Bethesda recently announced that its eagerly anticipated sci-fi RPG Starfield won’t release this year. The company also delayed Redfall in order to polish both titles further. At the moment, we have no idea when either game will see the light of day.
Delays have become more common in the video game industry lately due to the global pandemic disrupting supply chains and forcing many developers to adapt to working from home. Major titles such as Breath of the Wild 2 and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League are now slated for 2023. God of War: Ragnarok is due this year, but given the circumstances, it’s entirely possible it could face a second delay and not release in 2022. Such is the state of the world.
Even though I'm not clamoring for Starfield like some of my friends and colleagues are, the delay was the final straw for me. After so many announced delays over the past two years, I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer trust any proposed release date. I literally laughed out loud when I saw that the Dead Space remake will release on January 27, 2023. What reason do I have to believe this game will meet its release date? Or any game?
Perhaps I’m being hyperbolic, or too cynical. I’m sure the vast majority of titles will release when intended. Generally speaking, indie titles haven’t faced significant delays during the pandemic. This is likely in part because indie developers were largely used to working from home or in remote teams prior to the global lockdowns. But as far as major big-budget games are concerned, things are looking pretty grim. Yes, God of War: Ragnarok is slated for 2022, but as I said, I don’t see a reason why I should believe it will actually come out this year.
In short, I've stopped getting hyped for upcoming games. And perhaps you should too.
Delays make new consoles less enticing
These recent delays present a problem for the two main current-gen systems: PS5 and Xbox Series X. Folks have been keeping an eye on PS5 restocks and Xbox Series X restocks since both launched in late 2020. But given the lack of major first-party titles coming to each platform this year, not to mention the abundance of cross-platform titles on both current and last-gen platforms, there isn’t a compelling reason to want either system. I understand that FOMO is a real thing, but people are not missing out on much. I've been playing PS5 for over a year and I'm still waiting for it to feel like a "next-gen" console.
The Xbox Series X is in an even worse state, and not just because Starfield and Redfall have gone MIA. Halo Infinite – a title that was itself delayed – failed to live up to expectations. Though updates are coming in Halo Infinite Season 2, the game currently feels incomplete due to missing key features like co-op mode.
Aside from the plethora of old titles available on Game Pass, there’s not much reason to get an Xbox Series X, especially if you want first-party current-gen exclusives. Sure, Forza Motorsporrt 8 is supposedly releasing this year, but a racing game isn’t going to move consoles. Even if PS5's 2022 first-party output has been paltry, it still has a decent amount of exclusives (even if most are on PS4). The Xbox Series X/S doesn't have that luxury, despite Microsoft having acquired Bethesda and Activision Blizzard.
I'll no longer get hyped for upcoming games
One of the gaming industry’s most significant issues is its over-reliance on hype. Companies bombard us with a slew of trailers, developer diaries, blog posts and more to drum up excitement for whatever title they want us to buy. Gamers feed into this hype via social media sites like Twitter and YouTube. It gets to a point where some titles cannot possibly live up to the hype generated. See Watch Dogs, Anthem, Duke Nukem Forever, Aliens Colonial Marines and Cyberpunk 2077 for examples.
Delays only make things worse. On one hand, the longer a game takes to release, the more unrealistic expectations can become. Conversely, whatever hype a game generated can fizzle out if it takes too long to release – see The Last Guardian. In the case of Starfield, it may face the former scenario and perhaps not live up to what people expect it to be.
So what do we do? As hard as it may be, it’s best if we stop feeding the proverbial hype machine. Even if you are looking forward to Starfield, God of War: Ragnarok or any other blockbuster title, you should probably temper your enthusiasm until the game is actually in stores. I would have said to wait until a game goes gold, but as we’ve seen with Cyberpunk 2077, even that doesn’t guarantee a locked release date or a finished game. Forgive the cynicism, but at this point, I’d suggest curbing your hype until a game is either in your hands or in your console’s SSD storage.
Starfield, Redfall, Final Fantasy XVI and all of the other big games on the horizon will come out one day. It may not be when we expect, but we’ll see them eventually. To that end, I’m going to keep a list of games to look forward to and then forget about said list and occupy myself with other hobbies. When titles I want to play come out, I can be pleasantly surprised instead of being frustrated that a game took so long to release.
The current state of global affairs will likely persist for the foreseeable future, and that means we should probably expect more delays. So the best thing to do is not put faith in any official release dates. If you do, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Follow my lead and stop getting hyped for upcoming games.