Phoenix Point delayed until summer next year

phoenix-point-delayed

Delay time, gang. The sci-fi shellfish of XCOM bodysnatcher Phoenix Point won’t be scuttling out of the development ocean in December, as developer Snapshot Games once estimated. Instead, the crab-killing strategy game will now emerge in June 2019, says studio head Julian Gollop. This is so Snapshot can “expand the team and maintain our focus on quality”, as he explains in an announcement and in the video below.

“People’s expectations are higher,” he says, “our team is growing, and Phoenix Point has become a bigger game. In order to realise this potential we need to push back the target release date to June 2019.”

He also takes the chance to humblebrag about the large numbers of pre-orders the game has garnered (remember gang, if someone offers you a pre-order, just say no) and cites all the goo-goo eyes it has been getting from the press. I count at least one of my eyes among these, but the other will remain squinting until it sees the management side of the crabpocalypse.

As for growing the team at the studio, Gollop admits that they’ve been sluggish to expand but still wants to hire more.

To be honest, this has been a slower process than I wanted, but I felt that we needed the best talent that we could find. I am glad to say that we now have 35 great developers in our Sofia studio, and as a consequence of our recent, excellent exposure we are attracting offers of help from game developers around the world.

There’s also a new preview build, he points out, which will be emailed to anyone who has backed the project. If that’s you, you’ll be glad to learn that they’ve “Fixed an issue causing the first person targeted shots to be fired in the wrong direction.”

No more backwards bullets. That’s progress.

31 Comments

  1. Eleven says:

    Sorry, I know pre-orders are frowned upon in this parish, but Julian Gollop said the magic words “New Game” and I instinctively threw my wallet at the screen.

    • klops says:

      Same. I am frowning upon pre-orders as well, but in this case? Same. Previously I’ve only pre-ordered L4D2, since I knew what was coming because of L4D and a playable demo.

      Gollop has proven his skills at making great games (including the best game in the world) more than twenty years ago and I loved the latest one, Chaos Reborn. I think that every Gollop game I’ve ever played has been a game I’ve enjoyed and even respected very much. (to be honest, I can’t think of any other golloproducts played by me than UFO:EU, X-Com Apocalypse, Chaos reborn and that wego, asynchronous, three-way tactics email game. That’s still a ridiculously great list)

    • Bull0 says:

      I don’t think it’s right in this case to put people off preordering, as without the preorders (fig backers) this wouldn’t be being made at all

    • Solgarmr says:

      Really no pre ordering, pre ordering in this instance is more of an extension of the Fig crowd fund.

    • Madxav says:

      I mean, how can you say no to Julian Gollop?!

  2. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    Man, I really, really want this one to be good. Hopefully ‘delay for polish’ actually means that, rather than ‘our private development quagmire hell can no longer be fully concealed’.

    Waiting because it isn’t ready yet is OK by me; but it would be a great shame if it’s a delay-then-more-delay-then-zombie-status.

  3. Dominic Tarason says:

    Having played this at Rezzed, and more once they sent me the demo build to try at home, I’m happy with the delay. At first glance the game may look very like modern XCom, but under the hood they’ve recently added a few big game-changing features that are going to need a lot of iteration and tuning.

    The biggest thing is Valkyria Chronicles style manual aiming. Gone are to-hit rolls. Instead, you just get a visual cone of fire. It changes *how* you shoot. At range, you want to aim for center-mass with automatic weapons to get the most hits, while snipers aim for particular body parts and can even shoot around shields.

    It just needs polish and better integration into the animation system. While XCom got away with characters limbs poking through level geometry, every visible piece of meat is now a viable target to shoot manually and needs to be constrained.

    Full locational damage is also on human characters (you can have the gun shot out of your hands if unlucky, but it’ll take the hit for you and cost you no HP), full inventories, an old-school action point system, etc etc.

    Plus they plan for up to 16-man squads with drivable vehicles, so yeah, there’s a lot of ambition and a lot of stuff only recently added to the game.

    • lordcooper says:

      This all sounds very nice, but can I just strap guns all over my soldier’s bodies to serve as a rudimentary yet highly effective form of armour?

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        Kinda, yes. I’ve seen the weapon pods on heavy troopers take what would otherwise be deadly hits, although it’s still a bad thing when a crab-man tears off your missile launcher.

        There’s also the Technician class (not in the demo, but shown in a lot of shots) who has a bunch of robot arms that presumably also can soak damage.

