This past weekend saw perhaps the largest esports tournament take place as the League of Legends Worlds finals in Shanghai pulled in record numbers for viewership across a number of platforms, early suggestions at also point toward record numbers of players watching these games too as a growing crossover between esports fans and traditional sports fans has started to grow. But it hasn’t been all good news in the gaming market as a number of big delays in the industry have led to a difficult holiday season ahead.

The most notable delay has come from CD Projekt Red, the creators behind the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 which had the recent announcement that another delay would push the game to December 10th, the second delay to find the game in the short term. The need for this had been attributed to last minute polish that had been needed to have the games run on previous generation of consoles as the next generation consoles and the PC platform had been deemed as ready – with the current pre-order culture changing, the second delay adds to yet more frustration as some fans become less likely to order before release.

Others have also fallen on some back luck – the largest MMORPG in the world, World of Warcraft, had also found itself receiving a delay for the launch of its latest expansion in Shadowlands, initially expected on October 27th it has now been delayed until November 24th but has also led to issues for the more committed players – a large part of the end-game in raiding brings a group of players together, but with the launch date of the hardest difficulty of this content falling just before the Christmas period it has created a difficult overlap for a large portion of the player base that may be unable to participate on launch because of the delay.

The past few years have been unkind to the pre-order market – many studios under delivering on promises they had made early and underwhelming releases that have been filled with bugs or poor design have certainly hurt, and now with the current pre-release and alpha approach many have taken has left a bad taste in the mouths of many gamers as it is becoming more and more difficult to justify an upfront payment for a title that doesn’t fill the standards expected. These two big delays, with the possibility that more may follow for other games, have continued to show that this trend could become an issue, and although refunds for both were offered on each occasion it does little to ease the frustrations of fans who have been quite vocal about the disappointments throughout – could this be the first in a series of events that leads to the changing of attitude toward pre-ordering as a whole and a shift in the current direction of the gaming market? Unlikely, but it does show that gamers are becoming much less forgiving for the falling expectations that have been delivered over the past few years.