Up For Debate - Long Waits And Delays

Written by Sam Welch on Sun, Dec 7, 2014 4:00 PM
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Is a game ‘ready’ when the Dev has finished the work they want to do on it, or when they’ve finished tidying up any issues raised by player feedback - and at what point in the process does a release date fit in?

We know you can’t wait to play your favourite games. Only too well in fact, neither can we. Every morning I turn a wistful visage to the sky to entreat the game gods the question, ‘why couldn’t Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy have come out at 6 month intervals, rather than over 6 years?’ But I get no answer. Why, for that matter can’t my favourite TV shows just have a new episode every night, week in and week out, all the year round? In other words - have we become way, way too impatient?

Games are delayed, after all, not always because of mistakes, but because if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Imagine the anticlimax for any developer, Indie or triple-A, upon having tirelessly poured your heart and soul into a project, or even just your small section of an enormous piece of work, only to have it critiqued to shreds immediately over one small failing. Correspondingly, think about how impatient you’ve been - and for how long - between the announcement and release of some of your existing favourite games. Contemplate how often that anticipation reaches the same heights whether over the course of months or years (perhaps for the sake of argument, Half-Life 3 should be excused here), and yet how all of that anticipation is instantly forgotten as soon as the game is finally available. Shouldn't all long waits, and delays, be patiently endured in the name of the ultimate goal: a competent and satisfying final release?

But then again, games are a business, like everything else. These guys are working for our money just as much as for our love, and the industry itself is by this point far from new and inexperienced - should they take more pride in earning it than delays and long waits seem to suggest? Perhaps it’s irresponsible to hype, or even announce, a game early enough that any of the details are subject to significant change? Game Devs have on occasion made offers of recompense for substantially late or flawed games, typically in the form of reduced or free content - could it be reasonable for this to become a norm, rather than an optional display of good faith, a kind of punitive measure for not coming through on promises?

That, at least, sounds pretty harsh to me, but what's your take?

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13:44 Mar-12-2015

I would rather a game be delayed and be well polished then a game that is 70% complete then sold to me of which not only spoils my experience but requires another 6 months to fix, which means by that time i am bored. I honestly dont mind a few bugs, but when the game is unplayable that is another story. I constantly wonder how these games make it through quality control? In my experience a job/project reflects my company. If i deliver scrat product then i lose clients and therefor reputation and income and sometimes thousands are lost to repair a mistake on my side to make the client happy..

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13:49 Mar-12-2015

...This is not the case in the gaming community. Sure some developers care and deliver a nice well put together product, others not. Some offer free DLC (imo should have just been put freely into the game) to compensate unhappy customers. The fact is that a game dev company may have bad rep, but there are always suckers who fall for the same trap over and over. Its not a real loss to the devs. They make 1 product and sell it to hundreds and thousands of people. Now if we could return products because we were unhappy with them, i think we would have a different story. Sorry for the long post

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16:59 Dec-08-2014

Maybe when publishers see the dev cannot have the game ready on the announced release date, they could like give the buyer 2 options:
1) wait for the next set release date and get some kind of extra bonus for the delay, like dlc
or
2) accept the game as it is and play it now, knowing it may be not ready, and perhaps actually giving feedback for the game's issues - early access. maybe these

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16:59 Dec-08-2014

people could also get some gifts for their work / rewards.


but generally speaking, waiting is the best option.

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12:29 Dec-08-2014

i would rather have a buggy game which will soon or late will be fixxed than waiting undless months

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10:34 Dec-08-2014

Watch Dogs: It was developed with good graphics and was bit more optimized and Ubi delayed it 9 Months so that it could get (polished) and when they released it had crap optimization as well as downgraded graphics. So that delay was uhh

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09:59 Dec-08-2014

Games are meant to be enjoyed,so I would wait as long as it takes to make the game perfect.

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20:59 Dec-07-2014

The hype and the wait no longer matters a month after the game as released. If the game is good and can stand the test of time, it will be infinitely more valuable than a rushed buggy game that we no longer care about in a couple of months...

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19:31 Dec-07-2014

You win the gamer's heart, you get the gamer's money as well

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19:02 Dec-07-2014

Delay releases as long as needed. It is better to get a game that is 99% complete later than to get a game that is only 80% finished sooner. If they want to release the games early for people to help them test it then launch it as an early access or beta. At least then people will expect the issues that they find. Asking full price for a game that is only 80% complete is very bad business.

