is there something wrong in the industry? Well, the easy answer is no. It is fairly common for video games to face delays due to the high volume of work that goes into making a video game. Mainstream games usually take a couple of years to develop, so even if developers hit a small snag, it can still take a lot of time to recover from, and big ideas usually take a lot of time to figure out. It does, however, often seem to be an issue with publishers. Publishers often push developers to get release dates out of them and sometimes too preemptively promote a game before it can feasibly be released, forcing them to delay.

Whatever it is, we don’t mind waiting for our games. Some of our favorite games suffered delays, but we still loved them when they eventually came out. What are some of your favorite games that got delayed? Do you think the delay trend is worrying? Let us know on our socials and down below.

Later!

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