Path of Exile 2 launching in 2021? Don't get your hopes up

These days, Path of Exile is one of the most popular action RPGs around, and back in 2019, Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games announced that the game will be getting a sequel. We haven't been given a ton of information on Path of Exile 2 yet, but now Grinding Gear Games has provided an update about when the sequel is expected to launch. Unfortunately, fans who were expecting Path of Exile 2 to release at some point this year are likely going to have a longer wait than originally anticipated.

Speaking to PCGamer, Grinding Gear Games studio head Chris Wilson indicated that Path of Exile 2 probably isn't making it out of the gate this year. As it has so many other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the development schedule for Path of Exile 2. "I hate to blame COVID for stuff, but that is a big part of it at the moment," Wilson said in the interview, noting that it's been difficult for GGG to make international hires because New Zealand's borders are currently closed.

"The progress of development hasn't been as fast as we wanted, and so our goal is to bash as hard as we can during 2021 on Path of Exile 2 stuff and see how much headway we make," Wilson added. "Trying to get as much done as possible, and that'll give us a better idea of a good release date we can estimate, which should be towards the end of the year."

When PCGamer asked if that means we can expect a 2022 release date for Path of Exile 2, Wilson replied, "Yeah, I think that's accurate." So, while we'll likely know when Path of Exile 2 will launch by the end of this year, it looks like we'll have to wait until sometime next year to really sink our teeth into the game. Originally, Grinding Gear Games hoped to have a beta for Path of Exile 2 up and running in late 2020, but obviously, the pandemic sidelined those plans as well.

So, throughout 2021, it looks like Path of Exile fans will just have to be happy with the game's usual quarterly expansions. After delaying the most recent expansion so as not to compete with Cyberpunk 2077, Grinding Gear Games has announced that The Echoes of the Atlas expansion – which is its formal name – will be launching on PC on January 15th with a vastly expanded endgame. That's less than a week away at this point, so even though Path of Exile 2 probably won't make it out this year, at least fans of the franchise have a big, beefy update on the horizon.