GameFront 2010: Most Disappointing Video Game Delays

It happens every year. Anticipated titles poised for the busy end of the year release window slip, slide and fall into the following year.

While 2010 was a good year for games and there were titles to be excited about, there were some that we thought should have been on our systems sooner than 2011. There are also games that we expected early in 2010 that took delay after delay to arrive (I’m looking at you Gran Turismo 5).

Here are the games our writers were most disappointed with when they didn’t hit their original launch windows, or when they did find a release date it was later than we’d expected.

Gran Turismo 5

Phil Owen

This wasn’t painful for me because I was really excited about the game, because with a few exceptions, I don’t get excited about upcoming games until they’re within my reach. (I’m ADD enough that it’s easy for me to completely forget about things when they aren’t right in front of me.) GT5, though, because of what it is, would not leave me alone this year.

It was delayed twice in 2010 after being delayed what seems like three or four dozen times over its production cycle, and so it was always time for a GT5 joke. The problem for me was that, because it had been delayed so many times already, all the good jokes had already been used. That doesn’t stop the internet, as you know.

You better believe I partied really hard when the thing actually came out in November.

Crysis 2

Ron Whitaker

After what we were shown at E3, several of us were interested in getting our hands on Crysis 2, if only to melt down our current gaming PCs with it.

Imagine our disappointment when we found out that it was delayed all the way into 2011!  While the folks at EA have attributed this delay to simply wanting more time to polish the game, as well as moving it into a more favorable marketing window, we know what’s really going on.

That’s right, it’s a conspiracy to get new video cards out and make me buy one.  I see right through your lies, EA.

Portal 2

Phil Hornshaw
There was one thing I wanted for Christmas this year. One game I was hoping to take on during my very short vacation. I knew early this year I’d only have a few days to head back home to the Midwest from Los Angeles, and that those days would pretty much suck as I traveled between various family members and friends, trying to see everyone in a personal hell of obligations, punctuality, and disappointed parents claiming I’d ignored them.

But I’d have Portal 2 to get me through. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

Turns out, Valve delayed Portal 2. Like it delays everything. Of course, intellectually I knew that this was probably going to happen, but emotionally, I kept watching trailers of cute, hilarious robots running through Aperture Science facilities and almost feeling the future warm glow of my Xbox helping to wash away my holiday stresses.

Supposedly, Portal 2 is due in the early part of next year, and when it comes right down to it, there’s no game I’m more amped up about.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck at home with only iPhone games to keep me from drinking to excess after I race from one holiday feast to another. N.O.V.A. 2 and Infinity Blade are fun, but neither of them has GLaDOS.

Little Big Planet 2

Shawn Sines

I’m not even sure that Little Big Planet 2 was originally announced for 2010, but right now that doesn’t matter to me. What mattered is that I was ready to play it this holiday and instead I’m waiting until January 2011. I realize Media Molecule and Sony probably executed some grand scheme to give the title a nice boost.

Little Big Planet experienced a lot of love from folks like me – reviewers, family men, etc., but didn’t perform as well as expected just after its initial release. Maybe the post holiday delay, pushing LBP2 into the still pretty dead January release window, was a ploy to let it stand out from the Call of Duty: Black Ops crowd.

Unfortunately, it was a harsh delay for a different reason in the Sines household. Little Big Planet and ModNation Racers are our family fun games. While we spend hours whiling away in these titles, both are beginning to show their age and we’re ready for the new hotness that is LBP2 and it’s game design features. Not getting such a wonderful, family friendly multiplayer title for Christmas means we can only look forward to Winter fun when we don’t have the time set aside to just game, game, game.

Sure, I’ll be lined up on release day in January, but I – and the whole clan – were disappointed that we had to wait.

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3 Comments on GameFront 2010: Most Disappointing Video Game Delays

corpse

On December 29, 2010 at 3:19 am

Come on Phil don’t blame the delays for GT5, its a great game. Just play it longer then you’ll see the light. LBP2 you know its going to happen with almost every major title, but the good ones take some time to get them right, plus what gaming company hasn’t pushed back release dates huh? When I hear about a push back I get pissed too but I’m just thinking after the game comes out, I’m glad they pushed it back because they finished it and it works great and the game is awesome. You have to be patient with games because it takes a lot of hard work to build a good game or a very crappy one. I’m glad there are a few game companies take critical comments from games and analyze what they could do to make this player buy it or to make the game more enjoyable. If you hate them or not EA’s Development companies like Criterion games and DICE do a great job with user feed back on trying to fix problems within their games. Companies also like Evolution Studios also do a great job, even though changing the format of the game style pissed off a bunch of players that played the previous 3 games, but hey tarmac/concrete is a racing surface for off road vehicles, just take a look at the WRC. I would like to see more gaming companies listen to the players that know what they are talking about for game changes, not only listening to the majority but also for the minority of game community. I know its hard to please all gamers, but you have to do something if your pulling the game out of what it was before and putting a new design element in. Take a lot of the classic Nintendo titles like Zelda, Metroid and Mario. All great classic titles for the NES and SNES/Super Famicom, but gone to something else that changes the whole characteristic of the game and ruining it for the old Hardcore fans. It’s that type of development is what is ruining most gaming today.

Shawn Sines

On December 29, 2010 at 7:34 am

Corpse, remember above all else that this is business.. it’s not art. It’s not about improving based on good feedback or advancing some great cultural concept – delays are as often about timing and scheduling as they are about fixing bugs.

GT5 is a harsh example to be sure, and with a title like that Sony knows it has a built-in audience. What ruins gaming from my perspective is repetition with a lack of evolution. Iteration for the sake of iteration. If it sells this year, it most likely will sell again next year and varying from the formula increases the fiscal risk associated with the game for the publisher and developer. It’s a sick cycle.. with no clear winner on the consumer side if you’re looking for fresh ideas.

corpse

On December 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I totally agree, fresh ideas are the biggest problem, maybe they will prove us wrong next year and give us something different.