Delayed Video Games: It’s Not the End of the World

Video game delay announcements. It’s something we, as gamers, all hate hearing about – especially if it’s a game we’re really looking forward too, but I’ve never understood why some people act like it’s the end of the world. A number of people may argue that a delay can be a good thing. If a development team need that extra time to polish and turn a game from a six to a nine, thus creating a more compelling story, smoother game play and a better game in general, then so be it.

Personally, as much as it can be an annoyance at times, I welcome delays with a general understanding and acceptance although many may not. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has seen three delays now, with the most recent postpone coming in order to deliver on the studio’s ambitious vision for the games ending. When Neil Druckmann states that;

This’ll make for a smooth worldwide launch. Thanks for your patience… It’ll be worth it at the end. Promise

When Druckmann makes a promise on behalf of the famous Naughty Dog studio, the ones responsible for bringing us a slew of incredible games in the past, I’m well inclined to believe him and trust his judgement that the game just wasn’t ready and that this delay will invoke a more spectacular finished product.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is shaping up to be a spectacular finale to the series.

We see a magnitude of games follow the same suit. In relation to the header image, Persona 5 was originally due to be released in 2014 on the PS3, now, after a number of changes and a different platform release we see it’s next upcoming release date to be June of 2016 and it’s radio silent on Atlus’ behalf with only a couple of month to go. This isn’t the end of the world thought, I’d rather they work on the game than focus on PR and marketing. There are many different games and other activities to occupy our time. Although some people happen to think otherwise…

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It’s quite disheartening seeing a vulgar response like this, but sadly these things still happen. I mean, it’s not as if the team at ATLUS want their audience to wait as long as possible to play their games. The amount of pressure the developers already face in the first place is immense, never mind inpatient individuals screaming down their necks about the game not releasing when they want it too.

If a game is held back they aren’t doing it to purposefully annoy people, they’re only harming themselves anyway and not on purpose either, but can some games really recover from development hell or a vast number of delays and setbacks? The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007 and has had it’s fair share of development hell, to the point of where many thought the project had been cancelled all together until it resurfaced in 2015.

Journalists have expressed their concern as to whether the game would even be such a landmark title as initially seen. In many ways, the landscape of gaming has greatly changed since the release of The Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian already has big boots to fill with that in mind. I’d be very much surprised if the game can clinch anything back and if it would well be worth the wait.

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The Last Guardian looks beautiful, but will it be able to hit as hard as SOTC did?

The likes of Final Fantasy XV share a similar story. Originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a PS3 exclusive spin off, it soon became apparent that the title wasn’t going in the direction that they first hoped. With a transition to the eighth-generation hardware, a change of name, new director, a different story and essentially a totally different change of game. After ten long years of development and more than likely thousands of pounds put into resources, Final Fantasy XV is nearing its release date this year. But will the wait really be worth it?

Why do studios release these dates and then don’t adhere to them without knowing that they’ll definitely meet their deadline? Why do they give a release date in the first place if they just can’t meet it? Well, it’s more than likely pressure from the publishing side of things, the sooner they get a release date out the sooner they can start marketing the game and making money from pre-orders and merchandise. Why not just take a leaf out of Bethesda’s book and release in a similar way Fallout 4 did, with a ton of info, trailers, game play, and a solid release date that was only a number of months away from annoucment, as opposed to years.

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Fallout 4 was released just a few months after it’s announcement.

I think we’d all love to see games released that way. I would love too. I believe it’s the best way for all parties – publishers, studio and consumers. That can’t always be the case thought. Some games just don’t have the stature or an audience as big as Fallout so they aren’t able to draw a big enough audience in a short space of time, they need to build up their public relations over an extended period.

Sometimes delays just can’t be helped and it’s certainly not the end of the world when they happen. I think the overreactions to when these incidents happen needs to stop. No one ever wants a delay. Not the consumers, publishers or studio working on the title. There’s a ton of other games out there and when your favorite game has a setback, just remember – patience is the best policy. If a game is going to fall into development hell then it’s the studio/publisher that is affected and not you. At the end of the day, there’s no point crying over spilt milk.

