A couple of weeks ago, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord developer Taleworlds Entertainment kicked off a new weekly developers blog as part of its effort to be more transparent and communicative with its fans. But while those fans were surely hoping it would communicate a release date in fairly short order—especially with the big Gamescom show looming—the studio explained in today's blog that it's not going to happen.
"We have not disclosed a release date so far because it does not exist. We don’t work like that. We are not a company who sets a timeline to release a product and then works to meet that deadline," the studio wrote. "We create games because we love making them, and we want them to be the best games that we can possibly make. We think that our fans don’t deserve less than our best efforts, our total commitment. We don’t believe in releasing a game before it is ready just because we might miss the hype."
The post emphasizes that Taleworlds, unlike many other studios, isn't beholden to publishers, shareholders, or anyone else who might push it to cut back on features or scale in order to meet a schedule. It obviously doesn't benefit from holding Bannerlord back, but "the only thing that is important to us is developing a game that is truly unique, something that you will enjoy playing as much as we love making."
As for why it's taking so long to get the thing out, the answer is simple: This is a really big game. "Five years is actually not that long for the development of a game which encompasses as much as Bannerlord does," Taleworlds explained. "There are a lot of fundamental tech and architecture changes compared to Warband: It’s more complex than just adding some new textures and animations. It involves the technology, such as the new engine we built from scratch, but also the system, the mechanics—this is about balancing the invisible, the look and feel of the gameplay."
"This is why we have not announced a release date, and why we won’t do it at Gamescom either. And these are the reasons why we think of it not as a sign of weakness, but of respect for our work and our community. We are working as hard as we can to develop the great game you are all waiting for, and our primary focus is the quality of the final product."
Taleworlds will show the game off at Gamescom, however, with "something slightly different from the demo that we took to E3." The show will be open to the public from August 23-26 in Cologne, Germany.