It’s been well over 5 years since the launch of XCOM 2 and whilst Chimera Squad was a welcome entry, it arguably didn’t strike a chord with fans quite like the traditional releases. It was a spinoff, after all. The thing is Firaxis Games are a busy bunch. Not content with two astoundingly excellent turn-based tactical series to juggle in Sid Meier’s Civilization and XCOM, the developer is now currently beavering away on Marvel’s Midnight Suns, which more or less fuses together the standard XCOM formula with the Marvel Universe.
This begs the question, when are we getting another XCOM game? Well, it’s possible one is already in development. Read on, we’ll explain everything you need to know.
5 September Update - Checked for the latest XCOM 3 news. All the most recent updates are found just below.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns has announced yet another delay to the game, which is now planned to launch at some point before March 2023.
On the game’s Twitter page, 2K and Firaxis revealed the game will not be launching on October 7.
“After discussion with the team, we’ve made the decision to move back the launch timing of Marvel’s Midnight Suns to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience for our fans,” read the announcement.
Midnight Suns will now launch on PC, Xbox Series X|S and PS5 “later this fiscal year,” which ends on March 31, 2022.
How will this impact XCOM 3? We imagine it will have some sort of knock-on impact in the long run, even if there’s no official project on the table just yet.
As part of a rather neat feature on PCgamer some of the staff discuss the longest time they’ve had to wait for a sequel.
Evan Lahti, Global Editior-in-Chief plucked for X-COM and if you want a mini trip down memory lane, hit the link above to read what he had to say.
Although Summer Game Fest didn’t have any news on XCOM 3, we did get some updates via an interview with PCGamesN, who was speaking with Firaxis project lead Garth DeAngelis ahead of the release of Firaxis’ Marvel’s Midnight Suns game. DeAngelis promised fans that the XCOM franchise isn’t going anywhere, but it was just that Marvel’s Midnight Suns was “too good” to pass up.
“We just had this opportunity that was placed on our lap, it’s totally natural to say, where else can we go? And frankly, that’s a blessing. That’s a good problem to have,” explained DeAngelis.
Speaking about XCOM directly, DeAngelis said: “We love it. There’s absolutely a future for it. But this was just an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.”
Summer Game Fest starts later today with a confirmed start time of 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST.
Don’t forget that the third Summer Game Fest takes place on June 9, and promises to showcase “what’s next in gaming with huge new game announcements, world premieres, special guests, and much more”.
It’s also worth noting that the show’s creator Geoff Keighley has let fans know that the show will be “primarily focused” on already announced games. But this isn’t to say it won’t have some new game announcements. Plus with 2K confirmed to be part of Summer Game Fest, it sure would be a good time to announce what Firaxis Games is working on. Will that include XCOM 3? One can only hope.
Either way, tune it, it’ll be fun!
XCOM 3 LEAKS
Officially we know that Firaxis hasn’t announced anything in relation to the next game in the XCOM series, but it does seem like something might be brewing in the background.
Back in September 2021, the well-publicised NVIDIA GeForce Now database leak more or less allowed users access to NVIDIA’s internal database for upcoming releases. This includes several unnamed and unannounced games, including a new XCOM. Speaking to WCCFTech at the time, NVIDIA issued the following statement:
“NVIDIA is aware of an unauthorized published game list, with both released and/or speculative titles, used only for internal tracking and testing. Inclusion on the list is neither confirmation nor an announcement of any game. NVIDIA took immediate action to remove access to the list. No confidential game builds or personal information were exposed.”
Since the leak contains some ‘speculative’ titles it’s impossible to say with any certainty that the new XCOM game on the list is genuine or a fabrication. But then again, it seems fairly likely that a new XCOM would be coming eventually, so we’re more inclined to believe it’s inclusion wasn’t without merit.
Will XCOM 3 Be Terror from the Deep?
Personally, we’d love to see Fixaxis turn their hand to adapting XCOM’s infamous underwater sequel, Terror From The Deep. In fact, the ending from XCOM 2 does sort of hint at that being the possible direction of the next game. However, Jake Solomon (XCOM Creative Director) has been on record saying he doesn’t particularly like Terror from the Deep, and whilst the comments (seen below) were made in 2013, it’s hard to envision him changing his opinion given his somewhat logical explanation.
“I think Civ always benefited from the fact that it’s based in history and so people can automatically be like ‘Oh the wheel, I know about the wheel,’ or gunpowder. XCOM has a little of that, where the maps are gas stations. I think that stuff matters quite a bit, that you’re on Earth and you’re fighting in gas stations. Terror from the Deep to me always felt very weird, I didn’t feel as strong an emotional connection to things like the underwater levels, it all really looked alien, so the aliens didn’t seem all that out of place to me.”
In short, XCOM 3 might well be related to Terror From The Deep, but personally, we don’t think it’ll go in that direction.
XCOM 3 Release Date
Is XCOM 3 coming out anytime soon? Well at the time of writing, there is no release date for XCOM 3, tentative or otherwise. Firaxis had previously held interviews for new jobs in 2019 which were for a worldbuilder position to “take the XCOM franchise to the next level,” although at this stage it seems more likely that this was related to the Chimera Squad game.
Given we know the developer is also working on Civilisation 7 in some capacity, it’s possible that the next XCOM game could be third in line behind Marvel’s Midnight Suns (coming 2022), Civ 7 (likely coming 2023). With this in mind, we wouldn’t expect any news on the next entry in the XCOM series until 2023 or 2024 at the earliest.