Elder Scrolls IV missing Xbox 360 launch

Take-Two delays both the next-gen and PC versions of its anticipated role-playing game to early 2006.


Although the Xbox 360 goes on sale in just over three weeks, Microsoft still hasn't announced the final day-of launch game lineup for the console. However, gamers can now scratch one of the next-gen platform's most anticipated games off their holiday shopping lists.

In a conference call with analysts today, Take-Two Interactive announced that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is being delayed until the second quarter of its next fiscal year, which runs from February to April 2006. While this is still technically within Microsoft's 14-week "launch window" for the Xbox 360, it means that the game will not be on sale when the console arrives in stores on November 22.

Paul Eibeler, Take-Two's president and CEO, said that quality assurance was the reason for the delay. "We are moving the launch of Elder Scrolls IV to our second quarter, based on the Bethesda Softworks requiring additional development time to ensure the title meets gamers' high expectations for this popular franchise," he said. The date change will also affect the PC version of the game, which was slated to ship simultaneously.

The delay is surprising, as an October 6 Reuters report apparently confirmed Oblivion for the Xbox 360 launch. Because it was the sole role-playing game for the console slated for release in 2005, it was also featured in many 360 bundles offered by online retailers.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is developed by Bethesda Softworks and is published under Take-Two's 2K Games subbrand. Its delay reduced the number of Take-Two Xbox 360 launch titles to five games: NBA 2K6, NHL 2K6, Amped 3, Top Spin 2, and College Hoops 2K6.

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