The coronavirus pandemic has led to some new challenges for the video game industry. While most video game publishers have instituted work-from-home policies as a result, it remains to be seen how effective development of games will be, as teams adapt to the current status quo. Today, Amazon Game Studios announced a delay for their upcoming MMO game, New World. The company attributed the delay to challenges posed by working on the game remotely. New World was initially slated to launch in May, but the game will now see release on August 25th, with a closed beta kicking off sometime in July. In a blog post, the company elaborated on the decision.
“We have made the hard decision to delay the release of New World until August 25, 2020 and the start of Closed Beta to July. Like most of you, our entire team has been sequestered as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. While we are still making great progress, developing an ambitious MMO like New World remotely has introduced some challenges. We want to make sure that we have the time needed to make New World the very best it can be for our players. As a result, we’ve chosen to delay the game’s release in order to reach our quality bar as we work remotely for the foreseeable future.”
Gamers have clearly gotten used to video game delays related to the pandemic, but those delays have been mostly related to difficulties with distribution of retail copies, rather than actual development. As such, many could be forgiven for assuming that an MMO game might have been immune to this type of delay, though it is understandable how the change in dynamic could lead to new difficulties. The delay of New World will certainly come as a bit of disappointing news for gamers that were looking forward to playing the game while social distancing.
Of course, it will be interesting to see whether or not more games are delayed for similar reasons. The work-from-home dynamic has been a learning curve for just about every industry, and it seems likely that more delays will be pinned on the practice, in the coming months. Despite this, CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 still appears to be on track for a September release. At the end of the day, however, different developers will adapt in different ways. Hopefully, New World will prove worth the wait.
Are you looking forward to Amazon's New World? Were you disappointed about the game's delay? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!