Why are games announced so early, only to be delayed?A while back a couple next-gen games were delayed, Watch Dogs and The Crew, and shortly after, Drive Club was delayed. Just a few weeks ago, South Park: The Stick of Truth was delayed. The question is, mostly looking at Watch Dogs and South Park, why are these games that get announced so early, delayed?
Now, two years and some change may not seem like a lot to fans of certain games. One of the most popular release date debacles was Duke Nukem: Forever, originally announced in April 1997, but not actually released until 2011. I realize that game probably had more than a handful of problems, but 13 years is a bit ridiculous. What were they doing?
Most of this article is going to focus on Watch Dogs because that was going to be my one and only launch title for the PS4. When the game was announced at E3 back in 2012 ,I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe how good it looked and was convinced it was a next-gen title, one that I needed.
As the months went on, I found myself forgetting that Watch Dogs was even a thing that was coming out. I was caught up in other games and other announcements for games that would be coming out sooner. The only reason my excitement for Watch Dogs was rising again was because the next-gen console releases were right around the corner.
I don’t think I was the only one who had kind of forgotten about Watch Dogs. A games heavy marketing push doesn’t usually happen until a couple months before the game comes out, so I am confused why so many companies insist on announcing games and release dates so far in advance.
I’m not ignorant, though. I realize that there are hiccups in development that cause a game to need a delay, and I’m all for delaying a game for a bit to make the experience better. What I don’t get is why they think they need two or three years in advance to announce the game.
Another opinion people have on why Watch Dogs was delayed is the GTA V titan that would still have been fresh on the markets. If Watch Dogs hadn’t been given a release date so early in advance, perhaps when GTA was pushed a few months Ubisoft could have altered its own open-world game’s release date to avoid GTA without anyone knowing.
I’m not anti-game delays at all, but there is a trend of announcing games, particularly AAA games, very far before that game even has plans to come out. Interest in games always waxes and wanes, and at times I worry that games that have some promise wane for such a long period of time that they die in development as people forget about them. I’m confident that Watch Dogs will be fine, but this early announcement trend has me wondering how many more ‘Duke Nukem: Forever’s we have in our future.