It always struck me as slightly odd that when Braid first broke our brains earlier this year, it was on the Xbox 360, not the PC. There's just something about the painterly art style, the dreamy instrumental soundtrack, the deliberately oblique storytelling, and the brainy puzzle action that screams “I AM TOO IMPORTANT TO BE EXPERIENCED ON A TELEVISION. ALSO, IS THIS COFFEE FAIR-TRADE?” I think it's an incredible, one-of-a-kind game, but it's got indie-game pretentiousness out the bing-bong. Creator Jonathan Blow had announced that a PC version was in the works, and would arrive before the end of 2008, though yesterday he updated his blog with perhaps the most practical and honest explanation for a game delay I've seen.
Once we slipped into mid-October and all the big Christmas-season blockbusters started coming out, it just seemed like a bad idea to schedule Braid for that time period, as it seems likely it’d get released and then disappear.
At this time, we’re looking at a window of February-March 2009 for the PC release. I know this isn’t good news for those of you who have been waiting a long time for the game, but there sure are lots of games out there for you to play in the meantime.
It seems so obvious! Even if your game is awesome, why put it out the one time of the year that you know the market is going to be flooded with competing products? Unless you're a top-five marquee name--and publishers, be honest with yourselves about the value of your properties--you're going to be fighting for Gears of War 2's scraps, and this year, there weren't many scraps to be had. I suppose there's something about this holiday-reliant formula that has been working for the games industry, and this whole economic freak-out hit so hard and so quick that none of the majors really had the time to react, which is why you're seeing quality stuff like Dead Space taking a beating at retail. The ability to be more nimble would seem to be one of the advantages of going indie.
In addition to the forthcoming PC version, there are also apparently talks for a Mac version of Braid, which Blow hopes would ship soon after the PC version. He also maintains his non-committal stance towards the PS3, stating that “a PS3 version a little later on remains a possibility (though again, this depends on whether Sony is interested in the game).”