Could 2022 be a bad year for video games? In any case, this is what we can fear following the recent postponement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 : The Heart of Chernobyl, a highly anticipated FPS for Xbox Series X owners. Initially scheduled for April 28, the game was finally pushed back to December 8.. So, are we right to be concerned?
Omicron, a highly contagious variant
It has been almost 2 years to the day that the global coronavirus pandemic has poisoned our lives. The latest manifestation of Covid-19, the Omicron variant, has been declared of particular concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). Easily transmitted, this variant is now present in 128 countries around the world. Omicron could even infect more than 50% of the European population in the next 8 weeks.
It is this transmission of the virus at high speed that alarms us, because it has led to a worrying and sudden increase in hospitalizations. However, recent experience has shown us that if health systems do not hold up, all sectors of activity would suffer – including video games.
Despite the various measures taken by the authorities to stem the spread of the virus (vaccination, promotion of barrier gestures), the situation has not fundamentally changed.
Major games postponed to 2023?
While the year 2022 is supposed to welcome titles as expected as God of War RagnarökWhere The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild 2, the question now arises of their maintenance in this exit window.
As an indication, the report of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 : The Heart of Chernobyl was posed in these terms by its developer:
These extra months of development were necessary to fully accomplish our vision and reach the desired level of the game. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is the biggest project in GSC’s history and it requires more testing and polishing phases. We are convinced that the design should take the time it needs, especially in the case of such a project.
Through this extract, we can fear a series of complications in the development of the most ambitious games. The level of detail required on the largest productions on the market involves the use of numerous human resources. The emergence of the Omicron variant has undermined its forces, forcing publishers and developers to constantly adapt.
Can the video game world afford to seek a compromise, torn between obligation of results and management of the health crisis? This year will be full of lessons on the subject…
The most anticipated releases in 2022
January 28: Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo Switch)
February 18: Horizon Forbidden West (PS4, PS5)
February 25: Elden Ring (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)
During March : GTA V (PS5, Xbox Series X)
May 24: Forspoken (PC, PS5)
November 11th : Starfield (PC, Xbox Series X)
Current 2022: Bayonetta 3 (Nintendo Switch), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Nintendo Switch), God of War Ragnarök (PS4, PS5)