Amazon's fantasy MMO New World has been delayed twice previously, first in May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it into August, and from the August 25 to the less concrete "spring 2021." Today Amazon announced that's not going to happen either, but the good news is that there's now a new, specific launch date: A closed beta test will get underway on July 20, and full release will—barring further delays—happen on August 31.
"We’ve been hard at work on compelling end-game features we believe are important to include at launch. These features won’t be ready for the Spring timeframe that we had communicated," Amazon explained in a blog post. "With this extra time we’ll be able to add these substantial improvements while polishing and fine tuning the whole game before we open Aeternum’s shores to the world."
New content being added to the game includes a new endgame zone called Ebonscale Reach, a land of "lush wetlands and towering cliffs" where an exiled princess is apparently putting together plans for a comeback, as well as new five-player instanced adventures called Expeditions and 20v20 battles in a primordial river basin filled with ancient technologies called Outpost Rush.
"We've also added fishing, we've done a full revamp to crafting, we added hundreds and hundreds of weapons and gear pieces," game director Scot Lane said in the developer update video. "We've really improved combat and we've added a lot of quest variety. All of this is in direct response to your feedback from the preview, and let me tell you, there's a lot more to come."
Alpha testing of New World will continue "in the months to come," and will be expanded on March 30 with the rollout of European servers. Access to the New World closed beta can be had by preordering the game through Amazon or Steam.