Delaying Games and Hardware - Beneficial or Harmful?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    I think it's definitely been too long since one of these has popped up, but hopefully I'm able to kind of get back into the swing of things... While looking for a suitable topic for discussion, this idea popped up courtesy of another user, and I actually liked the idea of exploring this. Thinking about games and hardware that have been delayed, did they often end up better or worse for us? Is delaying a game a good thing, or a bad thing? And what about games that have been held in development for extremely long periods of time?​
    I don't know about you guys, but I like my games to be polished and well done. For me, if it means that I have to wait another few months for them to release it, I have no problem so long as they deliver. It's like Miyamoto said: delaying something will eventually make it good, but rushing something out will make it bad.​
    In a way, I see Miyamoto being a bit hypocritical here, as the Nintendo 3DS project felt a bit rushed, and while it did relatively well in terms of a sales point, it comes nowhere close to the Nintendo DS in terms of success. I feel like the Nintendo 3DS was too rushed, and didn't spend enough time in development. The 3D had a sweet spot to deal with. The system had an oddly placed analog stick, and the system felt like it had too many errors, something that could have been easily fixed had it spent more time in development. Sales were pretty mediocre for the console, to the point where the price had to be dropped to get more people interested in the console. Even now, with the future release of the New Nintendo 3DS, it feels like this is where Nintendo should have started with the 3DS. There wasn't a need for a 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS. All it does is create way too much confusion for consumers. Seriously, Nintendo, the naming convention is terrible. I'm sorry. It doesn't make your stuff sound like it's a brand new generation, but a minor upgrade or step up.​
    A prime example of a rushed title is Diablo III. This game spent a decade in development. The predecessor, Diablo II, was an amazing title, and fans had high expectations for the title. What Diablo III players got at launch was a complete mess - plagued with server issues, gearing problems, the implementation of an auction house that completely killed the game and its gearing mechanics, to spend time basically hunting for good deals on the auction house, a horribly bad storyline that made little sense, amongst other things. Today, Diablo III has an expansion, called Reaper of Souls, which greatly improved the game and today is one of the games I enjoy playing because the developers fixed a lot of the issues that people had been suffering with.​
    In another instance of a rushed game, let's look at Pokémon X and Y. The titles were announced in January of 2013, and released in October that same year. Comparing the graphics of the newer titles to that of the older ones, the difference is drastic. Sprites are fully animated, and in three dimensions. The environment looked vastly different, with a whole different view of how the game was supposed to play out. When the titles finally came out, they sold like hot cakes. After the initial euphoria of a Pokémon game died out for me, I started to realize that this title was probably one of the weakest titles in the franchise, and it felt way too rushed. Announcing a title and then telling the fans that it would be released ten months later led to big expectations, and I expected good things. What I got was a relatively lackluster plot, no real post game content, and a lack of creatures to capture for a new generation. The game got stale within a week. With the Pokémon X and Y titles, it should have spent more time in development, fixing the issues that plagued people the most - the noticeable frame rate lag when 3D was enabled in battle, or the hit-and-miss 3D effect that displayed in only a handful of areas in the environment. Let's take a look at a game or two that has spent a long time in development now.​
    One of the first games that comes to mind about keeping a game in development for a long time was Activision Blizzard's new MMORPG Titan. Titan spent years in development, and after god knows how many years, Blizzard recently announced that they were pulling the plug on this project because it wasn't the game that they were hoping it would be. This feels more like an extreme case, because people had high expectations and hopes for it, and then it just fell apart.​
    More prominently, let us take a look at two Square Enix titles that are in development and to be released in 2015 - Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. With Kingdom Hearts III, there hasn't really been a true sequel that continued the story since Kingdom Hearts II appeared back on the PlayStation 2. Fans had been clamoring for the title, and only recently did the title make waves when Square Enix announced its development. The initial trailers came out and the hype was immense. I recalled even my Facebook feed exploding over the development, because the game was so widely loved (I personally couldn't attach to anything in Kingdom Hearts besides the music, but that's a whole different beast that I could spend a long time discussing...). Looking at how long the game has been held in stasis for, I think that Square Enix has a great chance of making things better and right again, because they've been straying really far from what used to make them great in the first place. They seem to have found the right track again, somewhat, with the release of a recent trailer for their Final Fantasy XV title. XV, originally Final Fantasy XIII Versus, has also been in development for a very long time now, and only now has seen a few small trailers here and there. After the debacle that was Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2 and XIII-3, which had been slammed for its relatively lackluster story and gameplay, things are finally looking up and the hype actually feels real for both of these titles. This feels like a great case of delaying a game done right. They could release it early, but it would just end up being slammed as a poor game. I really hope that they could make these two games right and bring themselves back up into a good spot.​
    Looking at games now, while my body could be screaming for a game to be released right this second (I'm looking at you, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire), I also know that it's definitely better if the game takes its time in being developed properly. I'd much rather see a polished gaming experience that feels whole in comparison to a rushed game that, as Miyamoto said, would be bad forever. Where do you guys stand in terms of all this? Do you guys like games to come out sooner at the price of possibly being bad, or do you guys favor the games that spend longer times in development? What do you guys define as a game that has been in development too long? Is there such a thing as too long? Let me know in your comments! Shoutout to Vengenceonu for the topic idea!​
  2. xwatchmanx

