Early this week, gamers got the news that Electronic Arts is pushing back
the release date of Battlefield: Hardline
from October 2014 to an unknown date in 2015. They are not alone as Ubisoft had announced before E3 that Batman: Arkham Knight
and Tom Clancy's The Division
would be delayed until 2015. CD Projekt RED has also made the hard choice to push back The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
for a Winter 2015 release.
While gamers will be disappointed that they have to wait until 2015 for another Battlefield
, long time fans will understand that it was necessary to avoid another disastrous release like Battlefield 4
was a very promising game and superior to Call of Duty: Ghosts
in terms of the quality of gameplay. Yet due to a series of of glitches and bugs made the game unplayable upon its release. Hence many disgruntled fans began referring to it as "Brokenfield
Sadly a lot of the problems that plagued Battlefield 4
could have been avoided had more time gone into the development process. Yet due to an unrealistic deadlines along with the need to compete against Call of Duty: Ghosts
probably pressured EA to sail full-steam ahead into the iceberg.
Common sense would dictate that delaying the game would have been the best action, yet game industry considers such a decision as a catch-22. Its a common belief that the longer a game is in development, its chances of being a disaster increases. Many studios continue to fear releasing a disastrous game like Duke Nukem: Forever
while many old school fans still recall how Daikatana
sullied the reputation of John Romero
(I'm still confident he will have a career comeback).
However many always overlook that games like Duke Nukem: Forever
were in development for more then four year while undergoing multiple software changes that forced the development team to start from scratch. Meanwhile Arkham Knight
are being delayed because more time is needed to fix the glitches and patch-up the bugs.
The decade long murky production of Duke Nukem: Forever
has now become the textbook example
of how not to develop a game. Production started by 3D Realms Studio back in 1996 using the Quake II
engine until they switched to the Unreal
engine in 1998. Meanwhile as the industry model began to change in the early 2000's, 3D Realms failed to adopt while being in constant conflict with its parent company, Take-Two Interactive.
After a long production time, Gearbox acquired the intellectual property and took over the project with the goal of a 2011 release date. When the game was finally released for all major consoles, it was universally panned
by both critics and gamers. Despite a decade long production, the game was neither innovative or cutting edge while also suffering from a series of annoying glitches.
Meanwhile successful games that have had long production time have been both innovative and groundbreaking while the staff had been focused on a set goal. The obvious example to look at would be Grand Theft Auto V
, which development
started back in 2009 and was released in 2013. Rockstar North had setup a series of goals that had to be meet while working with the RAGE engine along with adding components of the Euphoria engine and Bullet Physics.
Finally when Grand Theft Auto V
was released in September 2013, it was highly praised
by critics and gamers. Its story was highly praised for its in-depth analysis of the American Dream in a post-2008 crash society in a style influenced Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson. It also became one of the biggest selling media properties by generating over $1 billion in three days while going on to generate
almost $2 billion by December.
Yet the production of Grand Theft Auto V
might be a unique example while Ubisoft has demonstrated that a small delay payoff when the final game is a hit. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
and Watch Dogs
had their release date pushed back while South Park: The Stick of Truth
needed to be delayed as Ubisoft acquired the rights after THQ went bankrupt.
Ubisoft has demonstrated that a small delay is always necessary if time is needed to ensure the game is flawless when hits store shelves. The botched release of Battlefield 4 has taught the gaming industry the backlash of releasing a broken game outweigh the disappointment when it has to be delayed.
Gamers who were hoping to play Hardline
or The Division
are better waiting for a flawless game rather than playing a broken one in 2014. On the bright-side; Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
, Far Cry 4
, and Destiny
should keep gamers entertained.