Your grand ambitions to build out a shiny new supervillain hideout will have to wait a bit, it seems. Rebellion, prolific developer and steward of the Sniper Elite series, has announced that Evil Genius 2: World Domination is being delayed to the first half of 2021 due to difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to work from home.
Evil Genius 2, which is set to follow in the campy real-time strategy footsteps of its predecessor, will be the first proper sequel in the series since Elixir Studios and Vivendi released the original in 2004. After buying the rights to the franchise in 2006, Rebellion produced a few Facebook and mobile games using the license, but Evil Genius 2 is shaping up to be a fully fledged PC strategy title. It just needs a bit more time.
"We had originally planned for Evil Genius 2 to launch this year," says Rebellion in a statement attributed to co-founders Chris and Jason Kingsley. "However, the impact of COVID-19, transitioning from the studio to our homes and adapting to new ways of working all contributed to this difficult decision."
In Rebellion's case, the decision to delay the release to 2021 is entirely its own since it's self-publishing. "One of the things we prize most about Rebellion is our independence, which allows us the freedom to do what's right for our games and our staff," the Kingsleys write. "We'll announce a final release date as soon as we can. Expect an update sooner rather than later."
Evil Genius 2 is the latest in a growing list of games that have been pushed to next year, joining the likes of Halo Infinite, Deathloop, Amazon's MMO New World, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2. While many games that were aiming for 2020 launches have ended up needing more time due to the pandemic, there are likely more delays to come (on top of internal delays we may never hear about). In a recent Game Developers Conference survey, about a third of the workers polled say that COVID-19 has led to delays, and 39% say they've also started working longer hours from home. Titles originally planned for 2021 may lag behind much more.