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EGX 2015 – Saturday: Need for Speed, Shuhei Yoshida, Naughty Dog and More

This morning went along the same lines as yesterday, except this time it paid off. As soon as it hit 10am the gates opened and we shuffled forward like a heard of cattle out of the waiting hall, once we finally reached the main entrance of the show floor everyone quickly became 100 metre sprinters and pushed their way to the game they wanted to play most.

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The Tatooine Survival level – playable at EGX.

Considering my first destination yesterday was for the 40 player Hoth Multiplayer Map battle on Star Wars Battlefront, I thought the wise choice would be to head straight for the survival game on Tatooine, hoping this time I’d be able to avoid the queues and today it paid off, unlike yesterday.

We got on the game within about 20 minutes and the queue behind us soon looked to be never-ending. I really enjoyed this game mode, it was offline split screen and proved to be a lot of fun and it seemed as thought it would definitely appeal to those who didn’t care much for the Online aspect of the game.

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This showed off the offline portion of the game, I can see it being a lot of fun for couch co-op folk.

Once we’d finished the game we headed on over to the Need for Speed booth. The game looked great, but didn’t look as good as what I’d seen in the gameplay reveals earlier in the year. It was still a lot of fun. The game we played was a rep attack which pitted eight players against each other, we had to score as many points as we could by drifting, near missing, racing into oncoming traffic etc. the winner of the match up won a free t-shirt – sadly it wasn’t me.

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The Need for Speed setup showed off this amazing Nissan Skyline.

From there we began to queue for the 20 Years of Play developer Sessions given by Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment. He’s been there since PlayStation started and has played a huge role in making it what it is today, which is dearly beloved by many.

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A fantastic insight into PlayStations last 20 years.

He was also involved in some amazing titles such as Crash Bandicoot, Wipeout, Ape Escape, Twisted Metal and many more. We managed to get to the queue point one hour and a half early, thankfully done so as the session soon filled up and those hoping to attend by just turning up at 12pm when it was due to start were bitterly disappointed. The talk was absolutely fantastic and quite inspiring, hearing an insight into the last 20 years of Playstation, from the man himself was something special.

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The man himself – Shuhei Yoshida.

Before the session, the guys from GeekSleepRinseRepeat.com managed to spot the bright red shirts and we got together for a picture after the developer session. GSRR focuses on all aspects of geek culture, not just gaming but films, TV, Comics, Sport and more. They really do put a lot of work into the site and are two really great lads, so go and check out their site.

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Myself and the guys from Geek. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

Afterwards I fancied my chances on Destiny: The Taken King. I’ve given Destiny a bad rap in the past, it’s not that I don’t like the game, but that It could have been so much more. The Taken King looks a lot more appealing and from what I played of the game at EGX, it’s made me want to open the doors back upon Destiny.

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Destiny: The Taken King actually looks pretty good, considering my original feelings on the series. I’ll be sure to check it out once I’m home.

I also played a crucible match up and the winning team took away a free t-shirt, £5 voucher and blacksmith shader code. The game was an intense and very close rift battle, our team just managed to edge it towards the end and took home the prize.

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Taking home the prize – My goodies from being part of the winning team on crucible.

I luckily managed to notice the Uncharted Collection, which was tucked away around from Destiny, I was very surprised to see how good it looked running on PS4. I was also pleased to hear that it didn’t contain any multiplayer, as I’ve always thought the Uncharted series hasn’t needed it, the single player can easily stand on it’s own, ten times over.

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The Uncharted collection looked beautiful on PS4.

As the end of the day neared we decided to head back over to the developer sessions theatre where we were able to attended a talk with Arne Meyer of Naughty Dog. Arne gave a talk on “Uncharted Retrospective – Greatness from Small Beginnings” in which he was able to share anecdotes from a decade of development of the Uncharted series – in which he revealed why it actually took 2 years to create the infamous train level in Uncharted 2 and how the desert scene in Uncharted 3 only took 2 weeks to create. It was an exceptional session and it was brilliant to get to hear a little behind such a huge game series.

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EGX Developer Session with Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer.

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully manage to get to play and let you guys know about The Division, so don’t forget to come back tomorrow to read all about that.

/ CR