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Sportsfriends delayed out of Jan., needs 'some more weeks' of work

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Sportsfriends, the compilation of four local-multiplayer games from Die Gute Fabrik, will miss its previously announced release window of January 2014, the studio announced today.

When Die Gute Fabrik announced last October that it was bringing Sportsfriends to PlayStation 4, the studio said it planned to release the game in January. In its Kickstarter campaign, Die Gute Fabrik had originally estimated a release window of October 2013.

But in an update sent only to Kickstarter backers of Sportsfriends today, the developers said, "We're still working hard — and getting very close — but unfortunately we're going to need some more weeks." They added that they're "still on budget, and the four games are basically done," but they need the extra time to focus on getting the PlayStation version ready, finishing the menus and fixing bugs.

Die Gute Fabrik still plans to release Sportsfriends on PlayStation 3 before PS4. The delay announcement has a silver lining for non-PlayStation backers: While the studio previously said the Linux, Mac and Windows versions of the game would be available a few weeks following the PS3 version, it now plans to release a beta on PC platforms upon the launch of the PS3 version, hopefully on the same day.

"We think the beta is the best way to do what's right for our Home Computer backers"

"We think the beta is the best way to do what's right for our Home Computer backers, without messing up the console debut that we promised," the developers said. According to Die Gute Fabrik, the Mac and Windows versions are "already close to finished," and the game's engine can produce Linux builds as well.

The studio warned that certain elements of Sportsfriends "may not be ready for the beta," such as support for as many types of controllers as possible. PlayStation Move controllers will work on Mac and Linux for sure, but "Windows is going to be trickier," said the developers. They're also planning on supporting the PS4's DualShock 4 and Valve's Steam Controller in Johann Sebastian Joust, but noted, "That's going to take some R&D work."

Check out our interview with Die Gute Fabrik co-owner Douglas Wilson for more on the Sportsfriends Kickstarter's wild final hour.