Creating your own personal Orc army will have to wait a little longer. Warner Bros. is pushing back the release date for Middle-earth: Shadow of War to October 10, 2017. The original release date was set for August 22, 2017.
Developer Monolith explains their reasoning for the nearly two-month delay in the announcement.
“Monolith is committed to delivering the highest quality experience. In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise.”
I’m always on the side of the developer here. If they need more time, give it to them. Hopefully, we can avoid an almost-finished game that takes months worth of patches to get it where it should have been at launch.
I don’t envy publishers trying to figure out a release date in the September-November timeframe, though. The August 22 release date gave them a little room ahead of Destiny 2’s launch (September 8). October 10 puts them square in the thick of the fall game rush. Still, the first game was well received, and Warner Bros. shouldn’t have any issue generating buzz around Shadow of War.
The delay is also opening up speculation that the shift in release date is related to Xbox’s Project Scorpio. There’s no concrete evidence of this, but it is fun speculation. New consoles tend to come out in November, but it’s not unheard of for new hardware to hit early.
Take the Xbox One S. It came out in August 2016. The Nintendo Switch hit shelves in March 2017. The point is, November isn’t set in stone.
November is probably more likely, but an October release date makes sense. It gets the hardware out the door before the majority of the late October/November big releases hit. Here’s what Phil Spencer had to say recently about how the big multiplatform games will perform on Scorpio this year.
I’m very confident, from what we are seeing and hearing, Scorpio will be the very best console version of games this year..
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 23, 2017
Getting Scorpio out in front of Destiny 2 would be pushing it. Hey, I would love for Phil Spencer to drop a super early release date on us – but the safe guess is October/November with November being most likely.
As for Shadow of War, the devs recently showed off more than an hour’s worth of gameplay.
I’m digging the splash of color. Shadow of Mordor was just shades of gray and brown, so it’s nice to see an expanded color palette this go around. I loved the Nemesis System from the first game and can’t wait to see how Monolith expands on it in Shadow of War.