    xwatchmanx GBAtemp's (Un)Ironic Weeaboo

    Feb 13, 2012
    United States
    Chapel Hill, NC
    This is KIND of off topic, but I've come to really resent that Miyamoto quote. It has some truth to it, but it's also rather presumptive of certain things that aren't inherent. For example, a rushed game CAN be good with the appropriate staff and work time and dedication put in, and a delayed game is FAR from guaranteed to be good (Duke Nukem Forever, anyone?). But people (especially Nintendo fans, in my experience) use it to damage control every time a game they're personally invested in gets delayed.

    I would certainly prefer a polished, delayed game than a rushed, sloppy one. But you know what I would prefer even more? A polished game that doesn't get delayed a million times.

    Edit: I've only played maybe an hour of Pokemon X/Y, but I feel the game was rushed and lazy even from a technical standpoint. No 3D in the overworld, frame rate drops while using 3D in battles, no analog movement or 360 turning... It's like they cut corners at every turn. I mean, really, what game in 2013 with 3D movement using an analog pad/stick DOESN'T have 360 degrees of movement or analog walk/run control?

    Then compare it to Super Smash Bros. 3DS, which is only a year younger, pushes the 3DS to its limits to get 60 fps in full 3D (with a few minor drawbacks) and was only delayed by a couple months from its vague "Summer 2014" release date, and it makes Pokemon X/Y look downright shameful by comparison.
    VMM, MegaBassBX and TheCasketMan like this.
  3. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

    Oct 23, 2007
    PowerLevel: 9001
    Miyamoto is right - a delayed game can be good, a rushed game is a turd forever. (*cough* SimCity *cough*)
  4. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    I am of the opinion that you take whatever time you need in order to make the best game you can. People aren't going to look back on an amazing game and remember that it was pushed back a year, they'll just remember it as an unforgettable game. If you push out an incomplete game to meet a deadline, the game won't be remembered for being on time, but for not being everything it could be. In the short term, sure you'll make money getting it out timely and not spending the extra resources to get it right, but in the long run, people will put their trust in games by developers who put out great, complete titles, and be hesitant to buy from a company that puts out rushed, incomplete games.
    Densetsu likes this.
  5. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    Oct 11, 2011
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  6. DiscostewSM

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

    Feb 10, 2009
    United States
    Sacramento, California

    I'm going to add that any game that is developed without focus or a true plan, no matter if it's rushed or delayed, is doomed to failure. It's one reason why developers may develop a game, but then scrap it at some point and start over, because they are unsure about what they want to do. They go in full throttle without knowing where their destination is.
    xwatchmanx likes this.
  7. BLsquared

    BLsquared Game Programmer

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    The United States of America
    Good food for thought. Like comparing Rockman 1 to 2 and 3; 1 was so rushed it was almost obvious, whereas 2 and 3 were masterpieces on the NES due to them given the proper time to develop. But then we get to the extreme that is Valve: they only release games every so often. Most are instant hits (TF2, CS, Portal 2), but then others were given too long to develop and many all but lost interest (almost TF2, HL3). Then there's the altogether cancelled games, but we won't get into those.
    I myself prefer the best product possible, and that usually implies waiting for a more finished product. Comcept, don't fail me now!
  8. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    There's a delicate balance that needs to be kept when delaying a product. There's nothing wrong with needing a month or two of extra time to polish things up, sure, but if the delay is so long that your product is no longer relevant to the market by the time you're done, you might as well brace yourself for disappointment or start over fresh - I have two examples of the latter situation.

