So far we are a little more then a week into 2016 and it has already begun with the delay of Xbox One exclusives Recore and Scalebound. Recore being delayed later into the fall and Scalebound landing somewhere in 2017 presumably spring. What other games could hit the delay train? It has become way to much of a pattern in the gaming industry at large with titles such as The Division, The Last Guardian, and Kingdom of Hearts 3 which have been pushed back multiple times. The question is delaying games good or bad in the long run for the franchise?
With a lot of games especially we saw it in the past few years, games being released prematurely and it permanently damaging the value of the franchise. Assassins Creed Unity was a prime example of a series that was in a boon of success from its previous game Assassins Creed Black Flag. Not wanting to lose momentum Ubisoft released Assassins Creed Unity almost exactly a year after, with disastrous results. The game was unplayable for many with such problems as frame rate drops, frequent crashes, and broken coding which caused player to fall through the map at random as well as characters appearing without their skin textures. The outrage in the community was fierce the game suffered, quickly finding a price drop as well as Ubisoft giving out DLC free to compensate for their mistake. Dishonorable mentions should also include Battlefield 4, Batman Arkham Knight on PC, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and The Crew all boasted various issues from horrible servers all the way to frame rate drops as low as 11 FPS.
Could these disasters be avoided? What if these games had been delayed, would they have been more memorable titles? That is certainly open for debate, but the problem that seems to be plaguing designers is the loss of hype when they delay a title. The amount of outrage from the community is unimaginable when a game is delayed. If we look at the amount of anger that was directed at Naughty Dog for delaying Uncharted 4 for a month for the reason of wanting to polish the game a little more. Many sources reported outrage among the community about the delay and that some even said they would cancel their preorder because of it. If you really think about it these people are basically saying they would rather have a semi-complete game that requires weeks of patching instead of a polished finished project. Naughty Dog has built a solid reputation of delivering graphically stunning, completed and stable games. Why would they rush a game to appease a small minority of gamers who will cancel their preorders over having to wait a month or two for the complete product?
On the opposite side of the argument however you have games like Kingdom of Hearts which Square Enix has been teasing since late 2014. Which as far as a gameplay teaser at E3 in 2015, we have heard nothing about the game other then it is expected sometime in 2017. Is the long wait killing the hype? The game being announced in 2014 and now in 2016 we only have 1 game play trailer to show for it. Should Square Enix of announced the game so early? Will the average gamer even care about this game by 2017? I know I will as a diehard Kingdom of Hearts fan, but will the general public? Three years of hype is a hard thing to live up to, look at Watch Dogs a game considered by many before launch to be direct competition for GTA V and ultimately took a nose dive.
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