Release Date -- When it's done.

Okay, if I may...

 *Rant mode engaged*

I'm getting rather sick of gaming companies announcing high-profile titles, showing all kinds of footage, and doing interview after interview all the while saying at the end it'll be released "When it's done." I mean, seriously, they put the full hype-machine in motion only the giving the consumers nothing more than speculation and happy thoughts.

QUICK TANGENT:  Granted it's much better to do that rather than constantly delaying an empty release date (Half-Life 2 and company, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Spore, and the list goes on). If you're going to make such a big deal about the game then at least have a release date that you're confident in. I understand these dates change all the time, video game development is still pretty volatile and stuff comes up that you didn't expect all the time... I get that. But seriously, these delays are much more than random unanticipated variables. Am I really expected to believe that a year long delay is because of "balancing" or "unexpected bug fixes" or "polishing" or, my personal favorite, "a code leak"? Do us all a favor and say you screwed up the schedule. But I digress...

Do these titles need hype... like, at all? People have been salivating for years about the possibility of Starcraft 2. People watch the job boards at Blizzard just to see if they can get a hint of what title they're developing. You could announce Starcraft 2, say it will be coming in two weeks, and the gamers would rise as one and rejoice. Is it REALLY necessary to dangle the bait in front of us for another year or whatever it may be? At least with my Blizzard example they didn't announce this back in 2005, two years after they started development, then make us wait another two years. Nope... that award goes to Splash Damage, developer of Quake Wars.

E3 2005 was where we saw Quake Wars for the first time, and at the end of the trailer it said "Coming 2006"... okay fine. They're making us wait another year to play it... but fine, not terribly unexpected. By the way, here's a trend you can bank on: Whenever a game company gives you a generic release date like 2007, Q3 2007, Summer 2007, or October 2007, you can bet your life savings that it will come AT THE END of that time frame. But anyway, then at E3 2006 Splash Damage began the whole... it'll be done when it's done routine. Not to mention that they're touting every award under the sun BEFORE the game has even been opened to the public.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm sure it'll be a fantastic game and I'll be sure to play it. I'll also end up buying Starcraft 2, Spore, Half-Life 2: Episode II, etc. etc. But that's exactly my point. These games don't have to work hard to be successful in terms of exposure. There's a fine line between getting players excited about a title and just plain pissing them off. I'd rather be oblvious that a big title is currently in development for a bit longer rather than knowing it's out there and having to wait. Frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing how cool Quake Wars is... I want to PLAY it.

*Rant mode disengaged*

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1 Comments
Posted by Swick

Okay, if I may...

 *Rant mode engaged*

I'm getting rather sick of gaming companies announcing high-profile titles, showing all kinds of footage, and doing interview after interview all the while saying at the end it'll be released "When it's done." I mean, seriously, they put the full hype-machine in motion only the giving the consumers nothing more than speculation and happy thoughts.

QUICK TANGENT:  Granted it's much better to do that rather than constantly delaying an empty release date (Half-Life 2 and company, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Spore, and the list goes on). If you're going to make such a big deal about the game then at least have a release date that you're confident in. I understand these dates change all the time, video game development is still pretty volatile and stuff comes up that you didn't expect all the time... I get that. But seriously, these delays are much more than random unanticipated variables. Am I really expected to believe that a year long delay is because of "balancing" or "unexpected bug fixes" or "polishing" or, my personal favorite, "a code leak"? Do us all a favor and say you screwed up the schedule. But I digress...

Do these titles need hype... like, at all? People have been salivating for years about the possibility of Starcraft 2. People watch the job boards at Blizzard just to see if they can get a hint of what title they're developing. You could announce Starcraft 2, say it will be coming in two weeks, and the gamers would rise as one and rejoice. Is it REALLY necessary to dangle the bait in front of us for another year or whatever it may be? At least with my Blizzard example they didn't announce this back in 2005, two years after they started development, then make us wait another two years. Nope... that award goes to Splash Damage, developer of Quake Wars.

E3 2005 was where we saw Quake Wars for the first time, and at the end of the trailer it said "Coming 2006"... okay fine. They're making us wait another year to play it... but fine, not terribly unexpected. By the way, here's a trend you can bank on: Whenever a game company gives you a generic release date like 2007, Q3 2007, Summer 2007, or October 2007, you can bet your life savings that it will come AT THE END of that time frame. But anyway, then at E3 2006 Splash Damage began the whole... it'll be done when it's done routine. Not to mention that they're touting every award under the sun BEFORE the game has even been opened to the public.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm sure it'll be a fantastic game and I'll be sure to play it. I'll also end up buying Starcraft 2, Spore, Half-Life 2: Episode II, etc. etc. But that's exactly my point. These games don't have to work hard to be successful in terms of exposure. There's a fine line between getting players excited about a title and just plain pissing them off. I'd rather be oblvious that a big title is currently in development for a bit longer rather than knowing it's out there and having to wait. Frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing how cool Quake Wars is... I want to PLAY it.

*Rant mode disengaged*