    Watch_Dogs Wii U is going to be released soon, but at this point anyone even remotely interested in the game has already played it on different platforms and those who haven't at least read that the game is mediocre in gaming publications. The Wii U launch is so far behind the other launches that the game is no longer relevant without any additional content - it should be bundled with the DLC to make the purchase reasonable, but it's not getting the DLC at all, making it probably the least preferable version to buy.

    The other, more extreme example would be Duke Nukem Forever - it went through so many delays that it had to be scrapped several times due to the engines becoming outdated, and once the game was picked up and finished by another studio, it just couldn't live up to over a decade of accumulated hype.

    To summarize my point, delaying a game can be beneficial, it can give the developers time for some final adjustments, but you can't delay a release indefinitely as you'll eventually lose your window of opportunity for a successful release or your product will pale in comparison with more modern ones which popped up while you were faffing about.
    xwatchmanx likes this.
  9. Vengenceonu

    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

    Jun 20, 2013
    United States
    The C Standard Library
    A delayed game isn't good IMHO. Look at "Watch Dogs", it was hyped up as the beginning of "Next-gen" gaming to the point of everyone's pants being coated in Cowper's fluid. Then it got delayed, released and fell flat on it's scarfed up face in terms of hype. That was the most dissatisfied 7/10 I've ever played. Don't even get me started on "Diablo 3", the supposed successor to WOW.

    When games are delayed, game studios and publishers are in a way setting themselves up to fail. By delaying it you create more hype thats hard to live up to because people are assuming it will be even better then what you originally promised (except with games that don't take themselves too seriously like "South Park: Stick of truth").
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Delaying a game is preferable to releasing a game that's broken out of the box, Vengenceonu. Obviously in a perfect world no delays would ever happen and all development studios would have perfect development schedules, but we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes sh*t happens. This is why most studios should adopt schedules that assume the product will be ready long before the release date, giving themselves some wiggle room in case they run into some unexpected problems. It's always better to be done two months early and start working on DLC than to be done 2 months too late.
  11. jonthedit

    jonthedit GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 30, 2011
    Sonic 06'

    That is all.
    MushGuy and the_randomizer like this.
  12. zhdarkstar

    zhdarkstar GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 30, 2008
    United States
    My only qualm with delays in software/hardware these days is regarding the New 3DS' launch schedule. Nintendo is shooting themselves in one foot in an attempt to put the other foot forward. It's become abundantly clear that Nintendo's refusal to have the N3DS available outside of Japan/AU this holiday season is a move done to push more Wii U units with Smash Bros bundles (nothing officially announced, but it only makes sense that there'd be a SSB Wii U bundle) in the RoW(Rest of World) markets.
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Y'know, Japan and Australia are relatively close to one another and they're considerably small. The reason why North America and Europe have to wait for the N3DS is that they're huge and you need to manufacture a whole lot of units to satisfy demand. The reason why Nintendo wants to sell the N3DS in Japan and Australia already is that they've had sh*tty fiscal years due to the Wii U underperforming - they want to sell what they already have as quickly as possible to recuperate while they prepare for a more global launch later on.
    Rocc0 and xwatchmanx like this.
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    In an era of patches, DLC and updates that means little, if I consider game sequels using the same engine/remade mechanics as iterations on the theme (and in every sense but the name that is the case-- art, code and, unfortunately, story all see loads of reuse, possibly bordering on vast majority of percentages) then it means even less. I once saw a presentation from a developer of mobile phone games and they shot for minimum functional product and (free) updates from there, it is a model that is used all the time in other parts of software development too, and even hardware where software will count for a lot.

    Being marginally less glib... things to not happen in a vacuum so Foxi4's comment on designing for the real world applies.
  15. zhdarkstar

    zhdarkstar GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 30, 2008
    United States
    That may be, but it's undeniable that they're sacrificing a lot by doing so.

