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Are game delays a good thing?

After a game receives a certain amount of hype, the expectations built up inside gamers and critics, grows and grows.

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Not only this but the excitement inside gamers grows to such an extent that it is almost unbearable. So you can imagine then, that when a highly anticipated game is delayed to a later date the immediate reaction is usually disappointment. Disappointment and sadness. However I have realized that this is a very short sighted reaction, as the postponement of a game could in fact benefit the final product.

In recent weeks Watch Dogs, The Crew, and South Park: Stick of Truth have all been delayed, much to the dismay of many a gamer. I too was disappointed, Watch Dogs was going to be the game that I purchased alongside my Ps4, however after a little bit deeper thinking, I realized that a Watch Dogs delay could not only benefit the games overall quality, but it could also give other games a much longer shelf life.

inFamous: Second Son is due to be released in February 2014 and is perhaps one of my most anticipated next-gen games. I loved the fluid gameplay of both inFamous 1 and inFamous 2, the story was interesting, and it boasted a great moral choice system not often seen in open world games. I adored the comic book style cut scenes, and I thought that the parkour felt, and handled, much better in inFamous than in any of the Assassin’s Creed titles. So, you can imagine then that my mind was blown when Nate Fox took to the stage in Sony’s Playstation 4 reveal event to announce, inFamous: Second Son.  The game isn’t a launch title, which in my mind was a good thing, if it was released at the very start of a console generation it is likely to slip through the gaps and get overshadowed by games like the now delayed Watch Dogs. However now that Watch Dogs has indeed been delayed until 2014 inFamous is likely going to receive the recognition that it rightly deserves, it’s not only inFamous that will benefit from Watch Dogs’ delay however.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released this week, and is really a game that requires a lot of time to be invested in it. If Watch Dogs was released in a few weeks time then it is likely that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag  would not receive the proper time that it deserves. Now, I despised Assassin’s Creed 3, everything about it infuriated me, from the broken mission structure, to the truly awful modern day segments, nothing about that game pleased me or excited me. Assassin’s Creed IV  looks incredible, and the positive reviews that it has received has only excited me further, almost to the point where I might actually forgive Ubisoft for what was the abomination known as Assassin’s Creed 3. I planned on spending a lot of quality time with Black Flag but was worried that Watch Dogs was going to interfere with that. Thankfully this week Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs would not be gracing my Ps4  until 2014, leaving me with the extra time that I need to truly appreciate Assassin’s Creed IV. 

It’s not only other games that benefit when a game is delayed, the delayed game itself could also benefit. The extra time given to a title when it’s delayed could prove extremely beneficial to the developers as it really allows them to create the game that they envisioned all those months ago in the drawing rooms. Bioshock Infinite was delayed multiple times, multiplayer was scrapped and many thought that the multiple delays may have resulted in a broken final game. Infinite was released earlier this year to great critical success, and rightly so. The game was gorgeous, the story was deep and intelligent, the gameplay was solid, and there was no sign of any sub-par multiplayer that had been outsourced to subsidiary developers. The game was focused, refined, and  near perfect. Now, if the game hadn’t been delayed as many times as it was, then I don’t believe that the finished title would have been anywhere near as good as it ended up being. The added time that was given to Irrational games by the delays helped them really create the game that they wanted to make, and iron out any creases that were present at the time. My personal game of the year The Last of Us was also delayed, however only by a solitary month, and this I believe helped Naughty Dog to really put out what they felt was the best game possible. No game is perfect, you can easily ‘nit pick’ any game and find problems with it, but The Last of Us came very close to being just that, a perfect game.

So, you see, whilst game delays can be annoying, disappointing, and upsetting, they can also be helpful and beneficial not just for the game itself, but for other games with the intention of being released in the same time frame. Grand Theft Auto V was delayed by half a year, and look at how it came out. The Last of Us was delayed by a month, look at how it came out. Bioshock Infinite was delayed over and over again, look how it turned out. I am willing to bet that when Watch Dogs is eventually released it will be a far better experience than it otherwise would have been if it had indeed been released in two weeks time. Of course, we never really will know for sure, but that is what I choose to believe. So next time a game that you are eagerly awaiting is delayed, instead of letting yourself get disappointed, try to look at the bigger picture and realise that the delay may even benefit your experience in the long run.


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Games. Games. Games! Gaming is perhaps the only thing that I dedicate more than an hour a day to, and that includes sleeping and eating! Whether it’s on-the-go on my Playstation Vita, or at home in the comfort of my room I pretty much always have a device capable of gaming in my hands.