With the recent news of Bioshock Infinite being delayed yet again I had to assess my reaction. On one hand, I am angered that a hugely anticipated game continues to be pulled further and further away from me. On the other, I am happy that the developers are refusing to release an unfinished game. After the disappointment of Bioshock 2, there is a lot riding on Infinite to not only make up for 2, but to somewhat ask forgiveness. Bioshock 2 wasn’t terrible, but it was far from the follow up that most of us expected. From reviews so far, Bioshock Infinite is on course to deliver what Bioshock fans want from a sequel, we just have to keep waiting for it.
But, back to topic, what is the correct approach to a game being delayed? Can we truly hold any angst against release dates being pushed back? I doubt there are many of us that have beaten every game they own and are in desperate need for a filler for all of their free time. Like the majority of us, I personally have about four games going at once. I almost don’t have time for Bioshock to be released any time soon, but I think there is still the excitement of an official release date that I am ready to fulfill. The disappointment of a release being pushed back tend to damper my spirits a bit. There is a level of entitlement involved on my part, that is always unnecessary, but I can’t avoid it. If a developer says a game will be out at such and such date, we have now committed our lives to said release date. Some of us even go to extreme measures to request time off of work for certain game releases. What do we do when that release is changed? Are we owed anything, really, if a delay happens?
I think there could easily be some sort of added incentive for preorder customers if a game is delayed. Why not? This builds customer loyalty and appreciation. For a game as guaranteed to make money as Bioshock Infinite, would it hurt developers to make a “sorry for the delay” package? Again, this is simply entitlement talking, but we are all greedy by nature.
Anyway, I always default to an understanding that delays are necessary. If a game is not 100% ready, why should we suffer glitches until a patch is made. I think it is wise for developers to work out all the kinks before releasing a game to the public. Would we expect any less from a movie, or a book? Editing is a natural process for all forms of art, and we can all wait an extra month or so. Patience is a virtue, and a test. I can wait the extra month for Bioshock, but I swear, if it is delayed again, I am going to raise hell!