MotoGP 23 is releasing later than usual compared to games in previous years. Why is this, though? And what could this mean for the Motorcycle Grand Prix video game series going forward?
We all expected MotoGP 23 to release at the same time as usual, but the game's official reveal trailer confirmed MotoGP 23's release date has moved to June.
This may seem like a negative, but there will be good reasons behind this decision. Developer Milestone rarely delays their games, but we're giving our take right here!
MotoGP 23 release date moves to June
Milestone has developed the MotoGP games since 2013. Aside from a break in 2016, the Italian company has been churning Motorcycle Grand Prix games out every year.
In that time though, MotoGP games haven't always launched at the same time of the year. Each MotoGP game since 2020 has been released in April of each respective year.
However, you don't have to go back much further for that window to shift later in the year. MotoGP 19 was released in June 2019, similar to how MotoGP 23 will be released on 8 June 2023.
Going all the way back to 2013 will tell you a similar story, with all seven games during this period released in June.
What this means for MotoGP 23
A later release gives Milestone more time to introduce new gameplay features to MotoGP 23. MotoGP 23's reveal trailer went live at the end of March. With two months until the game's launch, there's plenty of time for more features to be confirmed.
There will be a few more trailers for MotoGP 23 before the release date, but what has been revealed so far? Well, dynamic weather will be introduced to the series, meaning that races can end in different weather conditions to what they started in.
That's in addition to what appears to be a new and enhanced rivalry system, with an emphasis on beating the current world champion.
Aside from that, there are the usual graphical and audible improvements we'd expect from a yearly sports game. It's unclear whether a new documentary-style game mode like last year's "Nine" will be in MotoGP 23.
Perhaps these extra two months will allow the Italian developers more time to introduce the new circuits on this year's calendar. With the Kazakh Grand Prix's venue not having been used for any series yet, this could be the case.
It could also give Milestone more time to develop a new feature that we haven't seen in the trailer yet. Time will tell and we'll likely get another trailer before the end of April and one more just before release in late May to show us more.
What about future games?
There's no reason to suggest that MotoGP 24 will revert back to an April release date. In fact, it'd be harder for Milestone to do this, as that gives them only ten months to develop the game.
Milestone hasn't confirmed why they've opted for a summer shift. One possible reason is that this allows the studio to spread its release schedule more evenly throughout the year.
Monster Energy Supercross 6 launched back in March and we could also get SBK 23 in September, with MotoGP 23 slotting neatly between these two titles.
Our only worry is that MotoGP 23 will release perilously close to the release date of F1 23. While motorcycle and car racing are different, they attract similar types of gamers.
MotoGP is a great racing series, but part of its charm is that it was released around three months before the Formula 1 game. That won't be the case this year and it could hurt its performance in the sales charts.
Milestone has the rights to produce the officially-licenced MotoGP game until 2026 and that deal will likely be extended as long as they can afford to do so.
For more articles like this, take a look at our MotoGP page.