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Path of Exile 2's beta might be delayed due to the coronavirus

(Image credit: Grinding Gear Games)

Dungeon-delving adventurers hoping to get their hands on Path of Exile 2 this year might have to find something else to do. The ARPG sequel, which will add a new seven-act story to the existing game, was expected to hit beta late this year, but it looks like Grinding Gear Games is going to have to push it back. 

"Our initial estimate was to start some early beta testing in late 2020," Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder Chris Wilson told PCGamesN. "But we’re going to revise that estimate as we approach it to make sure that things are ready enough for community feedback. Rushing it out won’t benefit anyone, we believe!"

The studio revealed the first game's next free expansion, Delirium, this week, and it's the main reason for the expected delay. Outsourcing partners in China have been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, causing a knock-on effect for Grinding Gear. To make sure Delirium wasn't affected, the studio made some changes to the Path of Exile 2 schedule so it could put more people on Delirium. 

It's another case of the coronavirus outbreak intersecting with gaming. Wilson explained that the Chinese artists were advised not to return to the office after Chinese New Year, citing concerns about the virus. 

The bulk of the 80,000 cases of the cornavirus are in China and has so far claimed around 3,000 lives. This has lead to the cancellation of a slew of events, including the Taipei Game Show, Overwatch League matches and the Chinese League of Legends pro series. Outside of Asia, PUBG Corp has put off an event in Germany, while publishers and developers are pulling out of PAX East and GDC

Path of Exile 2 still doesn't have a release date, with Wilson saying the studio will "release it when it's ready."

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.