It’s been close to three years since Celeste and TowerFall developers Extremely OK Games revealed their next project, the similarly gorgeous-looking and sumptuous-sounding 2D exploration platformer Earthblade. While the studio didn’t give any indication of a release date at the time, we now know not to expect Earthblade until 2025 at the earliest.

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The news came from lead creator and director Maddy Thorson in a recent blog update, which expressed that “we had hoped to be announcing a firm release date around now, but it just isn’t in the cards”.

“We need to face the music: this game ain’t coming out in 2024,” Thorson confirmed. “We know that this will be disappointing for a lot of you and we’re sorry for that.”

Thorson made clear that, despite the delay, development on Earthblade is “not stagnant”, writing: “We are still making progress and we’re still excited to work on it.”

To help the studio with “identifying our vision” and clearing out some of the “problems preventing the game from living up to it”, indie developer – and TowerFall world champion – Kyle Pulver has joined the team as an additional game designer on the project.

A young horned character sits on a platform in a red castle landscape in Earthblade

Image credit: Extremely OK Games Ltd

Thorson explained that Pulver’s carefully-considered hiring came through a realisation that she had “become the bottleneck” on Earthblade’s development, struggling to manage the project’s workload and direction – something exacerbated by personal challenges, including her gender transition and related major surgery from which she is still recovering.

We’ve all had to fight through uncertainty together to make Earthblade,” Thorson wrote. “Even if we could go back and do everything “perfectly” from the start the result would be a different game. Despite the setbacks, we all still believe in this project, and more importantly in each other.”

When Earthblade was first teased just shy of three years ago in early 2021, Extremely OK said upfront that “we don’t know how long it will take [to develop], just that it will take as long as it takes (and that it will take a long time)”. The glimpses seem so far seem to suggest something well worth the wait, thanks to a beautiful pixel-art look and a soundtrack by returning composer Lena Raine (whose Celeste OST remains an all-time working playlist for me). We’ll hopefully at least see a bit more before next year, but don’t expect to play it for a while yet.

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