TaleWorlds has led an early charge into Gamescom with an announcement that Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord—first announced (opens in new tab) when the world was young and dinosaurs roamed the Earth—will finally leave Early Access on October 25. The announcement of the release date was even accompanied by a new trailer, showcasing the white-knuckle tension of medieval sieges, battles, and opening a small business.
If you've played any Bannerlord while it's been in Early Access, it doesn't look much different, but it will be strange to live in a world where Mount & Blade 2 is actually out, rather than in some liminal space between announcement and full release. The game was one of my most-anticipated releases for nearly all of the last decade, from its announcement in 2012 until it finally got an Early Access release (opens in new tab) in March 2020. I don't know what I'll do with myself now that it's a fully-realised thing.
Well, kind of fully-realised. The announcement that the game is leaving Early Access does contain the statement that this isn't "the end of the road" for the game, which will continue "receiving updates in the months to come". Presumably, those updates will be fewer in number and smaller in scope than the kind it received during Early Access, or maybe words just don't mean anything anymore.
The meat of the announcement is that the game will also hit consoles at the same time it leaves Early Access, but we're not enormously concerned about that round these parts. Still, the announcement does say the devs have found "synergies" that they weren't expecting between the console and PC versions of the game. They're probably talking about development shortcuts, but who knows? Maybe crossplay is in our future.
It's not the biggest announcement to come out of Gamescom so far, but it is the end of a long and winding saga that began an actual, literal decade ago. We rather liked Bannerlord (opens in new tab) in its ramshackle, Early Access form here at PCG, and as someone who poured way too much of his life into Mount & Blade: Warband I'm excited for the sequel to achieve its final-ish form.