Delays are a Smart Move by Publishers & Developers

Credit: EA DICE
Battlefield 2042 was originally scheduled to be released in October but was delayed to this month.

I know how frustrating it could be to look forward to a game’s launch only to find out that the release date has been pushed back. It hits even harder when you’ve already pre-ordered the game. When that title gets delayed a second or third time, you may find yourself quickly losing patience and getting extremely annoyed. You’re wondering what in the world is happening and start to think the worst. Sometimes, you may even wonder if the game will even be released at all.

As a consumer, it can be a frustrating place to be. But if we have learned anything from the infamous launch debacle of Cyberpunk 2077 and other games that were nowhere ready to be released, it is better to wait longer than to receive something sooner that isn’t close to being what was advertised. In hindsight, I’m glad that something as disastrous as Cyberpunk 2077’s release occurred because it caused publishers to think twice about what they put out on the market. For too many years, it has seemed like publishers have been operating under the notion that no matter what shape the game is in, it can just be patched later. Cyberpunk 2077 was the biggest case where that notion came back to bite the publisher.

Credit: CD Projekt Red
To say that Cyberpunk 2077 had a rough launch in late 2020 would be an understatement.

In all of this, we must remember that gaming is big business. And when big money is involved, it also comes with a significant amount of pressure. The executives who run video game companies do not tend to be life-long gamers. What they excel at is making money.  Look at the profiles for GameStop’s Board of Directors and Corporate Management. Do any of these executives sound like lifelong gamers? These are the types of people whose leadership and decisions ultimately affect what we play and how games are developed. 

When a game turns out terrible, it can be natural to immediately blame the development team. But it seldom is that easy. Developers are working according to orders, schedules, budgets, and expectations. They may have a grand vision for a game that is handicapped by what the higher-ups desire. As a result, they then have to prioritize what is most important to ensure that some sort of product is presented before the deadline. Working conditions in this regard can be brutal. To me, it makes no sense for a developer who takes pride in what he or she does to be okay with something as bad as Cyberpunk 2077 was at launch. Remember this Game Informer article?

The reality is that sometimes not everyone is on the same page when it comes to development. While those differences are worked out, it is wise to refrain from launching the product. In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, there should have been given ample time to game testing and quality assurance well before the game’s release. It doesn’t matter that it was already delayed. When a game is not adequately tested, then you have the disaster that took place on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One where the game was nowhere near playable. PlayStation went as far as removing the game from its store until fixes were implemented. Things like that shouldn’t even be happening.

Credit: Paradox Interactive
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 was originally supposed to be released in 2021 and now has no release date.

Getting away from Cyberpunk 2077 (which is now a good game in its current state on PC), Battlefield 2042 is one game many gamers are looking forward to this month. But there have been multiple signs that the game may not be fully ready by launch. Battlefield 2042’s October release date was suddenly pushed back. The beta that gamers sampled was a much older version of the game that was buggy. It would likely be better if the game was released sometime in 2022. But this isn’t likely, especially with the time and money invested in the game. I truly hope its November launch goes well. The reason I’m hesitant to trust EA is that they’ve consistently published games that had significant bugs and glitches such as the last two Madden NFL games. 

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 looks like it has the potential to be a memorable first-person vampire title. I’m glad that Paradox Interactive decided to delay its release. From what I’ve read on the game, it’s a highly ambitious endeavor that will need a good amount of testing before launching. If it is given the right amount of care, it will be a hit in whatever year it is released. Good vampire-based games can be hard to come by.

So if one of your most anticipated games is being delayed, it is much better than already having the game and being thoroughly disgusted with it. Hopefully that time is spent really improving the game and fixing its flaws so that it can enjoy a solid release. It’s a good thing that publishers are not as quick to pull the trigger.

-LandoRigs (TVGA)
admin@videogamersadvocate.com

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WHAT GAMES HAVE YOU PLAYED THAT WERE RELEASED TOO SOON?

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2 Comments on “Delays are a Smart Move by Publishers & Developers

  1. I don’t really mind delays with game releases, as it usually means a better end product – usually anyway. I’m super excited or Horizon Zero Dawn Forbidden West, shame it delayed, but you just know its going to be worth the wait. Sadly, games like cyberpunk 2077 – which had a DRIVER 3 style launch full of bugs and crashes – tend to be a big let down and don’t always recover. Then you have games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that had a few micro issues on launch launch, that have been fixed and had great DLC added. I had some problems with The Siege Of Paris initially, but UBISOFT quickly helped me sort out a save file error when I contacted them. Either way a delay in modern game released isn’t the end of the world, and usually just makes you even more excited for the game 🙂

    • Those are all good points. I agree with you that I would rather wait longer on a game if it means that it will be in better shape at launch. And with all of the games that exist at this point, there has to be something people can play to keep themselves occupied in the meantime.

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