When a video game is released it marks the culmination of many sleepless nights people have had, in order to ship a title they’ve been working on for — on average — two or more years of their life. To some it might mean staying away from their newborn child just to fine tune gameplay. Whereas for others, it might result in missing out on meeting up with their friends or family because a patch is needed post-release. One thing’s for sure, making a video game is no small feat, and I think people need reminding of that fact.
Delays to video games are quite common, but unless you work in the industry for press or are on the development team, they’re hardly seen as a benefit. For the most eager of fans a delay to their favourite game might mean waiting months or even years for the title to arrive. But aside from the good intentions, people often aim their hatred towards the people making the game and blame them for setting a release date in the first place. It makes no sense and it has to stop.
With the likes of Rocksteady’s ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ , Turtle Rock’s ‘Evolve’ and the even more recent ‘Project Cars’ from Slightly Mad Studios, being delayed until 2015 – amongst many other titles – I couldn’t be happier that they’ve been given extra time. If you’ve been waiting for a game to come out, wouldn’t you rather it be in the best state possible, without the need for a patch? Besides, more often than not, extra development time often means that developers have more time to create something awesome, although that’s not always the case.
Delays don’t just impact the fans, though, they also heavily alter the life of the developers. Many of whom have to take more time than previously thought either drastically changing a certain gameplay mechanic, adding a new feature or making sure the game they ship is near bug free. Next to the pressure a studio might get from their publisher to meet a certain ship date, the employees of said studio must ask their fans to be patient, whilst also working harder than most of us will ever know. I’ve always wanted to take a tour of Rocksteady’s studio, for instance, as apart from being a huge Batman fan, I have a great amount of respect for each member of staff working there. Not only have they managed to create two near-flawless titles in the past few years, they’ve also been pushing themselves even further with their next game, Arkham Knight, exceeding the expectations of their fans, and probably themselves.
I love video games, and feel as though the people who make them should be highly respected, regardless of the title they may work on. If you worked for two years of your life on one title, only to then have it panned by critics and have your studios’ future damaged as a result, wouldn’t you want a second chance? For a lot of people they won’t have the privilege of choosing which project they work on, so before you burst into flames about a game getting delayed, or if it turns out to not be as awesome as you thought, try and take a second thought about the people involved. It’s only a game.