Games Scheduled for 2023 Release That Probably Won’t Happen

Producing a video game is a lengthy process. This may come as a surprise, but video games take a long time to make because of all the work that goes into creating the systems, assets, and stories, as well as testing and balancing them. As a corollary, even when a company says it will release something, it doesn’t always deliver on that promise.

There are many potential causes of game development delays. Perhaps some final touches are needed on a title, or the publisher has requested a rewrite. To avoid wearing down employee morale with unrealistic expectations and unnecessary crunch, a studio may need to slow down at times. Game delays are impossible to predict, but we can make educated guesses.

Games Scheduled for 2023 Release That Probably Won’t Happen

Many eagerly awaited titles are scheduled for release in 2023, including some that have been waiting far too long. However, we should not get our hopes up too high. Some games have been pushed back so many times that we shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t see any progress on their development until next year. Some games have been sitting on supposed 2023 release dates for far too long without any public updates.

We present a list of titles that are rumored to be released this year but about which we are sceptical. We’d be thrilled if none of these forecasts came true, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if they did.


Skull & Bones

by Ubisoft
skull bones
by Ubisoft

Rare revealed their pirate simulator “Sea of Thieves” at E3 2015. Ubisoft released a competing game to Rare’s “Skull and Bones” two years later. A year later, in 2018, “Sea of Thieves” was released while “Skull and Bones” was left on the shelf. After all these years since it was first announced, the game still hasn’t left the dock.

There have been many setbacks for “Skull and Bones.” The game was scheduled for release in 2018, but Ubisoft pushed it back to sometime in 2019 or 2020. The developer skipped E3 2019 to concentrate on development, but the delay still occurred, this time stretching into the 2020-21 fiscal year (via Engadget). And once more into the following fiscal year, 2022-23.

As reported by IGN, Ubisoft eventually gave a release date of November 8, 2022, but the company pushed the release back again to March 9, 2023. Wishful thinking would have it end there.

Ubisoft rang in 2019 with some disappointing news. A company report stated that many unannounced games had been scrapped and that “Skull and Bones” had been pushed back to “early 2023-24.” It’s possible that the game will be released this year, though it’s more likely that it will come out next year.

Historical precedent suggests that the release of “Skull and Bones” will be delayed until at least 2024. Ubisoft may even decide to shelve or postpone development of the game until 2025. Since many 2022 Ubisoft games reportedly underperformed, resulting in falling market shares, you shouldn’t be surprised if the company finally cancels this pirate-themed sunk cost. “Skull and Bones” is a $120 million abyss.


Assassin’s Creed Mirage

by Ubisoft
Games Scheduled for 2023 Release That Probably Won't Happen
by Ubisoft

Ubisoft has gotten the most mileage out of the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise compared to any of its other properties. However, the strategy hampered future episodes and delayed the release date. Ubisoft reduced its ambitions after a string of underwhelming releases, which helped to reinvigorate the series. However, it looks like the company is reverting back to its old ways.

Ubisoft revealed a slew of new “Assassin’s Creed” titles, including “Assassin’s Creed Mirage,” in their September 2022 Ubisoft Forward stream. With this game, Assassin’s Creed is supposed to go back to its non-RPG roots while also explaining where Basim from “Valhalla” came from. The release of “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” is also planned for 2023, which seems like a long way off.

Ubisoft has released too many “Assassin’s Creed” games in recent months, making the market less desirable than it once was. In addition to “Mirage,” the studio is also working on “Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade,” “Assassin’s Creed Codename Red,” “Assassin’s Creed Codename Hexe,” and “Assassin’s Creed Infinity.”

Although “Mirage” was developed by Ubisoft Bordeaux, who is responsible for the rest of them? According to GDC 2018, Ubisoft’s core teams work on no more than four games at once. While Ubisoft’s resources may be stretched thin, prioritizing “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” will likely result in a more polished product that avoids the pitfalls of “Assassin’s Creed Unity.” Given Ubisoft’s recent fiscal year, which led to the cancellation of some titles and the delay of “Skull and Bones,” a delay may be in the company’s best interest, especially if it extends past the rumored June 2023 release date.



by Capcom
by Capcom

The PlayStation 5 reveal stream showcased the system and its games as best they could. Games like “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart,” “Forspoken” (previously “Project Athia”), and “Stray” were shown in the video for the first time. Capcom’s next project “Pragmata,” which was announced during the stream, will remain a secret for the rest of the year.

