Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Roger Federer showing his greatness once again, the “surprise” winner of the WWE Royal Rumble, or Steve Jobs talking trash, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
I always preach to the staff, ‘You must not have a delay after a release date has been announced. There is no greater crime as a game developer.’ Official announcement of a release date is nothing less than a promise to fans and business partners. In other words, a release date change is like betraying the expectations of everyone.
I find his stance admirable and I’m glad that a high-profile developer made such a strong statement. For the most part, I hate game delays. I understand that there are resource and budget issues that can result in delays, but more often than not the cause is poor management.
Having said that, I have to admit that I’m totally hypocritical on the issue. I will ding the vast majority of developers and publishers for delaying their games (with the exception of manipulating release dates to keep shareholders happy). There are some companies that are immune to my criticism. I’m sure this will shock many of you, but I can’t help giving BioWare a pass for delaying its games. The good reason is that I know I’ll greatly enjoy the final product. The bad reason is that Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk are two of my favorite people in the business. It’s not exactly fair, but at least I can admit.
Today I wanted to how much videogame delays bother you. Are they an inevitable part of a creative endeavor? Or do you agree with Kojima that it’s breaking a promise to fans? Do you make exceptions for top developers like BioWare and Blizzard? Or are you consistent with your stance on delays?