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Delays, Delays, Delays

Why do games always seem to ship later than first announced?

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     September 10, 2004


Artwork from DUKE NUKEM 3D.
© 3D Realms

One of the most frustrating and infuriating things that can happen to a gamer awaiting his or her favorite game is a delay. Of course, in the video game industry, delays are just a way of life, something that is anticipated every few weeks or so. Troy and James tackle this issue and give their insight on it.


Another week, another delay or two. Apparently we won't get GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS until a week later (this seems common to add a week or two for Rockstar). The window is getting very small for gamers to play everything that is coming out this fall. About two weeks after SAN ANDREAS there is HALO 2, the DS, METROID PRIME 2, etc.


It's always frustrating for fans of a game to have their favorite new game delayed especially when it makes little sense. The worst game to be a fan of right now would be DUKE NUKEM FOREVER. Announced in 1997, it was just this past week that the game was said to be now running on the DOOM III engine. I imagine by the time we finally see the game (if we see the game) it'll be running on the HALF-LIFE 3 or 4 engine.


Usually I'm ok with delays as long as the game isn't done or if it is going to make the game better. This isn't always the case though as sometimes game get delayed for marketing purposes. The biggest offender this year is THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP. This stellar looking GBA title was delayed to 2005 so that it didn't compete with the Nintendo DS. Argh!


If it makes a better game though, I'm all for it. Just as long as I have something to play int he meantime. JS


Most of the time, I can understand delays. Sure, when a game is pushed back a few weeks for some minor tweaks, I can't say I blame the company. I'd rather have a nicely polished game a few weeks after its original release date than to have a buggy piece of crap early. But there are other times when delays frustrate me.


Being a huge DUKE NUKEM fan, I have been eagerly anticipating

A screenshot from DUKE NUKEM FOREVER back from 1999. The game engine has since been scrapped.

the release of the sequel, DUKE NUKEM FOREVER. Actually, I was anticipating its release the first three or four years. Now I just don't think about it. Oh what, it has been pushed back to next summer? No surprise. The problem here is that many fans may not remember Duke and his witty Bruce Campbell-esque comments throughout the game. It was big in '96, and it has been almost 10 years since we've heard anything from the big guy (unless you count those horrid PSOne games).


Sure, HALO 2 has been pushed back quite a few times. And I do understand when the fans of the series complain. But come on! A few years compared to eight for the next DUKE NUKEM? No contest. I'm really wondering how gamers are going to find time to play all of the games that are now coming out this Christmas. With all of the recent delays, gamers are going to have their hands full with all of the games they should have been playing months ago. TR


TIDBITS



According to Take-Two, DUKE NUKEM FOREVER will now be using the DOOM III game engine...GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS will be released on the PC next summer; no Xbox release date has been announced...Speaking of SAN ANDREAS, the game has been pushed back a week to October 26th...Sega is developing a game based on the Shinsengumi, a Japanese military group in the late 19th century. Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin, will be designing the characters...



ON SHELVES



Two fabulous games coming out this week. SLY 2: BAND OF THIEVES and FABLE are both being released. SLY 2 is a top-notch sequel to the first game, and FABLE has been getting good reviews thus far. For PC Gamers, there is the joy of THE SIMS 2, although maybe this is more up your little sister's alley. Finally, for the GBA enthusiasts out there, DRAGON BALL Z: BUU'S FURY hits the GBA. It only gets busy from here, so play these while you have the chance.



Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.



Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at GamersThumb@cinescape.com.

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