Photo: ‘Elden Ring’
The long-awaited video game ‘Elden Ring’ (written by ‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin and ‘Dark Souls’ creator Hidetaka Miyazaki) has finally been released on the last weekend of February. When I tell all of you that being a fan of the ‘Dark Souls’ video game series myself, this game entirely blew my already high expectations out of the water. It is simply fantastic, and it’s a reminder of just how wonderful video games can be.
Video games are an incredible source of entertainment for audiences far and wide. They build worlds and capture us into that atmosphere by leading us towards interactive experiences to go on these journeys along with the characters. On top of this, there is ultimately a myriad of aspects that go into creating these worlds; and the development of the effort towards striving to be empathic and relatable to the players to overall make them potentially care about the game that they’re playing. One of these aspects involves the main element that makes video games come to life in the first place: game development.
It’s fair to say that game development takes quite a bit when the developers of those video games are striving to create something entertaining and worthwhile for their audiences to purchase; and with the price that newer video games normally run today, this is an incredibly fair desire to want to achieve. But with that desire also comes the rather difficult decision on when to pick the date to release their games; which can lead towards an indefinite chance that said video games can be delayed (sometimes, being even greatly delayed). And on the topic of ‘Elden Ring’, which was announced back in 2019, and fans were dearly awaiting any further news on it for years, the delay in video game development shows itself to be sometimes a good thing in the long run; even if it breaks our hearts to have to be patient.
Anxiously Awaiting To Press “Start Game”
If you’re a long-time fan of video games, you’ll know very well that ‘Elden Ring’ is not the first time a video game has been delayed; let alone, being a rather long-awaited video game to be delayed. In fact, I’m sure some of you will be surprised to know that there is actually a semi-long list of hugely delayed video games; most of which proved that the extra time spent on the game would transform the experience of the virtual journey from good to great.
To start, there is somewhat of a plethora of video games that have been delayed for a multitude of years; a few that may come as a shock of how they took so long to create. ‘Team Fortress 2’ (announced in 1998 but released in 2007), ‘L.A. Noire’ (announced in 2005 but released in 2011), and ‘Alan Wake’ (announced in 2005 but released in 2010) are simply a few examples. But despite being shocked about how long these games would take to release, they eventually turned out to be quite impactful to audiences and worthwhile to be patient for; especially ‘L.A. Noire’ with its revolutionary facial recognition technology. Along with this, there are also impactful games that weren’t delayed for a multitude of years, such as rather notable games like ‘Resident Evil 4’ (delayed for an entire year) and ‘Bioshock Infinite’ (also delayed for a whole year).
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, no matter how long these video games had been delayed, they all eventually turned out amazing in the end; and were positively well worth the wait. In another sense, these said games can also be an inspiration for how the more time you spend on something, the better it is for viewers/players to consume; and that proves that these developers ultimately had their audiences in mind as well. Not to mention how much they impacted the gaming industry, and their crowds of fans that would remember these games for years to come.
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The Dust Collecting On The Case
As always with art, there comes to be a double-edged sword. While most delayed video games have proven to be worth the wait for a majority of audiences, there have been examples where the general video game community saw a few postponed games as rather disappointing. The reasons behind this are vast, such as the developers feeling as though they possibly went “too big” with their concepts and couldn’t execute them fully or simply delaying it due to other projects standing in their way. Regardless, there are times when you can tell the developers took real time and effort; and a few moments where it seemed that they could’ve cared less to focus on it.
I want to first reiterate that game development does take a while, and the stories that the developers put within their video games always show promise, so I don’t want to discredit the work of the individuals who worked on these video games. However, it is an interesting notion to recognize when a delayed video game shows its purpose in being delayed versus a delayed video game seemingly feeling as though it was simply put off when it could’ve been worked on further; or even, in rare cases, had no need in being made at all.
Examples of these types of games involve ‘Mighty No. 9’ (delayed for many years and didn’t leave up to the expectations that it promised fans) and ‘The Last Guardian’ (continuously put-off, and eventually abandoned by original creators and finished by new ones who left the story feeling odd); which is quite disappointing, to say the least when it seemed as though fans were longing to play them. But, the most notorious example is certainly ‘Duke Nukem Forever’. Being delayed for nearly fifteen years, the game would ultimately let fans down as the storyline felt amazing, yet the actual execution would be considered rather poor. Because of this, ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ showed itself to be a prime example of a delayed game that should’ve stayed in development.
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A Great Virtual (Postponed) World
Through it all, delayed video games on the surface may appear as though they are nearly set to doom; leading fans to believe that maybe what they’ve been waiting for won’t excite them as much as a game that came just on time did. But, bringing it all back, ‘Elden Ring’ is a proud example of when delayed video games can showcase that simply even a little bit more time can create a work of art that audiences will love even more than they would’ve before.
Through all the groans that the dreadful announcement of “We sadly have to announce…” evokes onto us video game fans, postponement ultimately serves fans better in the long run. It causes us to get even more excited to finally play and dive into that virtual world when it arrives; whether or not it ends up as a masterpiece, or is a project that should’ve stayed in the shadows, there is beauty in patience.
By Leah Donato
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