A Balanced Perspective on Developmental Delays

Following a rumor that Star Fox Zero might be facing another developmental delay, fans are naturally starting to get antsy.  This of course is far from the first time a Nintendo game has been delayed: Zelda: Twilight Princess, the upcoming Zelda game for Wii U, and Pikmin 3 are just three examples.  While the wait is often difficult to endure, most would agree that in the end, it’s well worth it.  Indeed, as Shigeru Miyamoto himself said, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

Of course, many developers utilize patches to fix a multitude of issues after a game’s release.  The problem with patches is that typically, the damage is already done.  Once a game has received bad publicity for its lack of polish, gamers are unlikely to give it a second chance, even if they never played the original (flawed) version.  First impressions–wrong though they may be–matter a great deal in the entertainment industry.

With that said, the wait for new games can be frustrating.  After all, repeated delays can diminish a developer’s credibility, even if the final product delivers.  That begs the question: should developers avoid announcing a release date until they are absolutely certain they can deliver the finished product on time?  Should they be contractually bound to a release date if they announce one?  Or should they simply focus on making the best game possible and not worry about upsetting impatient fans?  These questions over-simplify the issue of course, but undoubtedly, most Nintendo fans have considered them at one point or another.  Nintendo games typically maintain a high standard of quality, so it stands to reason that their development cycles are often fraught with difficulties.

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About The Author

Lisa Lowdermilk is an incurable punster. She loves wordplay almost as much as she loves Nintendo games. Her favorite Nintendo character is Shy Guy, and she hopes that he will have a starring role someday (and be able to cope with his subsequent rise to fame).