    1) They're going to sell even less of the O3DS than initially expected during the holiday season. When a more advanced model is only months away, sales of the current model are going to bottom out. I expect only the most die-hard of fans to purchase the two latest CE 3DS models released in the US (SSB3DS and Persona Q).

    2) They're only going to sell a fraction of the N3DS units they would have sold with a holiday launch. Average disposable income takes a massive dive in the months following the holidays, as credit card balances are being paid off. Not as many people are capable of buying consumer electronics in the first third of a calendar year.

    3) They're going to have to spend more money marketing the N3DS to the RoW markets. Part of the upside to a holiday launch is that you don't have to do as much advertising to the general public. The stores themselves would do all of the heavy lifting by placing the products in their numerous ads leading up to the shopping season.

    As for Ryukouki's opinion on the multiple versions of the 3DS, I half agree. The 2DS probably wouldn't have been released if parents taught their kids to take care of their stuff. However, I have to completely disagree about the 3DSXL. The 3DSXL exists to prevent the alienation of the original Nintendo demographic, the adults who grew up in the 80s/90s. The 3DS may fit in the hands of children without problem, but a lot of adults (primarily males) found it too small to use for an extended period of time. I refused to be an early adopter of the 3DS purely because I knew that a XL model would soon follow.
    powered_by_tux likes this.
  16. sonicrings

    sonicrings GBAtemp Maniac

    Oct 7, 2012
    TL;DR: Sonic '06 = rushed, Sonic 4 Episode 1 = delayed.

    ...Wait, people complain about the physics in Sonic 4 Episode 1 because they find the need to let go of the D-pad mid-game in order to slow down for some reason. Forget I mentioned that. Sonic '06 still holds true. Probably the best example for this topic. :P
  17. mr allen

    mr allen Advanced Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    United States
    That's completely ignoring both production cost and advertisement. World wide launches aren't exactly cheap here. That's also under the assumption that everyone knows of the N3DS. All Nintendo has done so far is announce it for Japan and Australia, so unless you're the kind of person that keeps up with gaming news all the time you most likely wouldn't of heard of it. O3DS sales may drop but you're overestimating things here.

    No one has ever said that they were going to release it in early 2015, and they most likely won't for the reason you just gave, no one has money.

    What? Why on earth would you want to cut marketing, especially for the holiday season. You want to advertise the hell out it, not let stores do that for you. If you don't it'll just lead to mass confusion. Nintendo already learned that the hard way with the Wii U (at least i hope they did). Why would someone want to buy a N3DS when they could just buy an O3DS? What makes them different? If no ones knows then they're just going to buy an O3DS instead, which would defeat the purpose.

    @topic: Delays can be really beneficial but there does come a point where it starts becoming harmful. If all you do is keep delaying something it can start to make one wonder. Are there that many glitches in it? Is it that big of a game? Did they scrap it and start from the beginning? What I think is the major problem here isn't the delays themselves though, but that things are being announced way to early.
  18. DSAndi

    DSAndi GBAtemp Regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    Gambia, The
    In general delaying somthing for clean out bugs or better in general is a good thing.
    For Nintendo delaying is more harmfull. I must say im not into Videogames anymore. I play mostly on PC old games that i can buy for 10€ or less. Most of em are only 1-2 years old.
    Since i dont really know the consolemarket anymore i often read post in different forums about Nintendo.
    To me it seems Nintendo has a hard time. They dont seem to get many 3rd Party game developers. Most games are from Nintendo while most of the other games are for casual play or just crap.
    Im also tired to see mostly the same Nintendo games over and over again. A new Mario game here some other zelda game there mostly the same stuff like always.
    Even if the games different they just bore me.
    I had a Wii but i did not much use it. I had some nice games and could also use the "bad" games if i wanted but i got so desinterested in Nintendo i did not even care.
    In fact i had more fun hacking the wii then to play anything on it.
    I dont know about the Wii U but i often read ppl waiting for games and have not enought to play. Then the games they wait for got more delayed.
    If it is like that no Wonder Nintendo gets a hard time. I often think ppl only buy Nintendo hardware because of the Nintendo games and play other popular games on PC or other consoles.
    Aside from that, Nintendo hardware is often already outdated. They have some nice ideas sometimes but i dont know if they can hold up with that for long.
    The Wii was to me more a gamecube with different controls. The Wii U seem not much better then the Wii but i cant really compare them because i did not see a Wii U working or playin some games on it.
    I like the DS Lite, but i did not see the advancement in the DSI. Even the 3DS and later 2Ds seem not that much advanced. However i did only play a few minutes with the 3Ds yet.

