When Will Games Come Out on their Intended Release Date?

Everybody has experienced the depression and pain of hearing a game getting its release date pushed back. It hurts when you’ve been waiting months, sometimes even years for a game and then see that the game won’t be done in time. It’s not uncommon for games to be pushed back time and time again before a definite release date is given. Actually it’s more common for games to get pushed backed then released on time.

Guild Wars 2 finally came out this year. I’ve been waiting for this game since 2008, when Arena Net said they might be opening the beta for Guild War’s sequel. But it was pushed back four whole years. If Arena Net thought I could contain my excitement for that long they were sorely mistaken. I’m not nearly as pumped for its release as I would have been years ago.

It’s not just Guild Wars though. The list of titles that I was eagerly waiting and got pushed back include Minecraft, Mass Effect 3, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Bioshock Infinite… the list could go on and on. But my most recent disappointment: the enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate. It was supposed to come out in two days, but once again we get the ever dreaded release push back.

I understand that video games are extremely labor intensive and hard to make. I also understand that they’re being made by creative people who want their masterpieces to be perfect before they’re released. I’m glad that these people are taking the time to give me the best experience they can, instead of just slopping something together. But that’s probably why I’m following the news of their games so much… because they’re great games.

I wouldn’t mind a little more honesty from them, though. Take as long as you need to make your game, but don’t promise it years before it actually comes out. I don’t know if all of these developers are being pressured by their publishers to give unrealistic release dates, or if ever studio is filled with employees that are really bad at gauging how long things will take. Whatever it is the video game community would be much happier if we had a little bit more communication with what’s going on with the production of our games.

After all, the developers might be slaving over their product, making sure everything about it is perfect for us. But at the end of the day it is a product, and customers lose faith in the brand when they’re expectations aren’t delivered upon. So to all you game developers out there: try something new. Set a release date that gives you more time than you need. That way when you inevitably need more time to complete your game you can have it and not piss us all off!