The delay of Cyberpunk 2077 from November 19 to December 10 was sweet news for just about every other studio with a game coming in November. Staying out of the shadow of such an all-consuming behemoth, even for just a week or two, can mean the difference between success story and sad flop, especially for indie and mid-tier games that struggle to attract attention even in the best of times.
It's a different story for games set to release in December, however, as the great cyber-steamroller is now bearing down on them. And some have decided that the best option is to just get the hell out of the way: Yesterday, Grinding Gear Games delayed Path of Exile's 3.13 update to sometime in January, so players don't have to "choose between these two games," and today Rockfish Games announced that Everspace 2's planned Early Access release has also been pushed back.
"Let’s get the cyber elephant out of the room right away: The Cyberpunk 2077 release has just been pushed back to December 10, which is a major blow to our planned Everspace 2 Early Access release in mid-December," the studio said in a Kickstarter update. "Not only will every media outlet and content creator cover the arguably most-anticipated AAA game in history throughout the entire holiday season (and not much else), we also know that there’s quite a bit of audience overlap within our community (and our team)."
As a result, Everspace 2 will launch into Early Access sometime in January instead. "We are aware that Everspace 2 fans will be unhappy, but competing with the arguably most anticipated videogame in history is just not a good idea," Rockfish said in an email.
The good news for supporters is that Rockfish is going to send out keys for the closed beta build on November 2 to everyone who backed the game at the €30 level or higher, which is just about all backers. Those keys will be revoked when the Early Access build goes live, but that's okay because new keys for the updated version, offering a choice of Steam, GOG, and the Epic Store, will be sent out to replace them.
The Kickstarter update also delves into Everspace 2's crafting system, and features a bit of "gunship porn," which I'm sorry to say doesn't quite live up to the billing: It's two screens showcasing one of the game's beefy new ships, a heavy fighter subclass with four primary hardpoints and a 360-degree auto turret. The gunship isn't playable in the closed beta build, but Rockfish said that it will be ready to go when the Early Access version launches in January. A closer look will be available in a developer livestream set to take place today, from 2-4 pm ET, on Twitch.