COVID-19 dealt a brutal blow to the development schedule of Path of Exile 2 which will now be looking for a launch window somewhere in 2022.
Speaking with PC Gamer in a recent interview, Grinding Gear Games co-founder Chris Wilson stated that the pandemic made it incredibly hard for the developer to keep pace with ongoing development as well as new hiring. Path of Exile 2 hence has slipped into 2022 until further notice.
“I hate to blame COVID for stuff, but that is a big part of it at the moment,” said Wilson. “We have had difficulty hiring internationally because the borders to New Zealand are closed, so that has curtailed the exponential growth of our asset creation team a little bit.
“The progress of development hasn’t been as fast as we wanted, and so our goal is to bash as hard as we can during 2021 on Path of Exile 2 stuff and see how much headway we make. Trying to get as much done as possible, and that’ll give us a better idea of a good release date we can estimate, which should be towards the end of the year.”
Path of Exile 2 was announced in November 2019 as a massive expansion to the original game which aims to completely overhaul the base experience. The much-sought sequel will not only upgrade the aging visuals but also improve gameplay mechanics.
Grinding Gear Games initially wanted to have an early beta phase in late 2020. With COVID-19 showing its ugly head, there was wishful thinking by fans to see the game release in 2021 instead. That wishful window has now been pushed ahead by another year. For what it is worth, Wilson has previously noted that Path of Exile 2 will not be rushed out in any half-baked form.
Path of Exile 2 will feature a brand new seven-act campaign that takes place two decades after the death of Kitava in the original. This will be a time when society has been slowly rebuilding since then but corruption has found its way back into Wraeclast.