Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is easily one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of this decade, and it's not hard to see why. It aims to build upon the already-excellent (but buggy and unpolished) foundations that Mount & Blade: Warband set in stone, but with slightly smoother edges, better graphics, and more varied gameplay.
Unfortunately, the game has also been in development for the better part of a decade (8 years, to be specific), with no sign of a release date. Many fans joke that the "harvesting season" (a reference to a phrase Warband's peasants frequently say) will never arrive at all. However, those individuals will likely be pleased to learn that Bannerlord has finally received a release date -- of sorts.
As announced at Gamescom 2019, Bannerlord will be arriving in Steam Early Access in March 2020, which is about 6 months off. While reading through comments about this decision across various social media websites (including forums, Twitter, and Steam Discussions), it's clear that the community is split. On the one hand, some fans believe Taleworlds should simply focus on releasing a finished game, and have expressed concern that the title is still in a "rudimentary" state after so many years of development.
On the other hand, many users look forward to playing the game in EA precisely because it has been in development for so long. After all, they say, anything is better than nothing.
Regardless of what camp you fall into, it's certainly exciting to see Bannerlord finally get some traction in the release department. We don't know how long the game will be in Early Access or how much it will cost, but we do know it will be the "full" game -- it's not a multiplayer or singleplayer-only experience. As with most other Early Access titles, Bannerlord will be iterated upon over time, and the community's feedback will help shape the game's direction and features.
If you've been eagerly awaiting Bannerlord's release for as long as a few of our own writers have, feel free to check out the Early Access announcement video above.