South Park: The Fractured But Whole will now launch on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC, calendar Q1 2017. The development team wants to make sure the game experience meets the high expectations of fans and the additional time will help them achieve this goal.
To be frank, news that South Park: The Fractured But Whole is delayed isn’t very surprising. For a game that was supposed to launch in December, very little of the game had been shown. As recently as PAX West earlier this month, the only Fractured But Whole footage that Ubisoft had shown publicly was the same demo from their E3 2016 press conference.
Fans will recall that the last South Park game, The Stick of Truth, faced several delays. The developer, Obsidian, and South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker wanted to ensure the game was an accurate recreation of the TV show and held The Stick of Truth to a much higher quality standard than previous South Park games, which had mostly been flops. One big reason the game was late is that the title changed hands when the original publisher, THQ, filed for bankruptcy. Ubisoft eventually acquired the publishing rights. The game then faced more delays before finally coming out in March 2014. The extra development time ultimately benefitted that game, as it ended up being both a critical and financial success.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is being developed in-house by Ubisoft’s San Francisco studio. This is the first major release from that studio since their other big game, Rocksmith. The delay could be a sign of growing pains for a newer developer transitioning from a music game to such an ambitious RPG title.
Another factor could be the involvement of Stone and Parker. While Obsidian is not involved with the new title, the South Park creators are on board. Their involvement is both a blessing and a curse to the development of the game. One the one hand, it ensures the game lives up to fan expectations and is an accurate representation of their vision. On the other, their already demanding schedules and hands-on approach may be part of the reason for the delay.
At the end of the day, if this delay results in a higher quality end product, then we’re all for it. From what we have seen and played of South Park: The Fractured But Whole, there’s a lot of potential with the game’s combat system, premise, and story. We’ll give this one a mulligan and keep our fingers crossed that the game lives up to its potential when it arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in Q1 2017.
Check out more of our South Park: The Fractured But Whole coverage below.