The delay is the result of... yeah, you guessed it: Covid-19.
New World - Invasions

Early in the day on March 9, Amazon Games Studios made the sad announcement that their upcoming MMORPG, New World, is getting delayed. The game, which was initially set to be released to everyone in May 2020 has instead been pushed back until August 25, 2020. A closed beta for the game has now been added as well, and will begin in July.

The reason behind the delay is attributed to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The team has been working remotely for a little while now, which has "introduced some challenges" for the development team. Instead of rushing the game out just to hit a deadline, they feel as though the delay is worth it both for their fans and for their team. At present, they see themselves continuing to work from home "for the foreseeable future." Kind of wild to think that Covid-19 was declared a pandemic just 3 short years ago on March 11, 2020, right? 2020 has had zero chill.

Amazon says that the alpha for New World will continue to remain open as they "test and tune" the player experience. The team says that they will also continue to share more details about the game as the new August 25 release date approaches.

To that end, the team rolled out the first of these additional gameplay details for New World. This particular focus is on Invasion battles. I'll include a brief snippet below to whet your appetite, but you'll have to head on over to the New World website to read it all. Also included throughout this article are some images from the Invasion gameplay.

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Aeternum is a mysterious and hostile land where you will fight to get a foothold and must be ready to defend it from invading forces... human and supernatural. In New World, when the forces of Corruption have amassed enough strength in a Territory, they lay siege to the Fort. This is called an Invasion. During the battle, the defenders must protect their Fort against escalating waves of enemies. If the forces defending the Fort are successful, the Corrupted’s army is repelled and the battle is won. If, on the other hand, the Fort falls, the Territory suffers and loses some upgrades, such as Crafting Stations, Fort gates or Fort turrets. The higher the Territory’s level, the more items get downgraded. Post battle, the Corruption retreats to replenish their force and the Fort resets itself, restoring any structures that were destroyed. Don’t spend too long upgrading your Territory again though as Invasions occur approximately every four days.