The Weekend Chat: Game Delays – Why Do They Happen?

 
 

When it isn’t your big-budget, AAA games being delayed, it’s your smaller ones too. Just this week it was reported that No Man’s Sky – a game that was right around the corner – may be getting pushed back to July or August. Mass Effect Andromeda was pushed back to an early 2017 window, and even Nintendo delayed the launch of its next Zelda game to line up with a new console release.

So, we pose the question: Why do you think modern games are so routinely delayed?

Is it to do with complexity, as they grow in size and scope? Is it the size of the team? Or is it purely economic, as releases are shuffled around to satisfy quarterly sales numbers?

Let us know in the comments below!

The Weekend Chat is a new format we're trialling amongst other ideas for NZGamer.com in 2016. We'd love to hear your feedback on this.  



 

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Comments Comments (10)

 
Posted by Nick2016NZ
On Friday 27 May 2016 4:47 PM
1
Are we actually sure No Mans Sky has been delayed? The release date on PSN is still the same, as is my pre-order with Mighty Ape, and EB games still have it listed as coming out on the current date. Very strange, when a game is delayed it's usually confirmed straight away, my guess is it's just an untrue rumour.
 
 
 
Posted by piratemonkey
On Friday 27 May 2016 5:26 PM
2
As a systems engineer working towards the release of a product for almost 2 years now ..my opinion is deadlines get pushed out for all sorts of reasons..Often to do with inter-dependency with other teams but sometimes things just turn out to be more complex than initially expected once you actually have to make some detail work correctly.
 
 
 
Posted by Saint
On Friday 27 May 2016 10:42 PM
2
27 May 2016, 05:26 PM Reply to piratemonkey
As a systems engineer working towards the release of a product for almost 2 years now ..my opinion is deadlines get pushed out for all sorts of reasons..Often to do with inter-dependency with other teams but sometimes things just turn out to be more complex than initially expected once you actually have to make some detail work correctly.
Agreed. I imagine with all the hardware being released and drivers tuned etc this would keep the Devs, and more likely, the QA teams fairly happ to push things out. Personally, I think that since the major players have all started doing it, we are more accepting of it (resigned to it) so they keep doing it... why not? Lets face it though... some games should have stayed off the shelves a little longer.

I'd rather wait and have a game right than be disappointed and out of pocket.
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Saturday 28 May 2016 1:37 AM
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Delays are good, thought i think no mans sky is promising a bit too much.
 
 
 
Posted by Nick2016NZ
On Saturday 28 May 2016 12:11 PM
1
27 May 2016, 04:47 PM Reply to Nick2016NZ
Are we actually sure No Mans Sky has been delayed? The release date on PSN is still the same, as is my pre-order with Mighty Ape, and EB games still have it listed as coming out on the current date. Very strange, when a game is delayed it's usually confirmed straight away, my guess is it's just an untrue rumour.
Seems I was wrong, Sean Murray and Sony have confirmed it's been delayed until August 10th in Europe, which I'm assuming includes us as well. August 9th in North America, and August 12th in the UK.
 
 
 
Posted by gspcdNZ
On Sunday 29 May 2016 10:55 AM
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28 May 2016, 12:11 PM Reply to Nick2016NZ
Seems I was wrong, Sean Murray and Sony have confirmed it's been delayed until August 10th in Europe, which I'm assuming includes us as well. August 9th in North America, and August 12th in the UK.
This can only be a good thing. To deliver a game on time, but not yet complete irks more than the idea of waiting.

Super psyched to play the game too. All paid up my preorder too - Just the wait now.
 
 
 
Posted by Dodgykiwi
On Sunday 29 May 2016 6:48 PM
1
Apart from last minute fixes a lot of the time one of the main people from a studio leaves.

No idea if Dead Island 2 will ever come out. It's had plenty of trailers.
 
 
 
Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
On Sunday 29 May 2016 11:23 PM
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Any polish and reduction in bugs is always a good thing.
Its understandable dev's are going to be pushed to get things done in time but I'm glad publishers now are more lenient with delaying it after the many shambles we have had in the past 3-4 years especially with broken games, massive day 1 patches, server issues etc. Seems bad releases , reviews and overall bad press can be bad for pubs, devs and franchises... who would-a thought?
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Monday 30 May 2016 7:36 PM
1
Personally I believe the hype machine for modern games starts too soon. The motivation, I would guess, comes from the publisher wanting to get people reaching into their wallet before the game is ready to be sold. It's like a huge commercial version of Kickstarter.

Back in '92 Doom took a year to produce. It arrived shortly after it was announced to be in production. The latest rendition was in production from 2008, released just this month. First news for Doom (2016) came out in 2008, before the development cycle halted, took off again in 2014. Likewise, GTA 5 had a 2008-2014 production cycle. Those productions highlight the time modern games with all their detail and complexity.

But by telling the gaming public you have something big coming, and then not delivering for 8 years, people will be naturally asking "when?" That excited 18 year old looking forward to the next installment of the title will be 26 when you release it, who's to say they even play games anymore by the time you release the game- they probably have a young family to support. It's natural that this person ask's "What happened?"

I don't think we can blame the development team in these cases. They are constantly trying to take the detail and depth of these titles to the next level. Publishers should just keep the hype down until their build is nearly complete. Surely having media talking about the future release of your title, doesn't increase the development cycle. It may even result in a loss in sales when the dates aren't adhered to, or production dragged out.

When the final GTA product didn't include the online component, people cried foul. Promises about the experience had been made, and at release they weren't present.. Star Wars Battlefront tried to push their product out early to go head to head with the movie hype. Again for the sake of sales. The result was a disillusioned audience and a half finished product. Then they arrogantly announced some of the content which didn't make the cut to be DLC. As a shock to no one they asked you to invest in a season pass when they've made it clear that they don't even know what that pass will entail- The Death Star update release date is marked as TBA, and the 4th installment is titled TBA. When TBA is finally announced, all 100 people still playing the title will be overjoyed.

Perhaps if Battlefront had been allowed the production time of the previously mentioned games, all that DLC would be in the game this November for a 2016 release of some quality. Instead a 2013-2015 turn around, pushed by the hype machine resulted in a half cooked product. And maybe that same title would still need tweaking. But the only reason we were left wanting was because they announced it too early.
 
 
 
Posted by ninja
On Wednesday 1 Jun 2016 2:26 PM
1
In most projects there are situations or outcomes which simply cannot be planned for and can cause delays. I would prefer a game that is delayed by 4-6 months then have have something rushed to meet the deadline and be full of bugs.