As of right now, its release has been moved from April 2018 to summer of 2018. According to the developers, the game is now "content complete" but needs more fine-tuning and polish before it reaches public hands. In an exceptionally candid YouTube video, the team at Compulsion Games said they are taking the time to rebuild the first few hours of the game.
Developers Compulsion Games first announced the original We Happy Few release date back in August, along with news that it was to be published by Gearbox and would have its scope expanded to be comparable to a full retail game.
To address concerns, Compulsion has made a decision to offer refunds to anyone who has purchased the game so far, regardless of playtime, and will remove the game from sale on Steam on February 1.
Compulsion says that it's "received feedback that some Steam players felt the new pre-purchase asking price didn't mesh well with the game being categorized as Early Access". In addition, it is disabling the pre-purchase option on Steam and will re-enable it when the game is closer to launch.
Pushing the release date back, while not always an easy thing to do, is a good choice if the alternative means releasing an incomplete or unpolished game. It's also getting a full retail release and a price tag to match.
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Alongside the delay, Compulsion has also announced that it's taking steps to address complaints around We Happy Few's controversial price hike a year ago - when the game doubled from from £30 to £60 following the decision to partner with Gearbox as publisher.
The developers, however, did acknowledge in the Steam update post that the price point is high for an early access game, which the game itself won't receive any more updates until the full launch.
"The game that we're planning to ship in April is roughly 2.5x the size of the Life in Technicolour Update (which has just gone live) in terms of pure content, and we're confident that we will meet the quality and scope expectations that you guys have", Compulsion continue. But it looks like we're going to have to wait a bit longer to play it. "Although it'll probably, inevitably, still be compared to Bioshock".
We Happy Few hit Kickstarter in June 2016, and has been in Early Access since July 2016.