As the gaming industry has expanded and went from a niche market to part of mainstream culture, game quality and worry of not meeting expectations with releases has become a troublesome issue for developers. This worry has led to some delays that have done more damage than good or helped bring a game to a new level of quality. Either way, delays suck. Fans are forced to wait longer for their favorite series to continue or a new IP to hit the market. Here are Bit Cultures’ Top 10 Most Disappointing Game Delays.
Indie games usually do not cause a large stir if they have a long development cycle or suffer delays. Fez on the other hand, was a large topic of discussion in the gaming community as it faced a five year development cycle and a two year delay, all filled with financial and social drama. Due to the strong social presence of developer Phil Fish, Fez built up a huge following, especially after winning an award for Excellence in Visual Art at the Game Developers Conference Independent Games Festival in 2008. What followed after that was delays for more time in development and a lack of funding to continue development without taking small loans. With heavy exposure thanks to the Indie Game Movie (One of our Top 10 Video Game Documentaries), Fez finally launched on April 13th, 2012 after an initial launch date planned for 2010. Fez sold well and the public was satisfied when it came to Fez as it strong reviews across the board.
9. Mighty No.9
There were ups and downs following the initial announcement of Mighty No. 9. The announcement had fans of the Mega Man series hyped from the start. With Keiji Inafune who worked as a character designer and producer of the Mega Man games heading the project. The game itself was funded through Kickstarter campaigns. The first campaign launched August 31, 2013 and raised $3,845,170. The second campaign was launched to hit the stretch goals. This campaign made an additional $201,409. It was a game funded by the fans who had all the hope in world for what would become of it. But then delays started to occur and Keiji Inafune attempted a Kickstarter for another game that resulted in failure. The game experienced a 3rd delay that sent the release into 2016.
8. Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 makes this list based more on the length of its delay than anything else. The game was announced in 1999 at E3 and finally released in 2007 but this game has been so influential that it’d be easy to overlook the wait. Team Fortress 2 is patient zero for a cartoony 3D art style that has influenced or been ripped off by countless games, owing in large part to the fact that it was one of the first games made with the Source Engine. One of the reasons for the long delay was the fact that the game started on a different engine, another reason is that it started with a much more realistic art style. Shame we had to wait so long for such a great game.
7. Persona 5
The wait has been so long. This game initial started production in 2010. And was originally thought to release in the Winter of 2014 only for PS3. The first delay was due to the release of the PlayStation 4 and wanting to release on PS4 and up the overall game quality. It was during a livestream at Tokyo Game Show 2015, that the game was pushed back another year. And as fans waited there were spin-off games and remakes. Even the spin-off fighting game has gotten a sequel. Through many years of built up hope getting squashed it a relief to have the official release dates. Already out in Japan and going international February 14,2017. Let’s hope that Persona 5 doesn’t stand us up on Valentine’s Day.
6. No Man’s Sky
While there are many games on this list that are plagued by delays and long development cycles, No Man’s Sky has been on the most recent ones to truly hurt the gaming community as a whole. Initial trailers captured the imagination of the industry as NMS was presented in a way that implied near limitless exploration of a vivid and living universe. There was near endless planets to explore with infinite possibilities of plants, terrain and creatures to find. A shared universe for players to inhabit and impact. In April 2016, players were expecting to jump into the game. Developer Sean Murray spent an entire month showing off “the final product” on IGN. Then we were hit with a delay a month before release. This delay hurt the future player base but fans were still eager to get into the universe and start exploring. Unfortunately, when NMS launched in August, the final product did not match the game that was shown mere months before this release. It was a jarring difference from what was shown and little has been shared as to what exactly happened during this delay.