Though usually a good sign for an upcoming title, this delay nevertheless will come as a sore blow to the game’s eventual financial success. The loss of a late summer slot will likely result in significantly impacted sales thanks to competition from other AAA titles planned for the Fall, including the next Call of Duty and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II.
The development team for Shadow of War explained their reasoning behind the delay over the official announcement, stating that:
“Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands gameplay in every dimension, including the massive open world, the story, the RPG systems, and personal player stories of the Nemesis system. As with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, 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.”
Though undoubtedly disappointing for fans of the series, the developer’s willingness to delay the product in an effort to improve quality does speak very highly of the studio’s work ethic. Too often are games released half-finished in order to meet targeted launch dates set by publishers either unfamiliar or unsympathetic with the plight of the game’s development team.
Monolith rounded off its statement with an apology and an assurance that Shadow of War will meet the high expectations set by the series’ first title, stating that, “…we are working hard to make an amazing game. We’re excited to show more at E3.”