The Thaumaturge, an isometric RPG about occultists summoning spirit beings in 1905 Warsaw, has been delayed into March—not because it needs more development time, but because February is just too damn crowded already.
Fool's Theory, the studio making The Thaumaturge, has some fairly deep RPG roots. It's headed up by former Witcher 2 and 3 quest designer Jakub Rokosz, served as a support studio for Baldur's Gate 3, and is also developing the remake of CD Projekt's first RPG The Witcher. Even so, it's not an especially well-known studio, nor is The Thaumaturge a very high-profile game. That may have helped drive the decision to push the launch back.
"With February’s busy launch period, we've decided to move the release of the Thaumaturge to March 4th, 2024," the studio tweeted. "The game is complete, but we want to give it space so it can be enjoyed the way we believe it deserves. See you in 1905 Warsaw and thank you for your patience!"
The response to the tweet is largely positive, no doubt at least in part because February is a very busy month for new game releases. We've already got Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Helldivers 2, and very soon we'll also have Banishers: Ghost of New Eden, Skull and Bones, Last Epoch, Pacific Drive, Nightingale, and a whole pile of others.
March, by comparison, is a little lighter. Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is coming the day after The Thaumaturge's new launch date, and then we'll get Lightyear Frontier on March 19, the Alone in the Dark reboot on March 20, and then—this will be a big day—Dragon's Dogma 2 and Horizon Forbidden West both on March 21.
Delaying a game to avoid other games isn't entirely unprecedented: Back in 2020, multiple studios decided they'd rather wait a little longer to put their games out rather than throw hands with Cyberpunk 2077. In this case it's not one particular behemoth causing all the trouble, just an overcrowded calendar, but that's a challenge facing every developer whose games don't have a high profile in advance: How do you give your game a chance to get some traction when so many other games are dropping all around it, all the time?
The Thaumaturge looks like it deserves a fair shot. It follows the story of Wiktor Szulski, a descendent of a long line of mystics who can see and tame otherworldly creatures called salutors, enabling him to "discover secrets hidden within the human soul and speak to the Darkness." It promises a story-rich game with "morally ambiguous choices," set in a "heavily researched" take on Warsaw in the early 20th century, "where crime and luxury are often two sides of the same coin." You'll also spend some time hanging with Rasputin. It doesn't sound like the setup for the happiest tale ever, but hey, that's European RPGs for you.
So March 4 is now the day—The Thaumaturge is available for pre-purchase now on Steam.