The Last of Us and more: theories on new release dates

It cannot be said that all the years written by the history of the video game can be defined as successful, given that among the problems of expected productions and bankruptcy projects one can safely say that they have seen a bit of all colors. 2020, however, was full of ads related to this area, for then however suddenly sink. It was almost a goal, where all the previous projects would have managed to land, as well as the moment in which the eighth generation could have unhooked its latest videogame pearls. However, it is likely that we will remember this year more for its postponements than for the arrival of the next-gen, provided it manages to be finalized and commercialized. Coronavirus has decimated products (As The Last Of Us Part II) and the possibilities of this industry, bringing with it a fatal trail of deaths worthy of a real war, with the difference, however, that the enemy is not visible to the human eye.

We find ourselves witnessing postponements and problems day after day, while we are closed at home and we can only count on entertainment, which alas, is almost completely relegated to digital and increasingly imbued with various problems. Video games do not appear out of nowhere, they are professional developers who give life to the software that once opened becomes pure magic. However, the work environments are inaccessible, which forces smart working and in many cases the necessary slowdowns of the production plans of companies. Once this obstacle has been overcome, the situation still makes it difficult to release any product, due to logistic problems of various types (also in this case, let's take The Last of Us Part II as an example). So let's try to put the pieces of this puzzle in order, trying to make a prediction about what could happen in the near future.

There are referrals and referrals

This bleak domino of postponements began in late 2019, when the software houses began to postpone their products for one reason or another, in a chain that seems to have not yet seen its last link. In the various cases it was a question of actual problems in the workplace, while in other contexts we avoided meeting ruthless competitors with upcoming release dates, or simply wanting to get closer to the gates of the next generation. The causes of these postponements have been detailed in our article. We are talking about a period where the virus had not yet managed to make its appearance in our country, but the dozens of postponements had all overflowed a vase full of users' patience, which has been put to the test again in these days. What we are interested in analyzing today are therefore not the postponements completely unrelated to today's world problem, but those precisely linked - in one way or another - to the Coronavirus.

Today we will analyze the postponements related to the Coronavirus and the world problem

With the highly anticipated approaching Final Fantasy VII Remake, now close to release, the PlayStation 4 title park appeared ready to take off at the end, before giving way to the next flagship branded Sony. The last pieces of this majestic puzzle are The Last Of Us Part II e Ghost of Tsushima, but many cross-platform titles as well cyberpunk 2077 they are ready to be explored. Although the release date was now close, after a last postponement that seemed to have no successors, the work of N it was again postponed to a later date. It seems that the polishing work has already been completed in the development phase, as well as the preparation for the commercialization of the software. However, the production of physical copies - as well as of Collector's Editions - and the logistical problems that would lead to a decidedly truncated distribution of the product all over the world, forced the software house to make this decision, now official.

Why was The Last of Us Part II postponed?

The logistics situation is currently very complex and it is clear that Naughty Dog can't afford an understated launch for its new jewel, who takes the actual responsibility of continuing a story that is highly appreciated and defined by many as a masterpiece. We therefore wonder when this situation will actually be resolved, to allow us to continue our routine optimally and to let the world of video games take off again, at a time that is more useful than ever for the population.

In reality, the problem is not even so much about distribution: in 2020, with today's technology (despite this it would damage all retail sellers), Naughty Dog could have released the game digitally, making it reach virtually anywhere. The problem concerns the market share linked to the physicist, and Final Fantasy VII is clearly showing how it is risky approach these dynamics: the Square Enix game was in fact shipped early to avoid making it arrive late. This instead led some people to have it almost 10 days earlier, ruining the experience for those who did not receive it (not so much for the 10 days less, as for the spoilers that rage on the net). An experience like The Last of Us Part II, which is also based - and above all - on an intriguing narrative, cannot be marred by similar factors.

