Throughout the years, s&box has had its ups and downs.
Cancelled Facepunch projects and uncertainties in what lies ahead gave fans whiplash. But, after Facepunch announced that s&box would be developed based off Source 2, the community was excited for what was to come.
Developer preview started in April 2021, with hopes that s&box would launch in some form by the end of the year. The infamous queue came and went. In July 2021, the s&box website was updated to state the goal was to release in "6-12 months".
Nearly a year has passed, and s&box is still in developer preview. And we seem no closer to a release date. When will s&box release?
The Short Answer
Not Facepunch. Not even Garry. There are no public estimates.
Developing a game is hard work. Developing an engine for people to make games is even more hard work. Even when s&box is finally released, the engine will by no means be complete. It just needs to be "ready enough".
Our Best Guess
While s&box has its moments, the dirty underbelly of the engine rears its head regularly to those who experiment with it. Things break constantly, and often take considerable time to fix.
But, s&box has charm. The tooling is constantly improving, and awesome new features are added regularly. The engine has gone through multiple so-called "pain days", which are breaking changes to the API, that ultimately improve the code in the long run.
Given the steady pace, we predict s&box will release around mid-late 2023. However, if Garry decides to take access in a different direction (perhaps an open beta?), the true release date is difficult to predict.