Failbetter Games recently announced that their gothic horror dating sim, Mask of the Rose (opens in new tab), was going to be delayed from its original spooky autumn release date to next April.
In a candid blog post, Failbetter lays out the reasons for choosing to delay the game, saying that there were signs the schedule was too tight: team workers were stressed, and reluctant to take time off.
"In this situation, there are three things we could do in principle. We could ask our team to put in significant overtime to meet the current schedule, but it’s important to us to provide a good workplace where everyone has time for personal and family life," the post (opens in new tab) reads.
"We could cut features and parts of the story, releasing a game that didn’t fully meet our intentions and ambitions. Our sense, though, is that our players and backers would rather get the game later in its best state, rather than sooner in a worse form. So that leaves us with the third option, moving back the schedule."
Mask of the Rose joins a number of other games delaying until the first half of next year, indie and large-scale alike. Bethesda neatly delayed two major upcoming releases in Starfield and Redfall (opens in new tab) at the same time, and adventure platformer Planet of Lana that Natalie Clayton described as like a less existentially terrifying Limbo (opens in new tab) announced its own delay only the day before Failbetter.
Fraser spoke to creative director Emily Short about Mask of the Rose's approach to being a murder mystery-slash-dating sim in not-quite-Victorian-London (opens in new tab) (if you're still with me), and the demo is still available on Steam, for anyone curious in the meantime. Fallen London (opens in new tab), the setting's originator, has also been up and running for over ten years—so no fear of a delay there.