Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
HomeNews Jaffe: Twisted Metal Delay Is "So F***ing Win/Lose With People"
Jaffe: Twisted Metal Delay Is "So F***ing Win/Lose With People"
Anthony Severino revealed earlier that the modern reincarnation of Twisted Metal has been delayed from its October 4th release date into the vague scope of early 2012.
Many journalists and fans, including us, began musing that this was a deliberately strategic move to push Twisted Metal out of the holiday block, up against heavy-hitters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Uncharted 3. This rather reasonable prediction, however, has sent David Jaffe into a grammar-destroying tizzy:
Regarding the peeps thinking we delayed TM to get away from mega games like CALL OF DU, UNCHARTED 3, &BATTLEFIELD 3: amazing how the world has conditioned them2B so cynical. I get it-you don't respond that way unless u've had xperiences that bear out your world view but when u R the guy on the other end of it- as I am now-it's amazing how little trust there is in the world when companies issue a statement. It makes me question my own cynical views of politicians and wonder if I've been too black/white in how I think about this stuff.
For what it's worth I would have no problem admitting moving TM to early 2012 was only to better our chances at sales. Why NOT admit that? Admitting we need more time than we promised doesn't HELP us look good as developers, so why offer that up if it were not true? Admitting we wanted to better time than we promised doesn't HELP us look good as developers, so why offer that up if it were not true? Admitting we wanted to better more strategically position our game makes us look like we are doing good biz, so why not admit that? What, you think we don't know and are afraid to acknowledge MW3 and Unch3 and BF3 are staggeringly larger and more successfully franchises than Twisted Metal?
It's all so fucking Win/lose with people. What have we been conditioned into?!? It's like the gamers and the biz folks have been so trained to only care about who wins and who gets their ass kicked that there is no room to appreciate a game can do well enough to turn a profit and please many fans. But doesn't have to win awards like 'most money made in a weekend by an entertainment product'.Sure we all want that success but it's not the only definition of financial, social, creative, or execution success. There ARE still some shades of gray...
My wavering respect for him as a writer aside, I think that it's within any developer's right to delay a game to make it better, though I don't believe any company should nail down a release date for a game until it's absolutely certain. It just creates headaches, bad press, and a lot of pressure if the game's just not ready yet. It's just bad business.
People are naturally programmed against "loss aversion"; we would rather have someone say that they're giving us $5 rather than giving us $10 and taking $5 away. While I think the gaming world loves the whole win/fail schtick a bit too much, Jaffe can't take away our right to be disappointed.