According to publisher Dotemu and developer Leiker Studio, Marco, Eri, and Fio "needs a bit more time in the shop to prepare for the battles ahead." As a result, Metal Slug Tactics isn't coming out until 2023.
Marco, Eri, Fio, and Tarma are tinkering away to make #MetalSlugTactics as explosive as possible on release, but the squad needs a bit more time in the shop to prepare for the battles ahead. See you in 2023! @LeikirStudio x @Dotemu
🎨Artwork by @AngryangryD pic.twitter.com/JRKqpnvUQp
— Dotemu (@Dotemu) August 11, 2022
Metal Slug is an iconic run-and-gun franchise that hasn't had the best luck in recent years. The last mainline installment, Metal Slug 7, came out in 2008/9 for the Nintendo DS. All we have had since then are spin-offs and mobile games, which haven't really been very good.
This is why fans were very excited after finding out about Metal Slug Tactics at last year's Summer Game Fest. Even though it's a spin-off, the way it's described as a "dynamic tactical RPG with roguelike elements" made fans believe that it could breathe life into the franchise. Not to mention, we haven't really had too many strategy games these days.
Tactics fans continue to get hit by delays. Marvel's Midnight Suns, a game by Firaxis Games, was pushed back from October to sometime early next year. Meanwhile, Nintendo also removed the planned release date for Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp. Metal Slug Tactics plus both of the aforementioned games make for three upcoming strategy titles that are no longer coming later this year.
If it's any consolation, there's still a handful of tactics games hitting store shelves in the next few months. Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a modern remake of the revered strategy RPG from the 90s that is coming out on all modern platforms. Also, unless anything significant happens, Ubisoft expects to release Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope on October 20. We'll likely find out more about this unlikely but very successful sequel at Gamescom 2022.