Don’t you just hate it when the development of a game is stalled? To be fair, this could happen for any number of reasons – a high turnover rate at a company, creative differences between CEOs, artists and developers, lack of funds or time, and many others. It still doesn’t get rid of our frustration, though.
However, when the game finally does come out, there is an eruption of joy, enthusiasm and shouts of “Finally!” heard across the globe. Sometimes the delay was worth it. Other times, the companies’ should have quit while they were ahead. Here are some games that took forever to publish.
StarCraft II – Wings of Liberty
Remember Windows 98? There was a game around that time that took us by storm. We all welcomed StarCraft, a real-time strategic SF marvel that let you choose between three races – Terrans, Protoss and Zerg. So, when the sequel was announced in 2003, we were excited to get a sequel.
Instead, what followed was a seven-year long process. One of the main reasons for the delay was, supposedly, the incomplete work on the Battle.net platform, which was essential to the game launch. However, the game was finally completed in 2010, and it was well worth the wait. The graphics, new units and extensive lore have made us very happy that the game wasn’t rushed.
The Last Guardian
Fans of puzzle adventures have a vivid memory of Ico, a story of a young horned boy, left in a cursed city as sacrifice, and running around with another prisoner, and dodging shadow creatures in order to escape. The sequel was just as good, if not better – in 2005 we got Shadow of the Colossus (my personal favorite). Both of these games were made for PlayStation 2.
The Last Guardian had been in development since 2007. The developers were convinced that the game would be perfect for PlayStation 3. They were wrong. As there were numerous miscommunications, and strong pressure, Fumito Ueda, the designer and leader of Team Ico, which was responsible for the first two games, decided to leave Sony. Some of the members of the team did the same thing. The game eventually came out in 2016 for PlayStation 4, the fans were overjoyed, and we could finally fire the game up.
Team Fortress 2
So, here’s a fun fact – this was one of those games that started as a mod of an existing game. Quake is a first-person shooter with weird characters, awesome weapons and pumped-up physics. Does that sound familiar? Started in 1998 and published in 2007, this game was in a world of trouble from the get-go.
The thing is, it wasn’t supposed to be this goofy, loveable, and bizarre arena fight, but a serious and gritty game of military tactics. The reason this project took whole nine years, was that Valve put together and completely scrapped four functioning games before releasing the avatar of cartoonish violence we know and love.
Every project has its difficulties. Some are easily preventable, while others are akin to earthquakes. Being torn between making a good game and trying to meet the deadline has ruined many a person and team. As Shigeru Miyamoto once said: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”