Originally planned in partnership with a tournament in 2023, Rugby 24 has been delayed so long that it's now Rugby 25

Rugby 25 announcement
(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Having originally planned to launch in partnership with the 2023 World Cup, the developers of Rugby 24 have admitted that the game has been delayed for so long that they've been forced to rename it.

In a statement last night, Big Ant Studios confirmed that Rugby 24 is now Rugby 25. Apologizing for the "significant delay" in bringing the game to players, it acknowledges that "this delay has caused us to now focus on the 2024 and 2025 season, hence we have decided to appropriately rename Rugby 24."

Accompanying the news of the rename, however, is the news that the game's long delays are finally over. Rugby 25 is launching into early access on Steam later today, June 28. 21 national teams will be available, with more coming over the course of the early access period. Big Ant is eventually planning to include more than 140 national teams and 150 clubs to the game.

Rugby 24 was initially scheduled to release as part of an official partnership with the 2023 World Cup, which took place in France last Fall. Its original name, however, was in keeping with its initial planned release date of January 2024. A delay pushed that date back until March, however, when a second indefinite delay hit the game. 

That delay is now over, but moved the release date back so far that we're only a few months away from the start of the 2025 rugby season in the northern hemisphere. In keeping with naming conventions established in no small part with EA's industry-leading sports titles, that all-but forced Rugby 24 to become Rugby 25. Whether those multiple delays will have resulted in an increase in the quality that Big Ant was looking for remains to be seen, but at least we won't have to wait long to find out.

Check out our list of new games 2024 for titles that should be out before 2025.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.