Two years ago, the release date of the open beta for Hytale was set by developer Hypixel Studios to be 2021; however, this date has recently come under question. Will Hytale still be releasing next year?
The 2021 release date was given in a November 2019 blog post on the official Hytale website. In the post, Hypixel Studios said they were
planning for Hytale to be playable by everyone in 2021.
So that was it, two years ago. The open beta would begin in 2021, with the option of a closed beta sometime in 2020. The latter case has not happened, of course, but the former was still expected to be true. No-one had any reason to doubt this 2021 release date, until a recent blog post by the team.
In this December 2020 blog post, Hypixel Studios are quite vague on the specifics surrounding the release of their game.
The post describes holdups that have occurred during development this year. Like everyone else in the world, the team has been disrupted by COVID-19, and the team says they have
not been able to operate at 100% capacity in 2020.
The result of this is that Hypixel Studios was
not able to cap off 2020 with the set of reveals they promised in the middle of the year, giving the reason that these features
simply aren't ready to make their debut.
The team also spoke of major restructing of the game's mechanics, which may have put pressure on the 2021 release window. Hypixel Studios said
Almost every part of the game, including many aspects of gameplay that have already been revealed, has been taken back to the drawing board, rethought, and in some cases overhauled.
This complete overhauling is obviously a major time hog, and as such, the studio says they
don't currently have a launch plan for Hytale.
This statement, despite being prefixed with
to be clear and the studio saying that they will be
as specific as we possibly can be, is anything but.
There have been many interpretations of "launch plan" in the Hytale community. Have they rescinded the 2021 release date? Are they sticking with that window but don't currently have a specific timeframe in mind? Or maybe they just don't know the pricing model upon release?
Let's go with a clear definition of "launch plan":
planning in sequence the schedule of events that lead up to, during, and past a product's launch date.
Under this definition, what Hypixel Studios is lacking is an exact plan of action on the technicalities of how the game will be released, not necessarily when.
They may have a date or window in mind (2021), but other than that they have no specific plans on, for instance, how to distribute game keys, whether or not the game will have its own launcher, what parts should be hidden from the public version of the game, how usernames should be dealt with, and so on.
Hypixel Studios promise to be crystal clear with their fans, which would imply they wouldn't rescind the 2021 release window or give a different one without being completely transparent about it. There is no indication of the game's release window being delayed, so the 2021 window given two years ago should be assumed to still be in place until the studio say otherwise.