It looks like you’ll need to wait a while longer to try out Path of Exile 2’s beta. Developer Grinding Gear Games had previously hoped to have it in players’ hands later this year, but a minor development delay means that’s no longer certain.
“Our initial estimate was to start some early beta testing in late 2020,” Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder Chris Wilson tells PCGamesN. “But we’re going to revise that estimate as we approach it to make sure that things are ready enough for community feedback. Rushing it out won’t benefit anyone, we believe!”
So what’s causing the potential delay? Wilson explains that the studio had to pull some of the Path of Exile 2’s development team onto its upcoming Path of Exile Delirium expansion to avoid delays. Typically, GGG outsources some work to agencies in Asia, but due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic, the New Zealand-based studio has had to adapt. As reported by BBC News, 78,064 people have been infected globally since the outbreak began. The death toll in mainland China alone is around 2,715.
“We outsource around 30 full-time developers’ worth of art creation to various outsourcing agencies in China (as it lets us dynamically expand and contract our art flow as our needs wax and wane),” Wilson explains. “After Chinese New Year, the artists were told not to go back to the office for safety reasons around the Novel Coronavirus.
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“This caused several weeks of delay, and while we shuffled stuff around so that it didn’t affect our current Delirium expansion, it has shunted our Path of Exile 2 schedule a little bit. As it’s a long-term project with a ‘release it when it’s ready’ policy, this isn’t a big concern for us yet, but we will need to keep an eye on the schedule.”
You’ll have plenty of Path of Exile to keep you going in the meantime. The PoE 3.10 release date is set for next month, and the studio will maintain its regular cadence of one expansion every three months.