Way back in the olden days of 2018, developers Galactic Cafe and Crows Crows Crows announced they were bringing an enhanced version of beloved first-person narrative adventure The Stanley Parable to consoles and PC in the shiny new guise of an Ultra Deluxe Edition. Originally, it was due to launch in 2019, but then it wasn’t. After that, it was due to launch in 2020, but now it isn’t again.
As in the original game (and, indeed, its 2013 commercial remake), the Ultra Deluxe Edition sees players, cast as the titular Stanley, engaging in an endless battle of wits with an omnipotent narrator. From a single starting point, Stanley is able to confound the narrator’s carefully laid plans in numerous ways, sending the adventure spiralling off in increasingly strange directions.
The end result is frequently hilarious and surprisingly philosophical, and the Ultra Deluxe Edition promises all of that plus “”more content, more endings, more whimsical adventures”. Indeed, creators Davey Wreden and William Pugh have suggested that the new stuff in this third iteration of The Stanley Parable will amount to about half the size of the original script.
Unfortunately, late last year, Wreden and Pugh made the decision to delay The Stanley Parable’s Ultra Deluxe Edition – in typically wry fashion – from 2019 into 2020, saying it hoped to get it out “probably before the summer”, depending how development progressed. Now that once distant horizon has finally been reached, however, the duo has elected to delay the game again, this time shifting its release into 2021.
Crows Crows Crows announced the delay by crudely Photoshopping the pertinent details into everyone else’s delay announcements, but Davey Wreden shed a little more light on the matter over on Twitter. “Honestly there was just no way to plan for the huge changes in schedule that Covid has introduced,” he wrote, “and at the same time the scope of the game has expanded as we keep getting really cool ideas to add. I hope it feels worth it in the end.”
“We’ve been reviewing the work that’s completed, and I actually think this game is going to be fucking sick,” Wreden continued, “[Crows Crows Crows] have been doing an amazing job, and I think fans of the original game are going to be really pleasantly surprised.”
Hopefully when we all reconvene this time next year for our latest Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Edition update, it’ll be to discuss how awesome this fully released thing is, and not to bow our heads as it’s jettisoned into the following year.