Video game delays are nothing new in the industry, but this year has already turned this into a soft trend when it comes to high-profile games being shuffled to 2016. Today, Remedy Entertainment announced that its Xbox One-exclusive Quantum Break has been delayed until next year "to polish and fine-tune the game," putting Microsoft in a position where it will need to bank on Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians, and the next Forza Motorsport to fill the holiday season. (Not a problem, maybe…)
Earlier this week, Nintendo revealed that the much-anticipated The Legend of Zelda for Wii U won't be arriving in time for a 2015 release, with Eiji Aotuma saying that they want to take the time to make "the ultimate Zelda game." Then of course, we can't forget about the delay for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, so that Naughty Dog can develop the game to meet the "high standards that gamers have come to expect from a Naughty Dog title." All these quotes sounds incredibly similar. And finally (but probably not "finally"), Homefront: The Revolution has been pushed to 2016 too as noted by publisher Deep Silver.
That begs the question of whether we'll see some of our other favorite titles currently slated near the bookend of the year delayed to 2016 as well. Now, before I separate games into various risk categories, that doesn't mean that delays aren't necessarily a bad thing (The Order 1886 could have been delayed a few months to fix, well, a lot), but the holiday season is looking thinner and thinner before we head into E3 in mid-June.
LOW RISK: A few of the largest holiday releases, including Assassin's Creed Victory, Forza Motorsport 6, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, are relatively low-risk at this point. Ubisoft churns out an Assassin's Creed every year (sometimes two) and Turn 10 Studios releases a Forza title every year like clockwork.
Just Cause 3 seems right on track as well given recent screenshots in February, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a fairly set release date of September 15, 2015. That doesn't mean I can't see The Phantom Pain being pushed a week or even a month, but if there is a delay for it, I don't anticipate it being delayed all the way to next year.
MEDIUM RISK: I would place Halo 5: Guardians on the lower end of the medium-risk tier for a delay despite its hard date of October 27, 2015. I don't think Microsoft can afford the game being moved back several months given that it's clearly Microsoft's flagship offering, though at the same time, I'm sure no one wants to see the multiplayer launch problems that Master Chief Collection had with Guardians. Hopefully, 343 Industries has a better pipeline for server testing, which it seems like it already has with the multiplayer beta.
Star Fox for Wii U, on the other hand, feels a bit nebulous at this moment given that it wasn't given any screen time in yesterday's Nintendo Direct. But I'm holding out that there will be at least a demo for the game at E3, in which case a holiday release would be right on track.
HIGH RISK: In high-risk territory for a release next year would be Gran Turismo 7 and Tom Clancy's The Division. Series creator Kazunori Yamauchi has stated before that this new-gen installment of the racing simulator would release in either 2015 or 2016, which to me seems to be merely breathing room for a 2016 release. Given Polyphony Digital's history of delaying Gran Turismo, I wouldn't be surprised at a pushback, though without Gran Turismo 7, Sony doesn't have too much slated for the holidays. In fact, there are several rumors saying that the game could be slated for a 2017 release, but I haven't found any verified source at the moment substantiating this.
For Tom Clancy's The Division, we have reports of an anonymous internal source at Ubisoft saying that the 2015 release date is "a tad bit optimistic as we still don't have a functional game." However, this quote is from a piece back in May 2014, so much could have changed since then. I would indeed be slightly shocked if both Tom Clancy titles were delayed to 2016, the other being Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, but the scope of the intended modern open world with fully-integrated multiplayer has all the dangerous markers for a delay.
Which video games do you think could see a delayed release to 2016?