With only a month and a bit to go 'til we ring in the new year, Annapurna Interactive this week announced that their remaining slate of 2020 releases will no longer launch this year. 12 Minutes, The Artful Escape and Last Stop have instead been pushed back to next year - and while the publishers haven't given specifics over the trio of delays, they reckon the final stages of polishing all three can't be wrapped before the turning of the calendar.
Now, Annapurna don't directly name Covid-19 in yesterday's delay announcement. But considering its role in pretty much every other game release this year, I wouldn't be shocked if the devs of each delayed title needed the extra adjustment period to wrap up their games.
some news: you may have seen a very broad 2020 release window for The Artful Escape, 12 Minutes,
and Last Stop in trailers or on store pages in the past
so it's almost December and the end of the year
we're looking at 2021 now as they all get closer to getting ready! :)
— Annapurna Interactive (@A_i) November 18, 2020
While all three had vague 2020 release plans, it's been a while since we really heard from any of them. 12 Minutes is the biggest, I reckon, a time-loop home invasion story sporting voices from Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy. They'll be chatting over a thriller that sees you reliving the same few minutes over and over until you break out, Groundhog Day style.
Last Stop, meanwhile, is the next game from Virginia developers Variable State - a much chattier follow-up that follows three characters on a supernatural romp through London. Finally, The Artful Escape is a properly stylish musical platformer about riffing across spectacular worlds to boot your stage fright off the setlist.
It sounds like all three are fairly close to completion, mind. I'm expecting "early" to be slapped onto that 2021 release window. And while I mentioned the outbreak earlier, it may also simply be that we're in the middle of an absolutely packed release period, one that'd easily drown out smaller titles like these amongst all the Cyberpunks and Assassin's Creeds.
In the meantime, you can catch all three games over on their respective Steam pages. Or you could check out If Found, another very good Annapurna-published game wot's in the running for a prize at The Game Awards next month.