After re-emerging from development hell earlier this year, Ubisoft's reboot of The Settlers has now plunged back into its murky depths with another delay. Ubisoft cite feedback from the recent closed beta in January as the main reason behind this further postponement, and have rather worryingly decided to delay its launch until an undisclosed "later date".
"The recent Closed Beta was a great opportunity for all participating players to share valuable feedback regarding the current state of the game, and we’d like to thank you for your involvement. As we went through this feedback, it became clear to our team that the quality wasn’t yet in line with the team’s vision. Therefore, we took the decision to postpone the launch of the game to a later date," the post reads.
The post goes on to say that the extra time "will be used to further improve the game and push quality as our main priority for all our players", but doesn't specify exactly how long that will be - only that we'll get more info about the game's next milestones "in due time".
As someone with no real connection to Settlers games of yore, I quite enjoyed what I played of its Skirmish mode in the closed beta, saying that "there's a real sense of hustle and bustle going on" as you watch your little town grow and expand, even if "the factions' unique traits never really made themselves apparent". I was also intrigued to see how the campaign would fare by comparison, but I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer before we can properly find out.
This will be the third major delay of Ubisoft's RTS city-builder, and the second time it's been postponed indefinitely. First announced at Gamescom in 2018, The Settlers was originally slated to come out in 2019, before slipping to the latter half of 2020. Then, in July 2020, it was delayed "until further notice", once again in response to fan feedback. Will The Settlers finally see the light of day before the end of 2022? Here's hoping.
A group of Ubisoft employees under the name ABetterUbisoft are still campaigning for the company to do more in the wake of summer 2020's allegations and revelations of widespread harassment and discrimination. Over 1000 current and former Ubisoft employees signed an open letter demanding reform. Over 200 days later, the group still say "None of our demands have been met and management refuse to engage."