Members of the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion development team have issued a statement on their company forums explaining why the game will now be released in early 2006 on PC and Xbox 360 and not during the Christmas period as previously stated.
Last week the game's publisher Take-Two said the game was aimed at Q2 of the company's financial year, and should be out in Europe in February. Bethesda Softworks' Pete Hines said that's simply "because it isn't done yet".
The team is currently playtesting, optimising, and balancing the game - to a degree, Hines says, that exceeds efforts on all their previous games. "We will not put out a more specific date until we are certain we will be ready then," he added.
The developer will be updating the game's official website, however, and hopefully every week. "We'll be updating the Codex in stages, adding new concept art, screens, etc. in the coming weeks and months. We're open to doing another fan interview in the coming weeks as well to let you ask what it is you think we aren't telling you."
"We appreciate your patience and continued support and ensure you that your dedication will be rewarded with what we think is the best RPG you've ever played."
Xbox 360 fans are thought to be particularly miffed about the delay - some of whom had pre-ordered the console at the suggestion that Oblivion would be done and dusted in time for the November 22nd US or December 2nd European launch.
We'll let you know if there's any further change.