Sony Interactive Entertainment has pushed back the release dates of two upcoming titles, The Last of Us Part II and Iron Man VR, due to logistical complications brought about by the current global COVID-19 crisis.
Both PlayStation and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog released statements this afternoon on the delays. Though the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic isn’t mentioned by name, PlayStation names the current “global crisis” as the key complication that led to the delays.
None of SIE’s other in-development projects besides the mentioned two are experiencing delays at this time, but the launches for both The Last of Us Part II and Iron Man VR are on hold “until further notice.”
“The good news is, we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs,” writes Naughty Dog. “However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction.”
“We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.”
Update: SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel's Iron Man VR until further notice. Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.— PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 2, 2020
While many game development studios have transitioned to a work-from-home model to continue development amid the pandemic, some games ramping up for launch have encountered COVID-19 related issues with distribution channels used for physical release as other industries shift operations to cope with the virus.
In the case of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix recently opted to release the game early in some regions rather than try and coordinate a single, worldwide release amid a complicated global shipping climate. While neither Naughty Dog nor PlayStation dive into the reasoning for the decision, the former's statement seems to indicate that the delay isn't due to complications in the development process itself.