Fourteen Games That I Predict Are (Probably) Going to Miss 2019
Though 2019 has only just started, not everything can make the cut and release this year. So, these are my predictions for what I think is coming later.
If you are developing a game, whether it be a development team of under ten people or a hugely expensive title spanning several worldwide offices, it’s likely that your game is going to be delayed. Whether it be because of missed milestones, a packed release week, or you’re a billion dollar company that didn’t have the proper manufacturing set up, delays happen.
In light of the beginning of 2019 and everyone discussing their most anticipated titles that could come this year, I wanted to have some fun and make predictions on what games might end up coming next year instead of coming in 2019 as originally-planned.
Just before we get into the list below, not that these aren’t any kind of hard confirmations that these titles are actually delayed or getting pushed beyond 2019 – these are just my best guesses, more than anything else:
Atomic Heart by Mundfish: Unknown developers surprising with impressive trailers for upcoming projects are sometimes prone to release a couple of years after their initial window, and I don’t think Atomic Heart will be any different. The developer has no prior games under their belt save for a VR experience set in the same universe as Atomic Heart that released on Steam in July 2018.
Debuting with a trailer in May 2018 where everyone described it as a Bioshock-like–whatever that means nowadays–there have been pretty consistent updates on Atomic Heart since then. However, the game pitched on their website has multiple large regions as well as underground facilities, and screenshots that appear destined to have the usual backlash of graphical “downgrades” that might occur. The game is super ambitious and does look impressive, but I guarantee we’ll be playing this in 2020 or beyond.
Control by Remedy Entertainment: Oh Remedy. What would a Remedy title be without a long development period? The gap between Max Payne 2 to Alan Wake was seven years, with six separating Alan Wake and Quantum Break.
Control began development sometime before Quantum Break’s release on April 5, 2016 and was announced at Sony’s E3 conference in June 2018. While it appears to be pretty far along in development, as evidenced by playable demos that have appeared since the announcement, I don’t doubt Remedy will find some way to continue working on the game into 2020.
In the Valley of Gods by Campo Santo: This is the studio’s sophomore game and was announced at The Game Awards 2017, but the company was subsequently acquired by Valve in April 2018. While they are still be able to retain their direction within Valve, this also affords them the chance to spend more time on the game, which they will probably want as to not repeat the Firewatch framerate issue on PS4 back when it first launched.
While the game is currently a PC exclusive I see no reason why, with Valve’s backing now, they wouldn’t work towards a simultaneous console release (as well as PC) sometime in 2020.
Verdict: Very Likely
Journey to the Savage Planet by Typhoon Studio: This game just reeks of delay. The first game from a studio founded by developers from other large companies, they’ll now be working within the confines of a smaller studio without the same deep pockets as Ubisoft or EA.
All we have is a cinematic trailer from The Game Awards 2018 for what will presumably be an open-world game, the type of game that requires tons of work to get right. I would expect this to be quickly shuffled out of releasing in 2019.
The Outer Worlds by Obsidian Entertainment: Strangely similar to the previous entry in that both are space exploration titles, this comes from Obsidian who have a large portfolio of games and the backing of Take-Two’s new internal publishing team Private Division. This will also be their first FPS since Fallout: New Vegas, and is headed up by two of the major Fallout developers.
Obsidian are a talented team, but have mostly been making isometric RPGs for the past few years and were just acquired by Microsoft. While that won’t affect the release of this game on platforms other than Xbox One and Windows, it does mean internal changes must be happening to create what will presumably be a game for the next Xbox console. I think Obsidian’s ambition for this game may not be as high as their cancelled Stormlands, an Xbox One game during Microsoft’s Kinect-pushing days, but nonetheless will (likely) require a push back to next year.
The Pathless by Giant Squid: Revealed during The Game Awards 2018, this is Giant Squid’s second game after 2016’s Abzu. While that game was very much Journey-like, a given due to Matt Nava’s work with Thatgamecompany, The Pathless is very different as an open-world adventure game set in a forest that must be cleansed of darkness.
While Abzu was a straightforward underwater exploration game, The Pathless has combat, an eagle companion, large enemies, and a massive open-world instead of sequences of areas within levels. All of this means that I don’t think this will come in 2019.
