Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 is delayed, and hoo boy it’s a long one

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 has been delayed, and I’m sorry to say it’s a big one. Instead of coming out near the end of this year as planned, Focus Entertainment said in an update that it’s now slated for the second half of 2024. As usual, a reason for the delay wasn’t provided, except that it will “provide the time needed to properly polish the game and to ensure the best possible experience.”

It’s not terribly surprising that Space Marine 2 is delayed, given that the 2023 release window is rapidly closing. But the length of the delay is a surprise, and maybe a little alarming too: Even if it arrives early in the second half of 2024, that’s still July and that’s an eight-month delay. At the longer end of the scale, Space Marine 2 could suddenly be a full year away. I’m not a game developer but that seems like an awfully long time to spend polishing.

Our impression at this point is that Space Marine 2 could probably stand some more work. An extended gameplay trailer that dropped in August didn’t land with quite the armored-fist thump I was expecting, and associate editor Ted Litchfield took similar feelings from a hands-on session just prior to that, saying he spent most of his time with it wishing he was playing Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun instead. That’s probably not the sort of takeaway Focus Entertainment was looking for.

Somewhat oddly, plans for a Space Marine 2 beta test also seem to have fallen by the wayside. Registrations for the beta opened in August, with the release of the extended gameplay trailer, and the expectation is that it would start fairly quickly since the game was at that point just a few months from release. But there’s been no word of it since, which led some fans to start speculating about a delay back in October.

Given the vagueness of the release date (and for now, Steam and the Space Marine 2 website both still indicate a 2023 launch) and the beta test stall-out, word of the delay doesn’t seem to have come as a big surprise to fans, although the length definitely has. For now most of them appear to be adopting the Gabe Newell philosophy: “Late is just for a little while, suck is forever.” In this case, though, it looks like it might be for a long while.