    • Ghostwise says:

      What you describe smells perilously like scope creep.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        For the most part this was stuff that was on the drawing board from before they even started crowdfunding. The very first concept screenshots show mockups of the aiming system. They’ve just made it more granular.

        It’s also a big deal mechanically so yeah, it needs time. I’d much rather this be something distinct than another mechanical copy-paste from modern XCom. I mean, XCom is great and all, but it already exists and has expansions and a mod scene and all that jazz.

        • Sakkura says:

          If I were to pick anyone to figure out which new systems or mechanics to add to an XCOMalike, it’d be Julian Gollop. And the preview build does look pretty nice already.

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      Earl-Grey says:

      Ooooh, I like the sound of this.
      Like that steampunk XCOM-like for the 3DS that I can’t remember the name of right now (great game though).

      Shame the game looks so dreary and dark, but I’m going to sink a lot of time into this if it lives up to the hype.

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        Earl-Grey says:

        And Steamworld Heist, for crying out loud.

        I really like it when dice rolling is minimized in games like these, as the “unfairness” of the dice can be very …challenging to my patience.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      I guess my concern here is that it might end up being quite… laborious. 16 person squads, where you have to manually aim every single time they shoot, presumably the missions will take hours?

      • Darloth says:

        If it defaults to center-mass, you’ll usually only adjust it when you’re shooting at something in heavy cover (why are you shooting at something in heavy cover, are you desperate for a lucky hit?) or at something with a particular target.

        That wouldn’t be too bad, I think?

    • BlankedyBlank says:

      But are they going to add the underwater levels that were the next (unrealised) stretch goal on Fig? They’ve said they have made a boat load since the campaign on pre-orders, so I’ve got my fingers crossed, yet still don’t want to get my hopes up.

      Maybe you could shoot them a friendly email about it, ey Dom? ;)

    • Raoul Duke says:

      How rigid is the class system?

      If one soldier goes down, can another one pick up his/her weapons?

      I absolutely hate this aspect of the new XCOM, as well as the lack of free aim.

  4. Wormerine says:

    That’s alright. Deadfire seems to have a lot of content to go through, and XCOM2 has been smiling at me for a while now asking for another playthrough.

    Regardig PP – I like what i see so far. If they inroduce a way to increase initial fig pledge i might even throw a bit more cash at them.

    • Premium User Badge

      Earl-Grey says:

      I’m afraid to start playing Pillars 2.
      Right now I’m down the rabbit hole of Battletech and it can wreck havoc with my bedtime.
      -After all, who will lead Mjolnir (We strike fast and hard!) to glory if not me?
      Which in turn makes me, Family Dad, less than cheerful the next day.

      I’m sure Pillars will fuck me up right proper.

      • Wormerine says:

        Take your time. A lot of things to like, but a lot of things to fix. If it will get as much post launch love as PoE1 got, it might become a gem. Its already a gem, but has a bit of poop on it.

    • Madxav says:

      Yep, many have been asking for a way to increase the fig reward tier, and they say they are working on it. Apparently it’s not as easy as it sounds.

  5. chuckieegg says:

    Oh, I can remember back in the day waiting with an aching heart while the release of Magic&Mayhem was pushed back. That turned out alright.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    While this comment adds nothing to the discussion, I’m glad to see that most of the comments here are supportive of the dev and not just shouting about crowdfunding refunds and this and that. Good job, RPS commenters!

    • caff says:

      Yeah I’d echo this. Good to see some positive and understanding vibes.

      I saw the Phoenix Point demo at Rezzed and it looks amazing. Gollop’s talk on the factions and world map strategy had me hooked. More than happy to wait for it all.

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    Well, it stings less now than it would have in, say, November.

  8. DanMan says:

    Hmmm. Bummer. Now I’m glad I surrendered into finally buying XCOM2 last week instead of waiting for this. I was thinking it’s just more of the same – which it kinda is, but it’s also different enough, I suppose. I find it a lot more difficult though, and the stuff I’m looking forward to in PP (heh) is exactly what’s missing and grinding my gears in XC2, like why can those snake things grab me through walls? WTF, Firaxis?

  9. Caiman says:

    Having played the backer beta, I’m perfectly fine with the delay. The brief taste from the beta shows Julian is onto something special here, it really feels like an evolution of the original X-Com (sorry, UFO: Enemy Unknown) and has very little to do with the Firaxis version other than a couple of superficial UI similarities. So yes, please take the time to get it right and this’ll be another classic Gollop game.

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