Prison Architect 2's release delayed due to 'new technical challenges', has its sentence extended until September

Jumpsuited prisoners look tough in keyart for Prison Architect 2.
(Image credit: Double Eleven)

Prison Architect 2, sequel to Introversion's beloved incarceration simulation developed by Double Eleven, has been remanded in custody until September 3rd. The delay was announced on Paradox's website, with the Prison Architect 2 team citing the emergence of 'new technical challenges' as the cause for the launch's postponement.

"While we currently have builds certified on all platforms and are ready to release, some issues regarding memory usage and minimum spec configurations experiencing more failures have emerged," Double Eleven explains. "Considering the legacy of Prison Architect, and you—our passionate community, we want to ship the best possible sequel to such a beloved game, without cutting corners to do so."

The statement goes on to offer a more detailed explanation of how the developer came to decide upon a delay. To summarise, the studio has been conducting stability tests on the game in the run up to launch. While doing this, it noticed that for the minimum spec configurations, the game was falling below the developer's mean standard for the time it can be played before it crashes or freezes.

Which doesn't sound ideal. Consequently, Double Eleven began "improving Prison Architect 2's memory usage to mitigate the situation" but this rework has resulted in "new technical challenges" as "the number of crashes increased noticeably". Woops! This, obviously, is the opposite of what the developer intended, and so the decision was taken to delay the game.

Apparently, the extra time will be used to increase the game's stability, but Double Eleven will also take the chance to "put more time into further developing some of the existing features that we know can be improved." This line also makes me wonder whether Paradox is playing it safe after the fiasco of Cities: Skylines 2's launch and the aftermath. The city-building sequel's extensive bugs and performance issues have netted it a 'mixed' rating on Steam (with recent reviews at 'mostly negative') and has severely damaged the reputation of both Paradox and Colossal Order. The pair attempted to remedy the situation by rushing out its Beach House DLC, but it was such poor quality (and didn't even have beaches!), that they've had to apologise and issue refunds.

In that light, delaying Prison Architect 2 until it is ready is certainly the right decision. Given the reputation of the original, and the fact there's a new developer at the helm, the sequel has a lot to prove—even if it runs smoothly.