At 4:06 p.m. on Feb 6, Obsidian Entertainment announced that they would be postponing a Switch port of their recent award-winning title, ‘The Outer Worlds,’ as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak located near their main development team.
The team is fine, they made sure to elaborate, but their office will remain closed for some time, slowing down the development process to a mere crawl. To make up for the loss in time, Obsidian did announce a physical cartridge version of the game would be made available upon release.
Monkey wrenches get thrown into the developments of games on a regular basis, often resulting in games being delayed, changed from their original plan, or scrapped and cancelled altogether. At the beginning of last year, Nintendo announced they had restarted the development of the long awaited ‘Metroid Prime 4,’ giving a team at Retro Studios the reigns of the project.
At the time, they cited a lack of quality in their work so far, stating that their top priority was that the game be fun. More recently, Square Enix had to move the release date for ‘Final Fantasy VII’ back from early 2020 to April 10, they released a comment saying, “In order to ensure we deliver a game that is in-line with our vision, and the quality that our fans who have been waiting for deserve, we have decided to move the release date to April 10, 2020.”
These delays are fairly commonplace within the gaming industry, and are the source of much agony to those waiting for the games to come out, but I would argue that the fact that these titles are delayed to be a positive thing, and not the scourge that many gamers believe it to be.
Let’s take, for example, the case of ‘Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite’. The MvC series is a beloved fighting game franchise that’s been running since the release of ‘Marvel Superheroes Vs Street Fighter’ in 1997. The series features characters from several Capcom properties and the Marvel universe. The tag team action-based chaos was one that was unrivalled within the fighting game community.
Naturally, when the reveal trailer for ‘Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite’ was shown at Playstation Experience 2016, there was a fair amount of hype for the game. People were excited to play the updated version of a beloved game, see the new roster of characters, and see new mechanics introduced into the classic 2v2 playstyle. However, as the game approached release, some things changed.
‘MvCI’ had an artstyle which fans didn’t seem to be a fan of, particularly with the Capcom characters featured. The backlash over Chun Li’s character model was so bad that her face was actually replaced in a post-release patch for the game.
The game’s presentation was criticized, the character roster was seen as lackluster, and the story mode demo that Capcom released a few months before launch actually upset fans with the lack of entertaining content.When the game did finally release, it performed abysmally in sales, received mostly negative reviews, and ultimately failed to meet expectations.
In my opinion, this could have been avoided if Capcom had delayed the game to work on it a bit longer and fix the errors that fans and critics had pointed out prior to release. No amount of DLC, patches, or marketing was going to fix the failure of the initial launch, but that didn’t have to be the case.
I believe that this case goes to show that even if you aren’t terribly happy with a game that you’re looking forward to being pushed back to a later date, you should instead hold appreciation for the effort that the developers are putting into it. Let’s be honest, if you had been looking forward to the game for a long time and then were subsequently handed a shoddily rushed product, your disappointment would be much greater than if you had just waited a little longer.
“Glory To Mankind”,
This week's ending quote, "Glory to Mankind,” is a reference to the hit Platinum Software RPG, ‘Nier: Automata!’