Somehow it's already November, which means a lot of games that were planning a 2023 release have to start publicly admitting, well, it just ain't gonna happen.
We've seen a bit of that already. The Alone in the Dark reboot planned for October 2023 is now aiming for January 2024. Strategy city builder Manor Lords recently announced it's not arriving until April. Arena shooter XDefiant was just delayed again, and I won't even mention Skull and Bones because it makes Andy get stuck in a time loop.
I'm not criticizing developers or publishers for delaying a game—games get done when they get done, and I think we all prefer a delay instead of an unfinished game being released. Missing a launch date is understandable because the very idea of picking a release date years in advance is, frankly, kinda ridiculous. Take it from me: back in 2014 I told myself 2015 would be the year I'd definitely get in shape, and now it's 2024 and the only way I can consider myself "in shape" is if that shape is round.
Another game delay was announced recently: Ascent of Ashes, the colony sim developed by RimWorld modders, has scrapped plans for a November early access release and is now scheduled for early 2024. This delay in particular reminded me of a story I wrote back in January titled 12 survival games to look forward to in 2023.
I got curious about how many other survival games expected this year didn't wind up arriving. Weirdly enough, with Ascent of Ashes now moved to next year, a full six of the 12 games on my original list now have 2024 release dates.
Here's are the survival games in my January article that have been delayed to 2024:
- Stalker 2
- Ark 2
- Pacific Drive
- Ascent of Ashes
And the ones that have been released, may still be released in 2023, or that don't have a release date:
- Sons of the Forest: Released Feb 23
- Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria: Released Oct 2023
- Wizard with a Gun: Released Oct 2023
- The Day Before: Planned for Dec 2023
- Wanderlost: TBA
- State of Decay 3: TBA
I also had Frostpunk 2 on that list, but to be fair I don't think 11 bit studios ever really said it was coming out in 2023. That was just wishful thinking on my part. State of Decay was also just a big fingers-crossed game, and I don't think we've heard anything about it in years, so who even knows at this point.
(And yes, my list of 12 games had 13 entries. In my defense, I love baking. Well, I love eating baked goods, anyway.)
I'm a little disappointed at some of these delays, just because I really do want to play a lot of these games, particularly Pacific Drive, Nightingale, and Ascent of Ashes. But if I'm being honest, 2023 wound up feeling overstuffed with games so maybe it's nice that a half-dozen big survival games have trickled into next year. It'll give us a chance to catch our breath.