Phoenix Point was first teased on Twitter by X-COM creator Julian Gollop in March 2016 and a year later a crowdfunding campaign raised $765,948 in June 2017 to help support the project. This Tuesday, Gollop released a YouTube video to announce a delay, with the release slated for September. "I realize this is going to be disappointing news to lots of people," he said, "and I'm really sorry about it. Even though the game is on track to be content-complete much sooner, the extra time will give us the chance to test and polish the gameplay much more extensively, and I think the end result will be well worth it. We didn't take this decision lightly, but I think this investment in additional time and resources will help the game live up to your expectations." He also mentioned looking forward to feedback on the new backer release that will be available in March, even with Phoenix Point delayed.
Phoenix Point is a turn-based tactics strategy game, developed as a spiritual successor to the X-COM series, particularly to the original titles such as X-COM: UFO Defense. In a 2017 interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Gollop said that Phoenix Point "probably deviates most [from Firaxis' XCOM games] on the strategic level of the game. Phoenix Point is a lot more 4X-y, sort of open-world-y universe where you have different factions and groups, with their own objectives and agendas, technology, their own diplomatic relations, and things will happen in this world regardless of whether the player intervenes or not. It's a much more dynamics, systems-AI-driven world... In some ways, it's actually developed and evolved from ideas we built into XCOM Apocalypse back in 1997."
With such an ambitious game full of systems, it makes sense that it would require more extensive playtesting and polishing to deliver on the quality expected from a crowdfunded game. The development has been extensively documented on the official website, with several illustrations and explanations of the game's systems.
What do you think about Phoenix Point? Can a game inspired by the classic X-COM games still thrive in a post-Firaxis XCOM world? With Phoenix Point delayed does that impact your thoughts on the project? Let us know in the comments below.