Just like the case of many other fields, 2021 was not a stellar year for the gaming industry. Despite our hopes, the industry didn’t finally pick up where it left off in the spring of 2019. The rest of this year does not look any more promising either. On the contrary, it looks like we still have a few more “dry” months to go.
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Going back to 2022 predictions, the new year is expected to quench your thirst for hit games at last. Expert voices predict 2022 will be the biggest year in the gaming industry since 2017. Now, the question is: are these merely overly-zealous claims? Will these prophecies finally be fulfilled? Major global studios have already started to line up their huge releases. As expected, the public is already overly-hyped about it. What it will all eventually come down to, it remains to be seen. For now, let us have a look at a few of the heavy hitters expected to see the light of day in 2022.
Does 2022 Only Look Good On Paper?
Are all 2022 predictions regarding major releases just like soap bubbles? The unfortunate fact is, the game studios often over hype their new games. These campaigns to generate interest often take place a few months before the official release. Sometimes, the hype doesn’t live up to reality. Marketing teams often point to aspirational release dates for their new games. Developers aren’t always able to keep up with those aspirations. Failed releases of Kingdom Hearts 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and God of War: Ragnarok are recent examples..
Besides the regular delays in the industry, the pandemic has also taken its toll on game development in the past year and a half. The process has become even more complicated because of work-from-home restrictions. As a result, there is an abundance of games that were supposed to be released in 2021. Now, they are all contributing to an overly-packed schedule for 2022.
New Release Dates – Big Hits On The Way
Some of the games you were probably expecting to play in 2021 were favorites to win the “best game of the year” title. Others were prone to become huge winter holiday hits. The pandemic took the industry by surprise. The situation completely changed the official game release calendar for 2021. Official launch dates are no longer planned for September-November. Instead, the winter months of January and February have taken over. Accordingly, we currently expect to kick off 2022 with hit games like:
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus
- Elden Ring
- Rainbow Six Extraction
- Saints Row
- Horizon: Forbidden West
- Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
- Dying Light 2 Stay Human
The spring of 2022 is also likely to be a busy time for releases. The current schedule says we should see titles like: Marvel Midnight Suns, Gran Turismo 7, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and Kirby and the Forgotten City.
As for the rest of the year, optimistic voices speak about other big titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Redfall. Indie games like Stray and niche releases like Triangle Strategy are also expected to be released sometime in 2022.
How many of these games will actually make it to their release date just as expected? It is safe to say that not all of them. Many will wind up with a new release date stamped for 2023 on them. For example, one game that will definitely end up being delayed is Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The game has already started to slowly slip off the regular calendar. Unfortunately, that’s always a bad omen.
Around a third of the 2022 games have been forced into the next year for release. This should still leave us with a decent amount of games to be looking forward to. Just start putting money aside and cross your fingers for your favorites to make it to their official release dates!