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Ghostwire: Tokyo
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Tango Gameworks delays Ghostwire Tokyo to 2022

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s delay specifically shows a shift away from “crunch culture.”

Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo has been delayed until next year, the developer announced today on Twitter. Ghostwire: Tokyo is a first-person action game where players will use magical spells to defeat spirits haunting a Tokyo without its citizens, who have all vanished. The game was originally announced during Bethesda’s presentation at E3 2019.

Tango states the decision was made to protect the health of its employees. By delaying the game to early 2022, the developers will ideally have enough time to deliver the “haunted Tokyo” they’re excited to share with players while avoiding the physical and mental stress of crunching during the late stage of a game’s development cycle. You can read Tango’s full statement in the tweet below.

Crunch has become a hot-button topic in gaming in recent years. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels author Jason Schreier has been at the forefront of speaking out against the gaming industry’s crunch problem. In 2018 he spotlighted Red Dead Redemption 2‘s development and Rockstar’s “crunch culture.” His 2020 feature on Naughty Dog’s development of The Last of Us Part II created controversy around the developer’s back-breaking working conditions and questioned just how much longer “crunch” could permeate such a demanding industry. On the other side of the coin, just last month Insomniac was praised for finishing up Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart without expecting or requiring its employees to crunch –and the game was a smash hit, being one of the year’s best-reviewed games.

Ghostwire‘s delay may be a sign that game development is heading in a different direction, one where developers are not expected to work 60-100 hour weeks to ship games out on time. Perhaps in a few years crunch-less game development will be the norm. In the meantime, check out Ghostwire‘s gameplay trailer below. Ghostwire: Tokyo will be a timed exclusive for the PS5, and will arrive on the Xbox consoles about a year after its release on the PS5 and PC in early 2022.

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