Middle-earth: Shadow of War won’t be ready in time for its originally announced August release. The game — a follow-up to 2014’s exceptionally well-received Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor — will now be out on Oct. 10, 2017. The reason? Typical development stuff.
“Monolith is committed to delivering the highest quality experience,” an update from Monolith Productions reads. “In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise.”
The date shift is surprising given the recent reveal. Based on the current slate of announced releases, it certainly leaves Shadow of War in a spot where it’s poised to face greater competition.
Even with more release announcements sure to come at E3 this month, the original Aug. 22 release would have given the game some breathing room. Destiny 2 is out on Sept. 8, but there wasn’t much else for Shadow to compete with (that we know of).
The move to October means Monolith’s sequel will face the stiffer competition of the prime holiday release months. We already know is coming on Oct. 17 — one week later. It’s also fair to speculate that Ubisoft’s next Assassin’s Creed game will surface in late October, just as it has traditionally.
There is, however, one possibility that could explain Shadow of War’s bold move to the busy October timeframe: Microsoft’s Xbox “Scorpio.” We know the souped up console will be out at some point this fall, and — as some have posited on social media — the date change would make sense if the Mordor sequel is meant to be a Scorpio-enhanced launch title.
All will become clear (or clearer, at least) when E3 delivers its annual helping of game/platform announcements and release dates. Stay tuned — the show’s press conferences kick of on June 10.