In a post on Bethesda's Elder Scrolls forums, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's marketing director, Pete Hines, commented what specifically has caused the game's delay from its original fourth quarter 2005 release date. It was previously reported that publisher Take 2's financial woes were responsible for the delay, but it seems that the cause goes deeper.
According to Hines, the primary reason for the game being pushed back to 2006 is the need for further testing and balancing in order to achieve completion. Hines said, "We still have things that need to be done before the game is released. [...] We've already gone way beyond what we did in any game previously in playtesting and balancing this game. Way beyond. But there is work that needs to be done and so development continues to go on pretty much around the clock."
For those disappointed by the news that Oblivion is still in its development cycle, Hines and executive producer Todd Howard assure them that the team behind the game will continue to keep the official site updated with additional art and screenshots in the months ahead. Hines stated that they cannot, however, give a more exact release date than early next year.