Although it didn’t give much away, the “Pragmata” trailer still managed to pique people’s interest. There was a lot to like about this show, including the android girl, the lunar colony metropolis, and the spacesuit-wearing protagonist (at least we think they’re the protagonist). Where did they even start? How would the gameplay look like, exactly? Capcom didn’t specify, and the developer remained silent until it announced the game’s delayed release to 2023. Not the most promising beginning.

We hope that “Pragmata” comes out this year, but we wonder why Capcom hasn’t shown more of the game. Meanwhile, “Exoprimal,” a newer upcoming Capcom title, has completed its own story arc. Fans were hoping for the long-awaited return of “Dino Crisis” when the game was announced, so it came as a letdown when a trailer released in 2022 made it clear that wasn’t the case.

Fans initially weren’t too keen on “Exoprimal,” but after seeing a few trailers, gameplay previews, and network tests, they’re starting to get excited. Capcom exerted considerable effort to demonstrate that the game was enjoyable, and that it would be ready for release in 2023. Capcom seems reluctant to talk about the game, perhaps because it won’t be ready by the new 2023 deadline.



by Bethesda
by Bethesda

Fans of Bethesda’s games can’t wait to get their hands on “Starfield.” Since Bethesda’s announcement in 2018, audiences have been looking forward to the game, but recent events have dampened enthusiasm. These changes have also caused us to reconsider whether “Starfield” is ready for release, though not because of anything new we’ve learned about the game itself but rather about the studio behind it.

Since “Fallout” and “The Elder Scrolls” have carried Bethesda for decades, the announcement of “Starfield” as the studio’s newest original intellectual property is exciting. But after the announcement trailer, Bethesda went silent until 2021, when they finally released a cinematic trailer that mainly just hinted at the game’s graphics engine.

The director, Todd Howard, compared “Starfield” to “Skyrim” in an interview with The Washington Post, piquing the interest of some gamers. To the year 2022, and Bethesda has finally released a gameplay trailer. Bethesda originally targeted a 2022 release date but pushed it back to 2023. There are new rumblings that “Starfield” has been pushed back again.

Leaks suggest that Starfield’s release date has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2023, but we know from experience that Bethesda games take much longer to mature than anyone anticipates (via Dexerto).

For example, “Fallout 76” was a hot mess upon its initial release and the result of an overbearing crunch. Workers at Bethesda needed two years to make a positive change to the game (via Kotaku). For fear of “Starfield” suffering the same fate as “Fallout 76,” Bethesda is likely to delay the game until 2024.


Ys X: Nordics

by Nihon Falcom
ys x nordics
by Nihon Falcom

The “Ys” franchise has been gaining steam as of late. With the release of “Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA” and “Ys IX: Monstrum Nox,” players were introduced to a previously unknown action JRPG. Although the franchise is still relatively unknown, it has been financially successful enough to warrant a new instalment. This was the intended course of action, at least.

Toshihiro Kondo, president of Nihon Falcom, said in an interview that the company planned to release “Ys X” in 2022 to mark the 35th anniversary of the series (via Noisy Pixel). The company settled for making an announcement instead. The only details we have thus far are the game’s name, “Ys X: Nordics,” and its general premise. Moreover, Nihon Falcom is targeting a 2023 release for the game across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch platforms.

With the “Ys” franchise’s meteoric rise in popularity, a Western release is inevitable, but will it come in 2023? Most likely not. We don’t know how long Nihon Falcom has been working on “Ys X,” but if “Sonic 06” is any indication, rushing games to meet an anniversary deadline is a bad idea.

Nihon has been working hard on Ys X since Ys IX came out, but it will take some time for it to be localised. We can expect a localised version several months after the Japanese launch, which could push the game’s release for non-Japanese audiences into 2024, unless Nihon Falcom plans a simultaneous worldwide release.


