Video Game Delays: Hate ‘Em, Love ‘Em, or Indifferent?

Delays are a common thing in the video game industry, but everyone has different reactions to them.

Delays are just part of life.

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They’re part of everything, including the video game industry. Perhaps they’re even more visible and dramatic in this industry, because developers and publishers are often in the habit of announcing games way before there’s anything to show. Given the complexity of the creation process, delays are common.

So, what’s your reaction to the announcement of another delay? There are multiple ways to look at it; I suppose it depends on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist. It also depends on the game itself. If you’re a huge fan – or  you expect to be a huge fan – then you’re not at all pleased… wait, or are you?

Get it done fast or get it done right?

If you really want a game to be amazing, maybe your reaction to a delay should be one of appreciation. Maybe to you, it means the developer is working extra hard to ensure the product’s quality, and you just say: “Sure, take all the time you need!” After all, there’s nothing worse than when an anticipated game falls well shy of expectations, especially if it’s part of an established franchise you just so happen to love.

At the same time, getting it out faster means…well, you get it faster. Besides, delays are often concerning. If the game gets delayed more than once or twice, if you hear of internal strife, if members of the team are disappearing, then there’s always reason to worry. The longer development goes, the more likely it seems that something bad might happen. Of course, we want to avoid that.

The delay that annoyed you most was…

Just say it. Pick a game that you really wanted, only to find out that it had been pushed out into oblivion somewhere. For me, it’s The Last Guardian. Typically, I’m on the side of “take all the time you need,” primarily because I only have precious little time to play, anyway, and I want the best possible product imaginable. Therefore, if it takes a little longer, fine. But Guardian has been talked about for a good six years now and that’s beyond my patience threshold, I have to say. Furthermore, this could be a hugely innovative title for the PlayStation brand.

I know a lot of people who would say Watch Dogs, though. That delay surprised many, mostly because it came so late. This is another example of a gray area: On the one hand, you’ve got reports that the game doesn’t look anywhere near as good as when it was unveiled at E3 in 2012. ON the other hand, the extra development time can only help, right?

Perhaps it all began with the ultimate “vaporware” game, Duke Nukem Forever. I think it was first announced in 1999 and eventually, Gearbox delivered that mess in 2011. See now, that’s a great example of delays gone out of control. I mean, at some point, it just stops being funny.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.