Nintendo Switch Port for The Outer Worlds Postponed, Delays On the Patch 1.3 - What's Going On?
The Outer Worlds had very exciting few months since its release -- several nominations and victories (including The Game Awards 2019 and D.I.C.E. Awards), overwhelmingly positive response from the fans, and a Story Expansion Update already in plans.
However, The Outer Worlds has a significant delay for the Nintendo Switch port that was supposed to come out in March, without a new release date available. Furthermore, the devs just recently apologized for the unforeseen delays on the 1.3 Patch that was supposed to address a few UI and Gameplay elements, without addressing the cause. (It's important to note that they are expecting to release it very soon nonetheless.)
So, what is going on with all of the recent delays?
On January 30 @OuterWorlds official on Twitter made an exciting announcement - "The Outer Worlds is coming to Nintendo Switch on March 6!"
Obviously, the fans were delighted to hear the news. That is, until they saw that the full price of the game will not include a physical copy. (No Game Card means you would need an SD card to download your game, potentially increasing the cost beyond the full price.) The negative response was also directed at the box-with-a-code trend that overtook Nintendo Switch.
Well, just a couple tweets later, in February, The Outer Worlds re-tweeted Private Division's unfortunate announcement that the Nintendo Switch port is delayed without a new release date known, even to this day. The good news are, the future port will now include a physical version of the cartridge, which alleviated a lot of negativity around the topic. It was a very welcome change that proved the development team to be yet again impressively attentive to the needs of the loyal fanbase.
Here is that announcement:
An update for everyone about the Nintendo Switch port for #TheOuterWorlds. It will be delayed due to how the coronavirus has impacted the ability for the port team at Virtuos to work on the port; and it will now have a cartridge with it's physical release.
More information soon! https://t.co/DoS6udyqdq
— The Outer Worlds (@OuterWorlds) February 6, 2020
The official website also has a news post addressing the issue.
And yet, what is the reason behind the delay?
You probably will not be surprised at the answer. The cause is the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus which took the world by surprise at the end of 2019 and spread rapidly in the beginning of 2020. The Outer Worlds quickly assured their fans that the port team at Virtuos didn't contract the disease and the office was closed as a precaution measure, halting work on the project.
This would explain the uncertainty on the future release date, since the pandemic still didn't pass its peak internationally. But, if you expected the fans to shower the development team with impatient responses and insensitive jokes, you are in for a surprise.
The fanbase responded with overwhelming support, appreciating the transparency, thanking the administration for putting the health of its workers first, and loving the news about the physical cartridge being in plans for the port.
Like some of the comments noted, The Outer Worlds development team continues to impress the gaming community with its efforts to put the players' needs first, which is especially notable amidst the unfortunate recent controversies of Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft and Bethesda.