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19:41 Dec-07-2014

On the contrary, it is very good business... for dev's and publishers. There are still way too many customers falling into their marketing trap and buying games in the launch day or pre-ordering them.

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20:36 Dec-07-2014

It is good for them in the beginning, but after a few bunk launches less people pre-order. Also after a few bunk launches people start waiting for reviews & sales before buying. Total War is a good example. Attila pre-orders are awful for CA right now. I think Assassin's Creed will be a good example next time Ubisoft launches a new one.

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19:00 Dec-07-2014

I'm always ready to wait for good release. I think it's all about money rushing releases,I bet devs don't really love releasing bad game and patch it for year. even I don't like entire years nothing intresting releasing(like 2014),I rather take that than rushed game waiting patches

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18:58 Dec-07-2014

"It's fair to say Assassin's Creed Unity could've done with a bit more time in the oven, but would you have preferred waiting another six months like Watch Dogs?"
The answer is simply yes.

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18:50 Dec-07-2014

I can wait for games if they actually do something during that time. Rather than "Make them wait to build hype" mentality companies seem to have. I could've waited for Fallout New Vegas for another 2 years to make it at least somewhat playable.

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18:21 Dec-07-2014

This is the reason Blizzard and Valve are the only devs I really care about.


I mean look at Blizzard cancelling a million dollar project just because "it wasn't fun enough".

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01:07 Dec-08-2014

and when they do release games it stays in our heart and pcs for years even decades to come

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18:10 Dec-07-2014

Im willing to wait more the year for complete game rather uncomlete game with bugs that gonna make me rage into flame

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19:18 Dec-07-2014

Agreed. We're not beta testers.


Some bugs can amuse though. I recall one time on Skyrim my horse was launched into the air for dismounting on awkward ground!

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13:52 Dec-08-2014

skyrim bugs very entertaining actualy but it could be nice to have it bug-free

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12:25 Dec-09-2014

our beautiful Skyrim is [i] supposedly [/i] bug-free now, but many things, especially the physics, look really buggy :P and not even mods can totally fix them. maybe TES 6 will be more awesome.

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16:39 Dec-07-2014

do you know why we get bugged games because deadlines and MONEY

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16:33 Dec-07-2014

Id rather wait 2+ years for a bug free well optimized game rather than a rushed badly optimized game. cough cough Assasins Creed cough cough

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11:18 Dec-09-2014

Assassin's Creed.. I recall 1 being fine. 2 fine as well.. 3? AMD forgot to release drivers for that one on time. (You can't deny that.) Brotherhood? I recall it being fine. Revelations? Runs fine.. 4: Black Flag? Drivers and game rushed out.. still not too early. Fixed with patches and it didn't take long.
Unity? Unity is a game that has a huge scale of the world. 1:1 as I recall it which it IS. Add huge graphical abilities to it and nice animations to it as well. Its buggy release? Justified

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16:20 Dec-07-2014

Better waiting than nothing at all, play a rushed game is like you don't even play the game at all when it's full of buggy mess. then you pay for nothing except more waiting for the patch until it's finally playable.

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16:17 Dec-07-2014

Personally, I would rather wait for a game that is complete. Devs nowadays, tend to release unfinished games, and then release like 5-6 patches to make it playable. When I give 50 bucks for a game I want a complete one, and not a game that is in Beta state. Unity for exmple, has huge problems, but fortuantelly patch 1.03 fixed much o0f them. The dropping through the world one was really annoying.

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16:11 Dec-07-2014

Would you have preferred waiting another six months like Watch Dogs? Well then it would have ran as well as Watch dogs(not a compliment). I am still amused at people pre-ordering games with all them flaws they have at release. I honestly rather wait couple more months till they patch out the game more. the last time i bought a game at full price was the original NFS Most Wanted.

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16:08 Dec-07-2014

I say it is better to wait a few more months for a properly finished and tested game rather than get a game early and it turns out that it runs like crap even in on consoles and high end rigs... I imagine if I were part of a dev team and the douchebag publisher made us finish up early to get it released at a particular time of their choosing... And in the end, the final consumer will criticize the crap running game and all the hard work I poured in while making it...

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