The Secret Blessing of Game Delays
One of the coolest things in recent years to come from the Sonic Team and Sega is their transparency and manner of talking directly to the fandom about upcoming games and projects. One such announcement involved Sonic Mania, the kickback to Classic Sonic roots that will be coming out later this year. It was announced that the game would be delayed by three months, putting it into the summer season as opposed to the originally planned spring release.
While a game delay is not something that many eager fans are happy to hear about, in this case with Sonic Mania, it doesn’t necessarily have to be viewed as a negative thing. Game companies and developers in general could probably agree that release dates are double-edged swords. On one hand, it gives the consumer a time frame to look at picking up the game, build hype for the title, and gives a competitive window to the company to see what other titles they will be trying to sell alongside. On the other hand, it also means that the game usually has to be released that day, along with any bugs, glitches, and problems. For this reason, it’s usually more of a pull from the marketing side of a development team to keep the game on course with a release date instead of delaying it, which makes a lot of sense.
However, it does seem very interesting to think about this concept when you compare it to other titles that have been released just the week. EA just published Mass Effect Andromeda, which seems to be riddled with different kinds of glitches and bugs. The question here begs then would a delay in the release window have given the team more time to iron out the problems and make a better product overall? Possibly.
With a game like Mass Effect Andromeda, you could argue that the scope of the game and all of the different interactions are what makes the bugs and glitches more prone to happen. This is certainly true, as the principle of having more variables in a game invites more problems to occur with those variables. What is striking and ironic however, is that EA went on record to say that they would have delayed the game to fix it should the problems be that large in scale. Now while the issues are mostly graphical, these issues shouldn’t be as commonplace as they are, in my opinion. When a company like EA goes on record to say they have enough money to delay a game and make it right, but then we are presented with a game that is buggy, it throws into question just what kind of quality control the team was considering “good”.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing shade at EA or Mass Effect fans, but I’m sure there are even people in those types of camps that could agree with this statement. Does that mean I’m suggesting you not purchase the game? By no means do I want you to get that impression. This separate franchise and market are merely illustrative examples of why I’m glad Sega and Sonic Team have delayed Sonic Mania.
As a fan of Sonic gaming, it’s easy to say that our blue hedgehog has had it rough with the decline of games and especially with Sonic Boom as of recently. So, I’m very thrilled to see that the company is taking the time to put the right amount of love and consideration. Again, does this mean that I think the game will be perfect and free of any bugs? No, I’m sure there will be some that will slip through the cracks. I do appreciate the fact that Sega hasn’t openly announced that they have the budget to delay the game nor do they have a need to work on a game with so many variables.
Sonic Mania is something I’m looking forward to releasing, as the level previews show something I love about Sonic: it’s easy to understand, the graphics are retro-inspired, and it’s the same kind of game I would expect to play on my Sega Genesis or even Game Boy Advance. This makes me take solace in the fact that it can truly be a blessing to have a game delayed, so that I can enjoy the title the day it comes out. After all, any developer just wants us to play the game the way it was meant to be played…right?
What are your thoughts on this? Are you looking forward to Sonic Mania or even Sonic Forces? What are your thoughts on EA or Mass Effect? Do you like the newest game Andromeda? Let us know in the comments section below!