The Real Reasons for Delayed Games

It’s always crushing to hear an upcoming game get it’s release date pushed back. But, at the same time, there are some real reasons why this has to be done. With the recent news of The Last of Us’ delay, now is a good time to look at the reasons for all the delayed games.

Actual Game Polishing

The number one reason developers say they need to push a game’s release date back is for game polishing, like the reason for The Last of Us’ delay, which is only about 5 weeks. What’s that actually mean? It means the content and mechanics are in the game, the levels are formed, and players could play the game all the way through. But if the game was released this way it would have tons of bugs, glitches, and holes in gameplay. Game Polishing is the finishing touches to a game, making sure everything is perfect. A video game just happens to have so many aspects to take into account compared to a TV show or a movie, so their game polishing takes a lot more time.

Unforeseen Content

Unlike game polishing, where the video game is basically completed and just needs a couple extra months to get perfect, unforeseen content means a game just won’t be done in time for their release date. This can be the result of so many reasons. It could be that developers didn’t realize how long certain parts of the game were going to take to make, or they could decide to add a whole new component to a game that adds hours and hours of work.

This is the case for games like BioShock: Infinite. BioShock was delayed from October 16th, 2012, all the way to this February.Game polishing doesn’t take a whole four months. But if Irrational Games is trying out some revolutionary gameplay, like they said they were, then it’s hard to judge how long development will take.

Marketing and Hype

I don’t know if any company delays their game specially for this reason, but it’s something they are sure to keep in mind. Pushing  back a game too many times can leave players angry and feel uninterested in the game. But a good push back can put that company’s game freshly back in the news. Like in the case of the Last of Us. I’m totally sure they had a good extra month’s worth of polishing to do, but the day they picked for their new release date is an important one. It’s the day after E3, which will give them one last chance to show their game off to the world before it goes out for sale. Their delay is already working in their favor now, seeing as news of their game delay was on the front page of every video game news site.

Money, Money, Money 

Money plays perhaps the biggest part in deciding when a game is released, because after all, these developers are companies as well as artists. Big video games come with big budgets, and they need to get a return on their investments. In games like Skyrim’s DLC, Dawnguard, Microsoft and Bethesda’s timed exclusivity agreement keeps all Skyrim DLC on the Xbox for at least 30 days before it can be released on the PS3 and PC. In an opposite way, Raymand Legends has been delayed because of money. Raymand Legends was supposed to come out last October, but is not set to release this February.  Why?  Because Rayman Legends is going to be released not just on the Wii U, but also on the PS3 and PC. Even though the full Wii U version of the game is done, the company will release them all at the same time, to make more money.

Game delays will never be good news for gamers, but they will always be necessary, for one reason or another. Just know if it does happen to a game you’ve waited anxiously for, it’s probably for the best.