Are games being released too early?
With all the competition in the
video game business today, developers are having more pressure then ever to get
games out as quickly as possible. While that does allow us to have a new installment to our favourite series every year, it can sometimes have negative
effects on the outcome of a game. It has become common to have a patch released
for a game that is only days old. The question then becomes should a game be
delayed and perfected by developers or be released on time and require patches
Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda, Pikmin...) once said “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad". There is no better example of this then The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. After much delay, and countless complaints from consumers, the result was one of the best Zelda games to date. In contrast Assassins Creed 3 was released in order to stick to the pattern of a new game each year. The result of this was the game needing a patch immediately after release. Although the game saw outstanding reviews throughout the gaming community, all said the game was full of glitches. This puts developers between a rock and a hard place. If the game is delayed gamers around the world complain about having to wait, if they rush it out to quickly then the game is destroyed by critics and any gamer who can write a blog.
Glitches and patches aren’t the only problem when releasing a game to early. When it comes to games in a series, if they are released to early they begin to look similar to there predecessor. An excellent example of this is Call of Duty, although they are fantastically fun games, they are basically the same game model each year with updated graphics. This works well for Call of Duty because the similarity is what brings the people back. However, a developer such as Valve took four years to release its predecessor to Portal, and the result was one of the best games ever made, both visually and plot. Even a game requiring a patch can sometimes become a great game, such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Although this turned out to be one of the greatest games ever produced, many people got to a point where they couldn’t continue in the game, which is extremely frustrating when you put so much time and effort into playing.
In the long run it seems that delaying will benefit the game and make it have a longer lasting effect. A game is remembered for its excellent plot, amazing graphics, and flawless controls, not by how early you got it. It should be understood that making video games is still a business and the company that releases it first is usually going to have better sales. However video games are also an art and when the creativity of art is ruined by business then it no longer becomes enjoyable.