The release of psychedelic survival title We Happy Few has been delayed thanks to a serious overhaul of its opening hours.

In an update video, developer Compulsion Games said it wasn't happy with how the game started, and as a result, seriously reworked its story beats so players encounter significant milestones a lot earlier.

"There are these moments that are memorable, very funny, and super weird and we’re really excited to show you all," said producer Sam Abbott.

"But we felt that the first two hours of Arthur’s story just didn’t live up to those moments, meaning that the game didn’t start as well as it should. So we went back to the drawing board and made a couple of big decisions: we brought forward a number of story moments, to get into the action faster, and also rebuilt the whole first island for Arthur."

According to Compulsion, the game's first few hours now feel like a completely new experience. It is now working to polish the entire game.

Thanks to the changes, Compulsion is enabling refunds for all players who purchased the game on Steam – regardless of playtime – and is also temporarily suspending the sale of the game on Steam.

"We’ll continue working to make sure 1.0 is great and something you’ll be happy buying," it said.

Players begin We Happy Few as Arthur, a man trapped in a dystopian version of the UK where everyone is hooked on a bliss-inducing drug called "Joy" that hides the ghastly true nature of reality from its users.

There are three playable characters, the second of whom, Sally, appears in the video below. The third character has not yet been revealed.

We Happy Few was crowdfunded in early 2015 and launched on Steam Early Access in mid-2016. Last year, it was added to Xbox Game Preview as well.

It will now release in winter 2018 for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.