Metroid Prime 4

by Nintendo
metroid prime 4
by Nintendo

In general, Nintendo adheres to Shigeru Miyamoto’s maxim, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” Rarely does Nintendo rush a project to completion, but when it does, the results are usually disappointing (see: “Pokémon Scarlet/Violet”). When is enough time too much time?

When “Metroid Prime 4” was first announced, it was during Nintendo’s E3 2017 Direct. In 2019, we found out why it seemed like a black hole swallowed up all the news. It seems Nintendo wasn’t satisfied with the results from the first studio (widely assumed to be Bandai Namco) and decided to start over. This time around, Retro Studio—the developers of the first three “Metroid Prime” games—would be in charge.

There has been no official announcement of a release date for “Metroid Prime 4” from Nintendo, but retailers like Amazon have put forward a December 31, 2023, release date as a placeholder. This, however, is highly improbable. No visible progress has been made despite Retro Studio’s official takeover of the project in 2019.

On the other hand, Nintendo probably meant it when they said they’d be “restarting development from the beginning” after the baton pass to the next developer. Neither the gameplay nor the story elements from the original game will be included in Retro Studios’ version. The majority of the company’s time up to this point has probably been spent on brainstorming ideas for the designers’ and programmers’ final products. While a release in 2023 would be fantastic, it seems unlikely at this point.


Mina the Hollower

by Yacht Club Games
mina the hollower
by Yacht Club Games

The pixelated platformer “Shovel Knight,” originally a Kickstarter project, served as Yacht Club Games’ introduction to the world. The studio once again turned to Kickstarter to fund the development of its latest title, “Mina the Hollower,” but we are sceptical that it will be able to meet its promised release date.

Powered by chiptunes and a Game Boy Color’s limited colour palette, “Mina the Hollower” was pitched by Yacht Club Games as a hybrid of classic “The Legend of Zelda” and “Castlevania” games.

These promises, coupled with Yacht Club’s track record of releasing critically acclaimed games, led to a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in over $1 million (full disclosure, I was one of the backers). Although 2023 was given as a release year by Yacht Club Games, when has a Kickstarter video game ever been delivered on time?

For various reasons, Kickstarter-funded video games almost never make it to store shelves by the estimated delivery dates. Both “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night” and “Darkest Dungeon” were delayed from their original release dates; Igarashi’s game was supposed to come out in March 2017, but it didn’t come out until March 2019.

In the case of “Shovel Knight,” Yacht Club Games announced a September 2013 release date during its crowdfunding campaign, but the game didn’t actually come out until June 2014. Given this history, it’s almost certain that “Mina the Hollower” will not be released in December 2023, as promised by the Kickster. A one-month delay would still see the game released in 2024, though that’s probably being optimistic.


Hollow Knight: Silksong

by Team Cherry
hollow knight silksong
by Team Cherry

Not many people had high hopes for “Hollow Knight,” and its eventual success was widely anticipated to be modest at best. Considering the developer is new and has no track record yet, the game was originally funded through Kickstarter. Team Cherry, the studio responsible for the critically acclaimed and commercially successful game “Hollow Knight,” has, ironically, yet to reach all of the project’s stretch goals.

The much-anticipated sequel “Hollow Knight: Silksong” will allow players to take control of Hornet, a mainstay and eventual boss from the original game. Although the aforementioned downloadable content (DLC) was planned for this sequel at first, Team Cherry announced in 2019 that they were changing course and expanding the minigame mode into its own game.

The most recent information about the game did not come from Team Cherry but rather Microsoft, as a trailer for the game was included in the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022. Eventually, Microsoft’s social media account confirmed that “Hollow Knight: Silksong” would be released no later than June 12, 2023, via Tweet. However, do you think that’s a doable objective?

Game journalist Geoff Keigley mentioned in a 2022 AMA that he has stayed in touch with Team Cherry and that they were severely affected by the Covid pandemic. He didn’t go into specifics, but he did point out that Team Cherry is a relatively unknown indie studio, so they had to take their time.

After hearing what Keigley had to say, I began to view the June 12, 2023, release date as more of a wishful goal than a firm commitment, and one that might be delayed until 2024 in light of Team Cherry’s modest size. Here’s hoping the production company can avoid doing so.

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