Readers! Kind of figured this just could qualify for a read through. Thoughts?

Welcome Avid Readers, this might be worth reading.

To paraphrase Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good video game with a delayed-release is better than a buggy game released on time”. Gamers have learned to tolerate video game developers that constantly push their release dates back. Making good video games, after all, is a grueling process, and cutting corners to meet a release date produces disasters like 1982’s E.T. The Extraterrestrial and the resulting video game crash of 1983.

The year 2020 has already introduced some staggering delays. Highly anticipated, marquee titles like Final Fantasy VII RemakeDoom Eternaland Cyberpunk 2077 were pushed back, much to the chagrin of fans. Typically these AAA delays mean the developers required more time to polish up such a major release. After all, they’ll only get to make one first impression.

Related: Every 2020 Game Release Date Delay

A long release schedule doesn’t guarantee a masterpiece, though, as titles like Mighty No. 9, Crackdown 3, and Fallout 76 can attest. Whether through disappointing final products or ludicrous development spans, here are a few recent games that haven’t given gamers the payoff they hoped for.

Kickstarter fundraising for games has become quite popular over the years as a way for consumers to help respected artists bring their auteur or daring games to life. Sometimes, the efforts of Kickstarter supporters pay off…and other times, you get titles like Mighty No. 9. Developed by Keiji Inafune, the original creator of the Megaman franchise, this 2D platform and spiritual successor to Megaman was generously funded on Kickstarter, but released after a year’s delay with unoriginal gameplay, awkward cutscenes, and numerous bugs.

Fallout 76, a multiplayer spinoff of the Fallout franchise, was similarly released in an incomplete state, plagued for over a year with bugs, long-delayed expansion packs, a lack of NPCs, and controversial micro-transactions that led to many accusing Bethesda Softworks of forcing a “Pay to Win” model on players. On the other side of the spectrum, Crackdown 3, the latest installment in the Crackdown franchise, was released in February 2019 to a lack of both controversy and acclaim. The title, though well-polished over ten years of development, lacked any special innovations in gameplay to distinguish it from its peers.

No Man’s Sky, a space simulator released in 2016 after a long development cycle, initially faced similar criticism to that of Fallout 76. Customers feeling deceived or misled. Developers at Hello Games promised players a living, procedurally-generated universe where they could explore worlds, discover new lifeforms, and uncover galactic mysteries together in multiplayer. However, the initial release was devoid of many of these promised features. It would take several years of updates for No Man’s Sky to eventually acquire the epic narrative, sandbox gameplay, and multiplayer features fans were hoping for (without microtransactions, thankfully).

The true king of long-anticipated, long-delayed games by far is Star Citizen, the greatest space simulator not yet made. Helmed by Wing Commander veteran Chris Roberts, Star Citizen received a record $230 million over the course of its Kickstarter campaign, which promised features ranging from starship trading, exploration, and combat in an open-world galaxy to VR support and a single-player campaign called Squadron 42. An excess of promised features, though, combined with mismanaged funds and a troubled work environment, has caused the development of Star Citizen to drag on for over 8 years, with the end now only just in sight.

There are many reasons why some video games become classics and others go the way of Mighty No. 9 and Fallout 76. Rushed development is certainly one, but poor project management, hostile work environments and a lack of creative direction can doom a video game as much as a forced release schedule. Ultimately, the creation of video games is a collaboration between developers and fans, who must trust and work with each other if they want their titles to live up to their promise.

Next: April 2020 is an Absurd Month in Video Game History

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