2020 is a year of transition for video games. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X arrive in Q4, which leaves developers scrambling to complete their current-gen titles before they launch. With developers desperately trying to push their games out the door, the year is extremely crowded.
March, April, and May are particularly notable for their tidal wave of releases. Only a few days ago March’s calendar alone included Bleeding Edge, DOOM Eternal, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Persona 5 Royal. April, meanwhile, marked the debuts of Cyberpunk 2077, Gears Tactics, and Resident Evil 3.
Of course, something had to give. The Beat previously reported the 4-month delay of Avengers. The game, originally scheduled for release in May, now releases on September 4.
Square Enix also reported that Final Fantasy VII Remake was pushed back a month to April 10.
Two days later, CD Projekt Red shared that its much-anticipated, Keanu Reeves-starring game Cyberpunk 2077 was pushed back a full five months. It now comes out on September 17.
The publishers may feel like their games will do better when they’re facing less competition, but most likely all three titles also require additional production time. Final Fantasy VII Remake’s push to April isn’t an issue. Even fans anxious for its release largely understand that the short delay will result in a better, more polished game.
But September is pushing right up against the time of year when Microsoft and Sony traditionally launch new consoles. Both would be thrilled if CD Projekt Red releases next-gen editions of Cyberpunk 2077 so close to the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles. However, that would leave fans in a tough position. Do they purchase a lesser version of Cyberpunk in September, or wait for enhanced copies to come to PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X?
The year new consoles arrive is always a difficult, messy period for the video game industry and game enthusiasts. But it’s also a very exciting time, when developers have fully mastered the current generation and can take full advantage of the hardware. 2011, the year when PlayStation 4 and Xbox One debuted, brought us Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us, two of the most critically-acclaimed video games of all time.
2020 has the potential to be even more impressive than 2011. The sequel to The Last of Us is scheduled for May 29, though no one would be surprised if that gets pushed back. Sucker Punch’s new samurai game Ghost of Tsushima will follow, and it shows a lot of potential. The aforementioned Final Fantasy VII Remake presents a modern-day rendition of one of the most fondly remembered RPGs ever. Finally, Cyberpunk 2077 is CD Projekt Red’s follow-up to The Witcher 3, the influence of which is responsible for Netflix’s hottest new series (even though it’s technically based on the books). Expectations are extremely high, but now we’ll have to wait until September to see if the developer can meet them.
2020 will be messy, chaotic, and exhilarating. Fans should strap in, be ready for anything, and enjoy this roller coaster ride because it has the makings to be one of video games’ wildest years ever.