Remember back in late 2020, when the looming behemoth of Cyberpunk 2077 caused a bunch of other game developers to change their release dates to avoid being steamrollered? It's happening again, sort of: Summerfall Studios, the developer of David Gaider's upcoming musical RPG Stray Gods, announced today that it's delaying the game slightly, from August 3 to August 10, so it doesn't get murdered by Baldur's Gate 3.
"We want everyone to have ample space to check out Stray Gods when it launches," the studio said. "Baldur's Gate 3 is hotly anticipated (by us, too!) and we want to give our fans room to celebrate Stray Gods.
"We also want everyone to be able to play on their preferred device at launch. This is a huge undertaking for any team, let alone an indie shipping its first title. This extra week allows us to have performance parity as close as possible, across every platform."
It's a little unusual for a studio to straight-up acknowledge that it's purposefully avoiding a bigger game, but not unprecedented. When Grinding Gear Games paused the release of Path of Exile's 3.13 endgame expansion, it stated explicitly that "we do not want to put our players in a position of having to choose" between PoE and Cyberpunk 2077—implicitly acknowledging that, for most people, it really wouldn't be much of a choice. Rockfish Games made the same admission when it pushed back Everspace 2.
What makes this case different (and particularly funny), though, is that Baldur's Gate 3 changed its own release date on PC in June, in order to avoid the real elephant in the room: Starfield, Bethesda's upcoming sci-fi RPG. Baldur's Gate 3 had been slated to launch on August 31, one week ahead of Starfield's September 6 release: In some cases that would be enough room for everyone to get along, but Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield are both massive RPGs and seven days just is not enough room for both, especially if associate editor Ted Litchfield is correct and they can both deliver quantity and quality.
And never forget, Starfield itself was supposed to be out last year, on 11/12/22, but was delayed into the first half of 2023, and then the second half of 2023. So really, if you're looking to blame anyone for the Stray Gods delay, you can point the finger at Todd Howard.
So Baldur's Gate 3 moves because of Starfield, and Stray Gods moves because of Baldur's Gate 3. Will Stray Gods muscle anyone out of its way? It's certainly something different and I really hope it's good, but with all due respect to Summerfall Studios, I'm going to guess that it's not very likely. Still, it's good news for RPG fans: More time to play a game before another game comes banging on the door is always welcome.
Baldur's Gate 3 (PC): August 3
Stray Gods: August 10
Starfield: September 6 (It didn't change, because hey, why would it?)