The light at the end of the tunnel

FF7 shows how risky it is to ship, having resulted in early deliveries and, consequently, unwanted spoilers

Fortunately, the situation is starting to improve, due to the restrictions taken and the forced quarantine imposed on all citizens. Analyzing the Chinese case, we can see how forced isolation and security measures have proved effective, allowing the country to start again, for some days now, to have a semblance of normal life. The measures taken by the government are starting to bear fruit, but we are not out of the problem yet. Unfortunately, however, the real doubt in these dynamics lies in America, where the video game market is, among other things, more flourishing than ever, but above all where the products we want to play come from: the virus has just begun its contagion process. , and it is therefore plausible that it will take a long time before the situation is able to stabilize in the best way.

Not having provided a new release date, it is clear that Naughty Dog wants to wait for an improvement that is anything but partial, which, however, could be closer than we imagine. Studying the numbers seen in China and Italy, it is easy to imagine the future scenario: except for economic or medical problems (which we cannot elaborate as we are neither economists nor doctors), a couple of months will have to pass before everything starts up again (and attention, it does not mean a return to normality, but a beginning of this process).

With a not too marked optimism it is therefore possible to consider this summer as the effective period of restart of the industrial sectors, and consequently the beginning of the general restart. Obviously the problem, taking the case of The Last of Us Part II is totally linked to logistics: although therefore we could be lucky and get out of this dark moment already at the end of June, before everything starts again for the best (and we can make estimates on the "fallen", economically speaking), more time will be needed to return to normal.

When does The Last of Us Part II come out?

It all leads to this question: when does Naughty Dog's new game come out? If we were to make an estimate, considering that it will still take some time to solve the problem, we have two dates in mind. The first, the more optimistic one, suggests an exit of the game around June July August: an internal note of Amazon highlights how they too will move the Prime Day towards August, just to encourage better sales compared to June. This means that the internet sales giant believes that distribution will be back to almost normal in August. So if all this could prove to be true, then in the meantime the production of copies of The Last of Us Part II could proceed, and bring the end of the summer as our date.

The Last of Us 2 could be released this summer, also given Amazon's forecast

From a technical point of view, a game of this magnitude is not afraid of the launch window (in the end we are talking about a highly anticipated title), but perhaps it could fear competitors like Cyberpunk 2077. For this reason we believe that the summer date is the best. In case things go wrong, there is our second date, which is autumn. October could prove to be the best month for the game's release: with no risk of aftermath or proximity to dark periods; the game could also be released on PlayStation 5 and thus become a cross-gen title to close the PlayStation 4 generation in style before moving on to the next one.

What about the rest? Other games, cinema, tv series

Obviously there is not only The Last of Us Part II: we already have in mind that Ghost of Tsushima will soon fall under the hammer of the postponement, leaving us a 2020 made only of backlogs and missed titles. God forbid, there are some games to finish, but certainly thinking of a 2020 that was starting very well and that instead fell under this terrible virus leaves a little bitterness. Probably therefore, the games that were supposed to come out starting from after Final Fantasy VII until July we will see them at the end of the year, all amassed in the last quarter of 2020 without giving us breath.

As for the cinema, many films have been postponed, but already seeing a Black Widow scheduled for November (resulting in the postponement of subsequent MCU films) suggests that, for the film industry, this problem will be completely solved at the end of the year. If we reflect on production, distribution and communication times, then it seems increasingly true that summer will mark the transition out of this period of isolation.

Finally, there is no shortage of TV series, also blocked due to the virus, which as happened years ago with the writers' strike, will probably have a prolonged hiatus that will make many seasons cut off or at the turn of two years.

We just have to see if these further videogame postponements will increase the quality of the works arriving on the shelves, possibly not only virtual, or if the lengthening of the development period will negatively affect the next products. While some studies like InXile Entertainment have considered the positive side of the situation more, it is clear that some productions are encountering obstacles that are difficult to overcome. Other developers may already begin in the meantime to work on post-launch support for the works they are forced to postpone, such as Naughty Dog itself, but a dilution of the work will lead to higher costs for the software, against which, in one way or in the ' else, we may have to interface as consumers.

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