Delays and much-anticipated titles are all coalescing into a few months
Last year saw a good deal of games get moved, delayed, and pushed around. They all had to go somewhere. And as it turns out, many of those games landed in the February to April window.
I’ve alluded to it a few times in past news posts, but well, this is a very busy month for games. It really didn’t even start with February, but last week with the launch of a new Pokemon game. And it continues on through an end-of-February triple-header, right on into a stacked March, and tapering off into the spring months.
Between Dying Light 2 Stay Human, Elden Ring, and Horizon Forbidden West, there are some heavy hitters launching early this year. And that’s not even counting indies like Sifu or OlliOlli World. So how’d February turn out like this?
Well, to tell it succinctly, delays. Both Dying Light 2 and Horizon Forbidden West pushed out from 2021 launch dates into 2022. Industry heads like Xbox’s Phil Spencer had indicated back in 2020 that the effect of COVID-19 on game development would start to be felt in early 2021. The impact has reached further with each month though, as studios are taking a little extra time to get things right.
Shifting release dates haven’t just been limited to big year-over-year moves, either. Elden Ring was first set for January, before it got pushed back to Feb. 25. In a personal favorite, Sifu actually moved its release date back up. After being delayed from 2021 into 2022, developer Sloclap then moved from the end of February up to Feb. 8. Fans of specific genres get some heavy hitters in The King of Fighters XV, Total War: Warhammer III, Sol Cresta, and Monark. And of course, Destiny 2 takes on the Witch Queen.
Even February itself has to contend with stacked month-neighbors for games released. January closed out with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and once we get into March, then we’re looking at games like Gran Turismo 7, Triangle Strategy, and Babylon’s Fall.
Square Enix in particular has March on lockdown, with the latter two games plus Stranger of Paradise and Chocobo GP all lined up for the month. Add in a new WWE 2K, a Rune Factory port, and a new Borderlands game, and well, March is just as packed with new games. Suddenly Saint’s Row looks prescient for dodging this window.
With so many games coming out, it’s hard to imagine how to keep up with everything. And honestly, the best option might be to just go with the flow. The more I look at the months ahead for games and the flood that’s coming, the more compelled I feel to focus in on what appeals to me. Bigger-budget games are probably going to fall by the wayside for me, in favor of niche appeals to my favorite styles of game, like fighting or tactics.
So, with a daunting lineup ahead, that’s my advice to you: follow your heart. Or at least, your brain and what appeals most to it. Be comfortable missing out on a big game if it’s not your jam. Indulge in your creature comforts. Or even take the time to deep dive into something that’s passed you by instead.
For us on the coverage side, it’ll be a hectic few months. But there certainly won’t be a dearth of new games to talk about.