A new The Legend of Zelda game was originally going to be released at the very end of 2015. However, Nintendo has confirmed that it has delayed the title, with it now being slated for 2016. Eiji Aonuma, the man now in charge of developing The Legend of Zelda series, has stated that they have came across new ideas that will make the game better if it isn’t rushed. This is quite smart on Nintendo’s part, but we shall get to that later on.
In recent years, the trend has been to release your game as soon as possible to get a quick buck and patch it up later if you’re particularly bothered about the state of your game. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Battlefield 4, Sonic Boom, The Order: 1886 – I could go on and on about it. This is nothing new, however – companies big and small have been trying to cash in on the video game market for years now. Super Pitfall tried to capitalise on the success of its predecessor and E.T. tried so hard to get money that it crashed the game industry for two years in North America; it’s so easy to assume it’s a new practice, though.
It’s quite a shame that companies try to get money as quickly as they possibly can, but that’s just the way the industry works nowadays. So few companies delay their games these days because they want to shove them out the door to begin work on a new project.
So why exactly are game delays important? Well, I’ve sort of answered that question already. Games need to adhere to the principle of quality of quantity, even more so now in an era of oversaturation of games. By delaying the game, more can be finalized to create a less broken experience; ironing out bugs, fine tuning gameplay elements, and generally getting your game right. Rushing it out of the door isn’t an advantageous strategy to follow. That’s why Nintendo flourishes. That’s what separates their games from most others.
Delaying games is a measure of quality that should be taken more often. It’s a surefire way of making sure your game is good to go and ensures that your game will be as good as it can possibly be. As Shigeru Miyamoto once said, “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.” I hope this advice gets followed in the future by such companies as Ready at Dawn and Big Red Button, because if a game has had a breezy one year development cycle, it’ll show!