Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes The Awakened release delayed because of relentless Russian bombing

Instead of working, developers are sitting in darkness staring at a wall.


Image via Frogwares

Ukrainian developer Frogwares has announced that the release date of Sherlock Holmes The Awakened has been delayed due to a power deficit in the country caused by Russian bombings. The developers don’t know when they’ll be able to get back to work, often sitting at home in complete darkness while waiting for the power to come back on.

The Russian army has shifted to bombing Ukrainian power stations. While anti-air defenses stop 80% of the bombs, it only takes one or two to have a dramatic impact. Ukraine is now in a power deficit, and authorities are using scheduled blackouts around the country as a result. This, as you can imagine, makes it incredibly challenging for a game developer to get any work done. The game was originally set to be released between February and March but has now been pushed back to March or April. A firm release date will be announced in the future.

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The Frogwares staff are never sure if the power will be on in the office or their own homes, meaning they need to travel between the two to work. Often the power will be on in the evenings, meaning most of the work from Ukraine-based employees gets done overnight. The true challenge is being able to sync up and work with other people around the world. Tasks such as bug fixes and QA that usually take a couple of hours now take a couple of days to complete.

As stated in the Steam news post for this delay, Sherlock Holmes The Awakened is launching across nine platforms. It’s the largest scale release the developer has put out, and the extra time the delay gives it will be put toward ensuring all versions of the game are as bug-free as possible and provide players with a satisfying gameplay experience.

Related: Packed up and ready to leave, but not going anywhere – An insight into the war in Ukraine from an indie game studio

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been affecting game developers since it began. Some people are still living in hallways, rushing to shelters when sirens wake them in the night, but it now seems like most have forgotten what life in the country felt like before the conflict.

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened lets you step into the shoes of the world-famous detective as he explores a Lovecraftian mystery. A series of disappearances has pulled Holmes into the center of a Cthulhu-drenched nightmare where knowledge isn’t always an ally. The game is a remake of the classic title of the same name, built for modern audiences to enjoy alongside the other adventures in the Sherlock Holmes series.