Atari announced yesterday that Neverwinter Nights 2 has been pushed back a month, “for additional tweaking and polishing”. The new release date is now October 20th. No surprise, the NWN community is buzzing over the change.

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Most players are happy about the delay. They see it as additional time for the developers to clean up the game. Others are less optimistic. There is speculation on just why NWN 2 is being held back. Content is supposedly complete, and it’s unlikely anything new will be added at this stage. One month is just too short a time period.

One possibility is that more work is being done on the multiplayer aspect. Another is extra time for translations, as NWN2 will be released world-wide. A third is more for catching the Christmas market than clean-up. Then, it could be that the game really isn’t quite in decent condition for shipping, given the original September announcement.

There is very little information from official sources at the moment, so everything is guesswork. “Tweaking and polishing” could mean almost anything. My own estimate at the moment is that the game does need more cleanup. This is a highly-anticipated release, and Atari would sink if the initial game is in poor shape.

On the other hand, Obsidian is doing a round of game conventions this summer to show off Neverwinter 2. They wouldn’t take such a chance if the game weren’t in playable form. It will be interesting to see exactly how much of NWN 2 is displayed. I’ll be keeping an eye on the boards for reports from con attendees.

In the main, I think Atari made the right decision. Whatever the actual reasons, it is likely that the extra month will bring forth a product that will be less infested with serious bugs. At least I hope so. Only time will tell.miniscorp