Last month, Red Barrels Games moved the release date of Outlast 2 back to Spring 2017. The Outlast 2 delay is disappointing news for the many fans who enjoyed the riveting horror experience that was the original Outlast. It was no doubt a tough decision for the indie game studio, but one that they felt had to happen. Their announcement on Facebook stated that they wanted to ensure that the game “is in no way compromised and is the experience you deserve.”
Originally scheduled for release this fall, the highly-anticipated sequel promises to expand on the Outlast formula in both story and gameplay. Red Barrels gave fans a taste in a gameplay demo like the above one shown at Gamescom 2016. The developers have been dropping teaser images on social media fo months. Understanding the hype surrounding the game, Red Barrels felt that what they’d made so far couldn’t live up to fans’ expectations. That says a lot about the high standards Red Barrels Games is holding itself to for Outlast 2.
Gamers and critics alike agreed that Outlast was a breath of fresh air in the horror genre in 2013. The game instills feelings of dread and terror like little else you’ve experienced before in a game. When I first picked it up, I was confident I could handle it. My hands were shaking after playing for only five minutes. You can play it dozens of times over — it’ll still keep you up at night. That kind of quality pays off, and it doesn’t come together overnight.
Delaying Outlast Paid Off Before
The original Outlast‘s DLC, Whistleblower, outperformed found a way to be even more terrifying. It’s a masterpiece in and of itself, taking everything that worked in Outlast and amplifying it. And that partially succeed thanks to more development, as Red Barrels pushed back Whistleblower‘s release to refine it. The result was an experience even more terrifying than the main game, at least in part thanks to a delay.
Pushing Outlast 2‘s release back a few months makes sense from a marketing standpoint as well. Releasing next spring instead of this fall means that Outlast 2 won’t have to compete with Sister Location, Scott Cawthon’s highly anticipated Five Nights at Freddy’s spinoff. Though Outlast and Five Nights are two different types of horror, they carry near-equal levels of hype. They both have expectations to meet and intend to surpass them.
Not all delays are setbacks. If Red Barrels thinks Outlast 2 isn’t as good as they can get it, they’ll wait for however long it takes to get it there. And that wait will most assuredly be worth it. “[W]e could not, in good conscience, release a game who’s [sic] limits haven’t been tested to the extreme,” they said in the announcement. “Thank you for understanding. We promise Outlast 2 will scare the crap out of you.” That’s a promise we can all believe in.