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Am I The Only One Happy For All The Delays?
Posted on Sunday, August 16 2009 @ 00:34:47 Eastern

Hey Everyone,

Diesel here.  2009 has been a very traumatizing year for gamers with the amount of delays plaguing the scene.  With Mass Effect 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and many others backing out into 2010: gamers are concerned that 2009 will be a slump year and all of their games will now have that uneasy feeling of them possibly being delayed for longer periods of time.  Given that may be true, I find game delays to be one of the greatest things to do with a game, so long you don't do it too much.  It's a strategic asset of a game's release and development and is actually setting up to make 2010 one of the biggest years for gaming, even if it was by complete accident.

But how can game delays be anywhere good for developers?  Well seeing as how 2009 was absolutely stacked with material waiting to come out, some of the real big blockbusters would have killed a lot of what was to come out.  With Halo 3: ODST and Modern Warfare 2 going to be stealing money from the general public's pockets, developers are taking a step back to allow the big shots to control the market and then release their game to maximize profit.  It may piss off some gamers at first, but delaying games can be good for an amount of reasons:

For one: it gives the developers more time to polish their content.  You can never go wrong with more polish, having more time to put into coating a game with awesomeness will only make waiting fans happier.  At some times it can allow more time to add new content as well to give the game a better outlook than before.  A lot of the games I'm sure are for that sole reason, since with the ever-rising bar when it comes to technology, the standard outlook for graphics and the overall smooth of a game has to be pretty damn good for the game to be taken anywhere seriously to the casual gamer.  Sure any gamer will say otherwise, but are you going to wow the critics with fantastic gameplay but PS2 graphics in this day and age?  I know it is something I look at during my reviews and is a staple in what makes a good game to me, I need to be able to enjoy a game with some at least decent graphics.

Secondly: it gives the developers more time to advertise their product.  More time means more hype, showing your fellow gamers footage of what's to come and them knowing it can only get better is a fantastic way of building up morale for release day.  It can also give you more time to work on better footage, and make sure what you are showing is prime product, and not all CG-animated: even if it looks good.  I speak for myself that when I see a advertisement for a game, or a preview of a game: the last thing I need to see is the CG cutscenes of the game because I know those will be pretty already.  I want to make sure if I'm the developer to punch in as much gameplay action as I can to show that what we're making is a fun, enjoyable, and a very pretty title for y'all to spend your cash on.

Thirdly: you avoid big competition during your release date.  Lets face it, no matter how milked you think a franchise is, it's going to be a big release when it releases.  Halo, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, you name it: no matter how many they make: it's going to be a big deal.  So if you're a third-party developer coming out with your game, and your release date coincides with a behemoth on the battlefield: it would be smart to count your chips and go all-in on another hand.  Even if the Fall Lineup is one of the best times to run your game to the public, it is also a great time to watch your game fall in sales because the average consumer/FPS freak has already blew his money on the big titles that person has been waiting for.

Also, while avoiding big titles: you have the opportunity to go from a sleeper to a A-lister.  If you come out with a game and run it with big titles, chances are you'll feel a spike in sales.  If you hit the market on many of the sleeper months, you could maximize your profit and become a household name to gamers around the world.  Look at Bayonetta, if that game came out this Fall, would you have picked it up?  Instead SEGA delays it into January of 2010.  It may not have been the official reason for the delaying of Bayonetta, but it suits the reasoning pretty well.

But if you think about it: being a sleeper does have its advantagesPsychonauts is the biggest sleeper game I believe of all time, but it made Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions a household name for those who did play it.  With Brutal Legend hitting the scenes in October, I can tell you that I'm going to enjoy the game not only for the robust soundtrack it's wielding, or the fact it's made on pure Metal: but the fact that Double Fine has been known for some of the funniest, and most original games of our time.  Which can only mean two things for Brutal Legend: it's gonna be funny as Hell, and it's gonna be something you've never played before.  This is how I feel with Mini Ninjas coming November 8th: this is my pick for Sleeper of 2009 for the fact it looks like such a good game with a simple nature but an interesting plot and gameplay.  I just like how the game looks and have high hopes for it, since I'll probably be picking it up before Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band.

For all these reasons, 2010 is suiting up to be a much bigger year than 2009.  Because when it boils down to it: a great year to me is not about how many copies get sold or how many big A-list titles get shipped out.  It's a matter of what quality games are coming out and how many of them will be original and fresh, and not have the familiar scent of cookies that most games seem to have nowadays.  2009?  Forget that, I can't wait for next year to see all the delayed games make a stand and sap us of so many hours of our lives.  2010 never sounded so nice.

Stay Classy,
Diesel
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