    Well i can kinda care less about game delays, because i only buy old games for cheap. If i finish 3-4 games per year thats pretty good, because i have so less time to play acutually.
    NakedFaerie likes this.
  19. NakedFaerie

    NakedFaerie GBAtemp Fan

    Jul 12, 2007
    In the shadows behind you
    I find a delay can be good if its done properly. When you delay a game because there are bugs that need to be fixed then ok, but when you delay it for no good reason its just stupid. Look at all cross platform games and WiiU games. WHY are all WiiU games delayed? Even if you delay a game a week there are a lot of people with multiple consoles that wont wait a week and they just get it on another platform.
    I have multiple consoles and the PS4 does look a lot better than the WiiU but I still buy games on the WiiU because I want games for it. I spent money on the console I want games to play on it, not for it to collect dust and not much else.
    Now, game like Watch Dogs and its 9 month delay. Thats the worst of them all. I've finished WD on PS3, PS4 so why would I want to get it on WiiU after 9 months of waiting? Its also not going to have the DLC and extras the other consoles have so it'll be 9 months late without any extras and at full price where you can easily get it really cheap on another console. THEN the developers will complain that it didn't sell. OH DEEERRR MORONS! ITS 9 MONTHS LATE OF COURSE IT WONT SELL!!!
    Well it'll sell 1 as I still want it on that console BUT I'll get it from the shop that lets me return it within 7 days so if it doesn't warrant the 9 month delay it'll be returned.

    Delay also adds to the hype of the game. Again with Watch Dogs it was first delayed a year for "polish" which was stupid as if you look at the videos from E3 the year before it was released it looks 10x better so they didn't add polish they removed it. They actually dumbed it down for consoles and edited the PC version to cover up the good looks. When you unlock the graphics on the PC version it kicks a$$ over the PS4 version. It looks way better on PC than any console. (Yea, I got it on PC too. I like the game)
    Yea, where was I going?.... Oh yea, hype. A delay makes people think its going to have less bugs and be better but when its finally released you wonder what they really did as its still got bugs and doesn't look as good as the videos you've seen. Now it doesn't live up to the hype so people are disappointed.

    Delaying games is stupid. DON'T give a release date UNTIL you know you can release it FINISHED by then. And give it at LEAST 2 months beta testing as these days no game gets beta testing and they all need it.
    What they should all do is think of a release date and add 6 months then release that date. If its finished before then think about all the happy gamers getting a game before its due release date. Most games are released in beta format or late so wouldn't it be great to get a game 2 months before the announced date.

    NIcely said. I got a WiiU because I though it would be competition for Xboned and PS4 but as no developers make games for it and I'm not interested in Mario games I lucked out.
    ALL Mario games suck these days. Mario Kart? WTF? Its the exact same game and always has been just a new console to play it on. And Super Mario Bros, again WTF were they thinking? Again the exact same game just a new console. NOT INTERESTED.
    I think Mario, Zelda, Kirby etc should all die and they should think of a new character completely, even better think of a completely new game. I don't want to play a 1980's platformer on a 2013 console.

    It's not the game devs fault thou, Nintendo put some really stupid rules onto their games. I think there is 1 rule that if you put a game in their estore (eshop, whatever) and it doesn't sell at least 10,000 copies in the first year you dont get paid for any of them. WTF NINTENDO!!! So if it sells 9,999 copies the dev doesn't get paid. Now that just sucks and I can see why people don't want to make games for it.
    They give the devs too many restrictions and rules its just not worth their time and efforts to make games for it. They want to make games and get paid thats why they give the WiiU and 3DS a miss.
  20. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    A delayed game can be good, but if you keep incessantly delaying a title over and over, eventually you no longer have a game; you have an artifact.

    Artists have a nurturing instinct with their creations, and it's understandable, but you can't hold on to your babies forever. Your little chicks have to leave the nest eventually, and if you realize that they're just never going to hatch, well, you have to move on (and maybe cook up on omelette or something, I don't know, I'm hungry).
    oddMLan and xwatchmanx like this.
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