Sony has a bit of a reputation for games that have been delayed multiple times. This includes the PlayStation Plus version of Driveclub which was delayed multiple times and The Last Guardian, which releases this week after more than a decade in development.
In the future, though, these delays will be a thing of the past. At PlayStation Experience 2016, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said that the company will be “more cautious” when announcing release dates in future. According to Gameblog.fr, Yoshida explained that, as video game development is so much more “complex” than it was previously, the company won’t reveal release dates before it’s too soon.
Yoshida also said that Sony has learned from its “past mistakes” in jumping the gun on release dates. The Sony executive cited The Last of Us Part 2 as an example of this strategy. The game, which was announced during PlayStation Experience 2016’s opening show, is described as being “early” in development and neither Sony nor Naughty Dog have even hinted at a release window (or even a release year) for the title.
Many gamers will no doubt agree that Sony is right to take this approach as it means that they are far less likely to be disappointed when a game is pushed back. As Yoshida noted, game development is a much different beast now and with games having online multiplayer, open-worlds and other features that could lead to unexpected challenges for the development team, it makes sense not to announce a release date until a game is absolutely ready.
Moreover, it could mean that developers are less likely to feel pressured to release their game at an announced time, even if it may need more time in the development oven.
For example, after being delayed multiple times, No Man’s Sky disappointed some gamers upon release and Sony had to weigh in on the controversy. If Hello Games had had more time to work on the game, would it have lived up to the hype? And would there have been so much hype in the first place, making gamers feel so disappointed? Without a time machine, it’s hard to say, but going forward, Sony’s new policy about announcing release dates will hopefully mean that delay debacles and gamer disappointment are a thing of the past.