50: The Impact of Game Delays

50: Effect of Game Delays

Founder of Oculus Rift runs an anti-clinton meme foundation

Great Games that have been delayed

Half-Life 2  (as of February 9, 2011, Half-Life 2 had sold over 12 million copies.)

We’re here to talk about Half-Life 2, a title in development for at least five years. Granted, the prolonged development cycle can mostly be attributed to Valve building a completely new engine, Source, from scratch for the project. It also didn’t help that a large chunk of the game’s source code was leaked shortly after being officially unveiled at E3 in 2003.

The combination of perfecting the game’s engine for launch and dealing with the gaping hole in security led Half-Life 2 to be delayed another year, making fans all the more anxious for the title.

Thankfully, the excruciating wait was worth it. Half-Life 2 is widely considered one of the greatest games ever made, on a technical, narrative and gameplay level. It’s a true gem of this industry, with its influence still being felt today. Now imagine if it was rushed to shelves instead? We could have a completely different gaming climate today if that were the case.

Grand Theft Auto IV (25 million (November 2012))

Grand Theft Auto IV was originally announced back at E3 2006, when Peter Moore, who was Microsoft’s Corporate VP of the Interactive Entertainment Business division at the time, rolled up his sleeve to reveal a mock GTA IV tattoo on his arm, signaling the game’s planned release for Xbox 360. Rockstar was gunning for an October 2007 release.

Unfortunately, neither Rockstar nor their parent company, Take-Two, believed they could hit that mark. GTA IV was then pushed back to April 2008, which is when the game finally did release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (a PC version followed shortly thereafter in December 2008).

When all was said and done, it took over 3 years, 1000 people and $100 million to create Rockstar’s most ambitious Grand Theft Auto to date (not counting the upcoming GTA V). The extra development time seemed to pay off, though, as GTA IV set two entertainment industry records upon release – best single-day and seven-day totals for a video game (both have been smashed by the Call of Duty juggernaut since).

Disasters

Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa (75K subs)

Development Began: 2001

Release Date: November 2nd, 2007

Reasoning: Richard Garritt boldly claimed that Tabula Rasa would be the be-all, end-all MMO that brought the Eastern and Western audiences together. Unfortunately, the game underwent a huge overhaul, lost 20% of its original team and 75% of its code had to be rewritten.

Was it Worth the Wait? No. Tabula Rasa closed its servers in 2009 and wasn’t the definitive MMO experience Garriott led us to believe it would be.

Too Human ( 790K)

Development Began: 1999

Release Date: August 19th, 2008

Reasoning: Too Human was originally intended to be released on the original PlayStation on four discs, before development switched to a GameCube version in 2000, and then an Xbox 360 version in 2005. It also didn’t help when developers Silicon Knights sued the creators of the game’s Unreal Engine 3, Epic Games, in 2007 for a “breach of contract.”

Was it Worth the Wait? No. Too Human released to poor reviews and underwhelming sales. Also, due to the dispute with Epic Games (which Epic won), Silicon Knights was forced to recall all unsold copies of the game in 2012 and destroy them.

No Man’s Sky? (3.5 million copies on PC and console in its first two days)

the week two numbers for No Mans Sky physical sales have fallen 81 percent week over week in the United Kingdom – as in, it sold 81 percent fewer copies than it did the first week.

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