First published in CubedGamers (Printed Edition): July 2016
When Nintendo delayed the launch of the Nintendo 64 by three months to ensure that its launch titles were completed to his satisfaction, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto responded to media criticism by stating: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
To a large extent, he is right. Gaming history is littered with examples of games released before they were ready. Even now, games are released that are “broken at launch,” as developers rush to meet the launch dates set by company marketing departments. SimCity, Grand Theft Auto Online, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity are three examples of games that were near unplayable when they were first released.
For all the waiting however, delayed games are often very good. What has changed since the days of the Nintendo 64 launch is the mass popularisation of the internet. Impatient for new gaming experiences, gamers have become less tolerant of release delays. Kickstarter projects are commonly delayed. Recently, No Man’s Sky director Sean Murray tweeted that he’d received death threats after announcing that the game had been delayed for a few weeks. It’s hard to imagine Miyamoto was faced with similar responses.
In order to celebrate the art of delayed gratification, here are three games that overcame several delays to become classic titles.