PLAY LIFE, LIVE GAMES: COVID-19 delays PlayStation flagship title
From the cancellation of trade shows like E3 to most developers now working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the video game industry as much as it has everything else.
Possibly the pandemic’s biggest impact, at least so far, came last week when Sony announced the indefinite delays of “Iron Man VR” and “The Last of Us Part 2.”
“Iron Man VR” was scheduled for release May 15, while “The Last Of Us Part 2” was due to launch May 29
The delays were blamed on the manufacture and distribution of the physical disc versions of the titles not being available for worldwide distribution.
“If we just get it to a small fraction of people, what about all the people that don’t get it?” game director Neil Druckmann said on a recent Official PlayStation Blogcast. “Right now we’re looking at all sorts of different options: What’s the best way to get it to all of our fans as soon as possible? But that’s gonna take time for us to shift and figure things out, and also see where the world’s at. You know, things are changing from day to day.”
Earlier this week Sony started sending out automatic refunds to people who had preordered the digital edition of either game.
I’m not surprised that “The Last of Us Part 2” has been delayed. I am a little surprised that PlayStation is saying the delay is because of distribution challenges, though.
The original “The Last of Us” is one of my all time favorite games. The bulk of the game takes place about 20 years after virus outbreak ravages the world. In the game, you play as Joel, who has to transport a teenager who might be the key to curing the pandemic across the country to some scientists.
It is a dark story with difficult choices. And as much as I’m looking forward to playing the sequel (it is my most anticipated game of the year), and as desperate as people are for a distraction from what’s going on in the real world, I don’t think now is the time to release a game that is focused on infections, pandemics and quarantine zones.
With “The Last of Us Part 2” now delayed indefinitely, I think it would be smart of Sony to immediately start working on upgrading the game to the PlayStation 5, which is still scheduled to be released this holiday season, and release the game simultaneously on both systems.
Dusty Ricketts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2," “Friday the 13th: The Game” and “Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.” You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.