The Annual Delays Begin with Dragon Age and Battlefield: Hardline

Why EA delayed two of their biggest games of the season, and what delays to expect in the coming months.

Word hit a couple hours ago that EA would be Dragon Age: Inquisition to November 18 and Battlefield: Hardline all the way to 2015, putting them at the forefront of the usual round of delays that hit around the fall.

No one can say that they're surprised to see Battlefield get pushed back. Despite EA's best efforts, the beta was by and large met with a wave of yawns from the press and fans alike. A few have likened it to a mod for Battlefield 4. With stiff competition expected from Destiny this holiday, it was a prime candidate for 2015.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is a more interesting case. Originally set for October 7, it shared a release date with at least six other games, including Alien: Isolation and the similarly-themed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Inquisition is the biggest name of the bunch, so it presumably would have done just fine, but it nevertheless makes sense for EA to push it back a month. In truth, October is already absolutely packed, with big releases like Super Smash Bros., NBA 2K, Borderlands, Evolve, and Sunset Overdriver all vying for attention.

Could Driveclub be delayed as well? With the glut of racing games this fall, it's a prime candidate.

By moving Inquisition to November, EA gets a bit of breathing space for its big fall release, though it will still face competition from the likes of Far Cry 4 and Pokemon. It also gives BioWare a bit more time to kill a few more bugs, maximize their marketing, and generally make sure that it doesn't suffer the same backlash as Dragon Age II. Every little bit helps, I guess.

As time goes on, I would expect a few more games to get pushed back into the spring, as usually happens around this time of year. Driveclub is a prime candidate given the competition is will likely face from The Crew and Forza: Horizon. Evolve, Sunset Overdrive, and Alien: Isolation could all be pushed back as well for various reasons, leaving March and April packed and beginning the cycle again. At this point, the only real breath gamers get from the typical release schedule is in the summer, when they would presumably have more time to play. The game industry can be a strange place sometimes.

The biggest positive to take from today's news is that Visceral might have the time to rethink Battlefield: Hardline and make it something more than a mod. If its released in May or June, it may even draw in shooter fans desperate for something to play over the summer while they wait for the inevitable Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

In the meantime, the fall has gotten the tiniest bit lighter, and game reviewers can rejoice for having one less game to worry about during what looks to be a packed release season.

Tagged with Analyses, delays, Dragon Age, Electronic Arts.

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