Psychonauts 2 by Double Fine: This is one of those crowdfunded games that I won’t believe is real until it’s available for purchase and download on a platform. 2019 will apparently bring us the long-awaited Shenmue 3 and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but could it possibly have all three crowdfunded darlings? I doubt it.
It’s already been over three years since Psychonauts 2‘s announcement for funding in 2015, and development was already sidetracked with the VR title Rhombus of Ruin that released in 2017. Publisher Starbreeze has also fallen on hard times, with a filing for reconstruction in December 2018, CEO and board members stepping down, and topping off with police raids due to insider trading. Yikes.
With all that being the case, I would expect Psychonauts 2 to find funding elsewhere for a non-2019 release.
Verdict: Very Likely
Skull & Bones by Ubisoft: Since many Ubisoft studios work on nearly every major game within the company, it can be hard to tell whether or not this title from Ubisoft Singapore–the first project from the studio as a lead–will have any effect on its release.
Given that this game will draw heavily from naval combat in the Assassin’s Creed games they already have a base to work from, and it’s already been delayed into 2019 from a late 2018 window. However, given the disappointment surrounding Sea of Thieves and the asset-flipped Atlas, whose trailer seemed aimed squarely at those disappointed in Sea of Thieves only to find themselves duped, maybe Ubisoft will want to push this farther from those and put more things to do in their own pirate game.
Battletoads by Dlala Studios: Much like Metroid Prime 4, all we have is a title card for this game, on top of the developer having never worked on something of this size before.
That means there is no way this is coming out this year.
Verdict: Very Likely
Minecraft Dungeons by Mojang: The next game from Mojang that was announced at MineCon 2018, Minecraft Dungeons will be a dungeon-crawler set in the Minecraft world. It appears to be dropping the creative aspect of Minecraft in favor of loot progression.
I think there is a chance this will end up becoming a separate mode in Minecraft instead of an independent product as they continue to work on it, making it playable at MineCon 2019 before finally becoming playable in early 2020.
Dreams by Media Molecule: Look, this game has been in development since before the reveal of the PlayStation 4. You know what else was shown at that reveal event? Deep Down. Where is that game? Nobody knows.
Verdict: Stuck in a Dream State
MediEvil by Other Ocean Interactive: Originally teased at PSX 2017 and then formally announced in October 2018, this remake is a from-the-ground-up reimagining of the original PS1 game a la Spyro Reignited Trilogy and last year’s Shadow of the Colossus remake.
Other Ocean’s latest work include Rick and Morty: Virtual Rickality, Minecraft on the New Nintendo 3DS, #IDARB, and Thimbleweed Park, making this one of the largest games they have solely worked on. With such a long period between its tease and announcement, as well as Sony’s lackluster 2019 lineup so far, I expect we’ll see this game at PSX whenever it happens with a delay out of 2019.
Verdict: Very Likely
The Last of Us Part II by Naughty Dog: Naughty Dog can do whatever they want, so why not push this game even further into the nebulous future. Without an E3 this year from Sony, that means The Last of Us isn’t going to get another big stage presence until (presumably) later in the year, if PSX returns. Or maybe they’ll just announce a release date with a PlayStation Blog post, and that’ll be that.
I think much like the first Last of Us, this will be the final big game for the PlayStation 4, as the rest of the internal developers work on the next console’s games. With the studio also looking to hire a bunch of people to help work on the game recently, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this delayed to next year.
Verdict: Very Likely
Death Stranding by Kojima Productions: The cult of Kojima is in awe of every tweet, every breath, every movie watched. And so Kojima will continue to spend time abroad visiting famous movie people, collaborating with Kanye on the hottest verses of his next album, and go on to win best director at The Game Awards 2019 for his grocery haul vlog. This game exists in the space between spaces and could appear at anytime, truthfully.
However, Kojima claimed the game would be out prior to the year Akira is set (2019) back in 2016 and that didn’t happen, so obviously internal goals have already been missed. Until then, keep frothing for more info and deciphering tweets that end up just being quotes from trailers.
Verdict: No Place for Hideo