Previously planned to launch on August 22, Middle-earth: Shadow of War has been delayed by Warner Bros. to give the open world action game more time in development. Shadow of War will now launch on October 10, leading into this year’s holiday season.
The Middle-earth: Shadow of War team at Monolith Productions apologized for the delay, but promised that fans will be pleased with the results:
“Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands gameplay in every dimension, including the massive open world, the story, the RPG systems, and personal player stories of the Nemesis System. As with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith is committed to delivering the highest quality experience. In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise.
We understand that it might be disappointing to have to wait a little longer for the release and are sorry for the delay, but we are working hard to make an amazing game. We’re excited to show more at E3.”
Although Warner Bros. does not hold its own press conference, sans should expect to see Shadow of War pop up in at least one console manufacturer keynote, likely Sony’s PlayStation 4 keynote on Monday, June 12. On top of that, the game should have a presence on the E3 show floor, where WBIE will have a large booth set up.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War will now launch worldwide on Oct. 10, 2017. Read the full statement here: https://t.co/kclXX4GHzA
— Shadow of War (@shadowofwargame) June 1, 2017
While Monolith cites its promise of extreme quality for the delay, WB likely considered timing in its decision. August may not typically be a popular month for game releases, but there are several major titles hitting during the month, including Sonic Mania, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Agents of Mayhem, and Yakuza Kiwami. Releasing in early fall also puts games against Destiny 2, which could have a lot of sustaining power when it releases in early September.
October, on the other hand, is relatively light thus far. Outside of South Park: The Fractured But Whole there aren’t many games releasing during the month, which leaves plenty of room to capture at least a week’s worth of attention. That being said, E3 is right around the corner and there are likely to be a few games announced for October release dates. The new Assassin’s Creed game is rumored for a late October, for example, which could put Shadow of War up against a game in a similar genre.
Regardless of competition, it’s clear that the game needed more time and it’s a good thing that WB is giving Monolith that time. Delaying games is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War launches on October 10 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.