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What Caused the Delay of the Path of Exile 2 Beta?

February 29th, 2020 · No Comments · Path of Exile

First revealed at ExileCon in November 2019, Path of Exile 2 will revamp a lot of the original game and feature seven new acts. Developer Grinding Gear Games had hoped to get it in players’ hands this year, however, a minor improvement delay signifies that it is no longer sure. So, what caused the delay of the Path of Exile 2 beta?
Path-of-Exile-2A shift in time

The initial plans for the developers were to get the beta for Path of Exile 2 into players’ hands in late 2020, but that is no longer possible.

“Our initial estimate was to start some early beta testing in late 2020,” Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder Chris Wilson told PCGamesN. “But we’re going to revise that estimate as we approach it to make sure that things are ready enough for community feedback. Rushing it out won’t benefit anyone, we believe!”

What’s causing the possible delay?

The studio revealed the first game’s next free expansion, Delirium, this week, and it’s the main reason for the expected delay. Outsourcing partners in China have been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, causing a knock-on effect for Grinding Gear. To make sure Delirium wasn’t affected, the studio made some changes to the Path of Exile 2 schedule so it could put more people on Delirium.

It’s another case of the coronavirus outbreak intersecting with gaming. Wilson explained that the Chinese artists were advised not to return to the office after Chinese New Year, citing concerns about the virus.

Path-Of-Exile-2-Beta

The bulk of the 80,000 cases of the coronavirus are in China and has so far claimed around 3,000 lives. This has lead to the cancellation of a slew of events, including the Taipei Game Show, Overwatch League matches and the Chinese League of Legends pro series. Outside of Asia, PUBG Corp has put off an event in Germany, while publishers and developers are pulling out of PAX East and GDC.

“We outsource around 30 full-time developers’ worth of art creation to various outsourcing agencies in China (as it lets us dynamically expand and contract our art flow as our needs wax and wane),” Wilson explains. “After Chinese New Year, the artists were told not to go back to the office for safety reasons around the Novel Coronavirus.

“This caused several weeks of delay, and while we shuffled stuff around so that it didn’t affect our current Delirium expansion, it has shunted our Path of Exile 2 schedule a little bit. As it’s a long-term project with a ‘release it when it’s ready’ policy, this isn’t a big concern for us yet, but we will need to keep an eye on the schedule.”

A better experience awaits

Although the Path of Exile 2 is a sequel, changes will be made to both games to ensure continuity. Stash tabs and microtransactions will remain, and endgame content will be in both titles.

New abilities and spells added can be used in both, and new zones are to be expected. Path of Exile 2 will, of course, feature graphical and physics upgrades.

Path of Exile 2 still doesn’t have a release date, with Wilson saying the studio will “release it when it’s ready.”

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