Game development, like any software development, is an immensely intricate process. Given its temperamental nature, delays are inevitable — it just comes with the territory. Sometimes, game developers delay a game’s release in order to enhance the gameplay or polish the presentation, frustrating original release dates in the process.
“Typically, development teams delay games because they want to add an extra feature or spend more time on a specific aspect to get it just right,” says Dave Karraker, senior director of communications at Sony Computer Entertainment of America. “You need to remember that at the end of the day, the developer is truly an artist and their name is on that final product,” Karraker continues. “They will take every opportunity to get just a little more time to make the game as great as it possibly can be.”
But even though quality is a major reason for game delays, it’s far from the only reason. “Delays occur for both strategic and quality reasons,” says analyst Michael Pachter. Contrary to what you may think, publishers are just as as likely to delay a game for strategic reasons as they are quality ones.