Opinion: Delays and Compromises Hurt the Video Game Industry

Lately, a lot of news has come out about delays and compromises for video games. Some game companies even recognize the severity of this issue to the point where no matter the issue, the release date is the release date (see recent news to this point about DayZ developer Bohemia).

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These companies are lauded for their efforts, but the companies who fail are simply shrugged at.

The Division was delayed by Ubisoft a few days ago, Watch Dogs originally announced it would be in 1080p, but then had to back off it’s claim, The Witcher 3 moved it’s release date from the fall to next spring after a delay earlier this year, and Dying Light has also been delayed until 2015.

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At what point do we say, “Enough is enough. Release the date on time or recognize you don’t have the energy and tell us later when the date is set?”

These examples aren’t the first either, here is a list of 22 games that originally announced a date but then delayed that date at least once.

The article quotes Video Game Designer Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo saying, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

In theory, that strategy is sound.

But what about the examples where a game is still not working?

Battlefield 4 repeatedly faced delays for its expansion content because the core content still wasn’t functioning correctly.

Companies like EA (Battlefield 4) and Ubisoft (Watch Dogs) are forgiven for one reason: they’re big publishers and have great PR departments to do their clean up work.

A dependency on these companies has been built suggesting that we want quality games, and those can only come from the well funded developers and publishers.

There could be a solution though.

Indie games are becoming more popular as years progress, and with systems like Steam’s Greenlight program, it’s easier than ever to put out a game. The caveat there is just that: these games are easier to make. When the system becomes too simple to exploit, issues pop up.

Not too long ago, an indie developer used the Steam Greenlight system, and was successful, but the game performed so poorly after it was released, that Steam issued a full refund and recalled the game from the market.

What game you say? Earth: Year 2066 (if you want to read the story).

So what is the solution? What will the gaming industry come up with next to fix this issue?

One thing is clear: gamers are demanding an answer, and if I know anything about the gaming industry, that’s that the industry is always evolving. Eventually, a response will need to surface.

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Daniel Jauch
Written by
I have a huge passion for games and the excitement of finding what heroes you like to play. I believe in everyone there's a little gamer that wants that adventure and interactivity, so I do what I can to connect people to that inner-hero.

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