Final Fantasy VII and Marvel's Avengers had their release dates pushed back recently and CD Projekt Red announced that Cyberpunk 2077 would suffer the same fate. It's a common occurrence in the gaming industry but is it always a good thing?
And now we're disappointed all over again.
With crunch (and not "grease", as it turns out) being the word in gaming at the moment, you'd struggle to find someone who thinks it is, as a concept, a good thing.
Delays though, have more of a direct impact on the customer, the fan, the gamer. People are impatient when games like Cyberpunk 2077, until recently, are on the horizon.
For me, the delay for DOOM Eternal killed the momentum and urgency I felt to glory kill my way through the 2016 game at long last – something I'm only just getting back to.
At the same time, there's a huge backlog of games I already need to spend more time with, a pain anyone with Microsoft's Game Pass will share, so really I should be happy that the first half of 2020 is looking quiet, right?
The end result following a delay can be good or bad, but rushing a game out will almost always disappoint, or at least not reach its full potential until much later. Of course, it still doesn't make waiting for something you are dying to play any easier.
We'll wait patiently for Cyberpunk 2077 but only because we have no choice.
I always like to celebrate delays. Rushing a game to market never pays off in the long term, be that for the consumer or the companies and investors behind it. There are short term gains to be made, absolutely, but damaging your brand with a lacklustre release will never pay dividends further down the line.
In addition to getting a better game and a more likely sequel, the people that develop your favourite games can often avoid having to work crippling hours. It’s another win-win situation whereby crunch is cut back and, in the process, developer productivity and creativity should increase proportionally to their quality of life.
My last point is a tad more selfish, though most can probably relate. With an overflowing backlog, any period of time free from major new releases presents an enticing opportunity to trim it back a little. I’m absolutely loving the fact that DOOM Eternal is the first must-have game for me this year; that liberates most of the first quarter to kick back and catch up on a few of the great games I’ve missed.
We're looking forward to DOOM Eternal, if you can't tell.
Let us know your thoughts on delays.