In an era of gaming where AAA releases are churned out like Popsicles are tossed out to kids by a disgruntled taxi driver working part time in a little truck during those hot summer days in order to pay for his kid to get through community college, some developers recognize the importance of delays and making sure a game is only made available when it’s complete. That’s how Naughty Dog sees Uncharted 4.
In an issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine, they managed to get in word with Uncharted 4’s director Neil Druckmann, who explained why Uncharted 4 was delayed for the PS4 from holiday 2015 to early spring of 2016. GamesRadar picked out some choice quotes from the lauded director, who stated…
“The Last Of Us was the first game we ever delayed – by a month – and we felt so guilty and so horrible having to do that, and yet shipping a game that wasn’t up to our vision would have felt worse”
“Much of the development and figuring things out happens as we go,” […] “There were certain sequences where we were like ‘Okay, this is a pretty ambitious sequence, we will probably have to cut this…”
Now that’s the mark of a good game in the making. Developers recognizing that delaying the game will only make it better is what’s best for business.
Too often we have games like Batman: Arkham Knight or Assassin’s Creed Unity or SimCity or whatever other flavor of the week is that drops and completely bombs because they decided to rush the game to the market instead of waiting and doing right by the brand and the developers and, most importantly, the consumers.
In this case, it’s great news that Druckmann and crew are given ample time to finish the game right proper, since you only get one shot to make a first impression with the initial sale of the game.
Not only that but if Naughty Dog had opted for a holiday 2015 release they would have had to scale back on the game’s ending, with Druckmann explaining…
“Even when I’m describing the ending, it’s a pretty… Well, I guess this is a little bit of a spoil… Nah, I’m not going to say it! But there is something that happens that requires quite a bit of work for what we want it to do, and again we would have had to reduce that scope and reduce that ambition to meet that [original] deadline”.
A good example of a game that hit a financial and release date deadline is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami pulled the plug on Kojima Productions’ endeavors, resulting in a game with a completely missing true ending.
Now gamers are petitioning Konami to finish the true ending for Metal Gear Solid V, even though Kojima and the rest of the original developers are supposedly gone from Konami. According to Druckmann, they did not want to go down that route and they wanted to make sure they did right by the series’ finale, with the director stating…
“We were weighing those choices between fans and their expectations,” […] “It was going to disappoint them to push this thing back, but this is the last chapter for Nathan Drake, so let’s give ourselves as much time as possible and go all-out for this series.”
Anyway, it’s good that Sony is giving Naughty Dog that breathing room because they obviously know the value of a game done right and finished proper.
In the end, if you don’t just hack a developer off right there at the finish line they can sometimes churn out some amazing stuff. Hopefully Naughty Dog delivers good and well when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End launches on March 18th, 2016 exclusively for the PS4.