Gamers – Expect Delays


Delays are a very sore subject for gamers, the past few years have been filled with frustrating and heartbreaking release date setbacks. It appears to have just become the norm which is absolutely unacceptable. This piece is set out to provide a two-sided opinion on the matter of something we all deep down hate, but in some way have an understanding for.

The Last Guardian has had it’s release date pushed back from October 25th to early December, before that another big title was recently delayed being Final Fantasy XV, announced earlier this year to be coming September 30th will now be with us November 29th instead. Both games have already had extended development cycles spanning a number of years, you would think that when they had finally announced a date that these would be released it would be a sure thing right? But no, they aren’t quite ready yet and need more time for ‘polish’ and to ‘meet expectations’ which is a huge warning sign. I am all for delaying a game with the interest of ensuring a quality product is launched, however this ‘forgiving’ attitude has now allowed such practice to become a thing of regularity.

Every delay sees the same explanation or excuse of ensuring quality, this may not even be the case and I can guarantee in some instances it’s just been an out-right scapegoat excuse to save the backsides of the developers who are either behind on their work or they severely underestimated how much time was needed. I don’t claim to know how to develop a game or know the in’s and out’s of what goes on behind the scenes, but I know enough to be aware of when I need to be apprehensive about games getting delayed. It gets to a point where you just need to release the game already.

Just wait before pulling the trigger, too often a game gets announced and doesn’t release within 18 months. After 18 months, is just too long to keep the hype train going and games can suffer terribly with over-hype based on lengthy announce to release times. We saw that this summer with No Man’s Sky that was announced in December 2013 and released early August of this year. During that time, our expectations run amok, fabricating ideas of what the game was going to be and what features will be included. Sony certainly weren’t innocent in the over-hyping of the space exploration game, it was featured at multiple E3’s and other gaming conventions we got various gameplay videos and trailers and trying to sustain hype for that amount of time is difficult. Now certainly they accomplished keeping the hype alive however this ultimately back-fired and this shows with the ‘average’ reviews when it really could have been a ‘good’ to ‘great’ game. I’m positive in my belief that the reviews suffered due to expectations not being met, instead of reviewing what the game actually is, some reviewed the game on what wasn’t in the game, which is rather unfortunate.

Fallout 4 was announced at E3 2015 (June) and was released a mere five months later which proved to be a truly smart move by Bethesda. Granted everyone was expecting the 4th instalment in the Fallout franchise to be announced sooner or later, we knew it was coming, but to actually have it acknowledged at E3 and to be told we would be playing it later that year was fantastic. Fallout 4 become a commercial and critical success, achieving on average 9/10 across the board and grossing $750 million in shipped sales. This proves that you do not need the lengthy announce to release times.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, If a title needs to be delayed in order for us the gamers not to get a broken game then fine I get it, If I’m spending £40/$60 on something I do not want to be receiving a buggy mess which has certainly happened in the past (Assassin’s Creed Unity), if I have to wait an extra month or two for something I’m really looking forward to and invested in so be it. There are plenty of other games to keep my going and if the end result is something that’s enjoyable, virtually bug-free and just good quality it would have been worth it.

Ultimately, a delay is better for the gamers, we get better quality products at the end of the day, it’s just irritating that it’s happening far too often. In an ideal world, developers and publishers would wait, get the game up to scratch or in the late and final stages of development before coming out with the release date, sure announce it 6-18 months in advance in order to start generating interest certainly not longer otherwise the hype dies down and the end product suffers, but with a release date don’t just plant one out there only to have it be moved.

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