When CD Projekt Red announce a Cyberpunk 2077 release date, they plant a neon battle banner on the calendar and shouting “FIGHT ME, COWARDS” at other developers. Most, sensibly, decline to. The makers of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries had planned to launch its first DLC on December 10th but, well, that’s the date Cyberpunk is now due. So rather than fight a colossal mech built of neon tubing, sheet glass, and garish merch, Piranha Games have decided to delay Heroes Of The Inner Sphere. It’s now due in spring 2021 – assuming Cyberpunk 2077 is not delayed again.
“Any developer wants their titles to get as much attention as possible, and obviously sharing a release date with Cyberpunk was less than optimal,” Piranha Games said in the announcement. “Day one sales and marketing are so important to a successful product launch, and we believe that rescheduling our release date will allow MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries to have the opportunity and attention it deserves.”
Rather than just bump Inner Sphere DLC back a few weeks, they’re sending it back months then using that extra time to prepare for a wider-reaching launch. It sounds like they’re planning to bring MW5 to Xboxes, Steam, and GOG around the same time (it’s currently exclusive to Epic Correction: and Microsoft Store), backed by their “largest marketing initiative to date, bringing as many new eyes to the MechWarrior franchise as possible.” They add that they’ll also use the extra time “to add improvements and quality of life features to the base game, including AI, UI, art, customisation, and content.” The lengthy delay might not be the best for current players, who could benefit from new features and content now, but I can see the business argument for it.
“We understand that this news is not ideal for those that have been waiting to purchase the game on Steam or another platform, or for those that have been ready to dive into Heroes Of The Inner Sphere, but we promise that the wait will be worth it,” Piranha say.
The DLC, when it arrives, will add new mechs, new weapons, new warzones, new quests, new missions, and so on. All of which sounds good. I have kept meaning to get around to MW5, after playing so much MW2 Mercs way back when. I hear good things about this one.
“If you’ve been waiting for a full-on simulation with all the bells and textbooks, and nothing less will satisfy you, MechWarrior 5 isn’t going to cut it,” Sin Vega said in our MechWarrior 5 review. “For everyone else though, it’s bloody excellent.”
The action-RPG Path Of Exile also delayed an expansion to avoid Cyberpunk. I’m sure many more games have tried to duck it, though not all of them openly name the cause.