By Jared Newman | Monday, July 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm
The gaming world was seriously bummed out today, hearing that the blockbuster Bioshock 2 will be delayed until fiscal year 2010. I’m thrilled.
Publisher Take-Two said in a financial update that the game needs “additional development time,” but there are hints that the company wants to duck this year’s holiday game rush, even if FY2010 technically allows for a November or December release. Mainly, the following quote shows the publisher’s hand: “We believe the result [of a delay] will be a more compelling consumer experience and a better performing product in the marketplace (emphasis mine).”
Could this signal an end to the age-old practice of releasing too many good games at the end of the year? Maybe, but there are other factors that can’t be ignored. Take-Two acknowledges that it’s partly waiting for a better economy to come around. In explaining Bioshock 2’s delay to FY2010, the publisher says the game, along with other blockbusters, “provide a platform for enhanced financial performance in what we hope will be an improved retail environment.”
And sure, extra development time could certainly be a necessity. There are, after all, four studios working on the project, which I imagine would slow things down considerably.
But Bioshock 2 is a major release, certainly capable of going toe-to-toe wih other top-tier titles, and publishers aren’t well-known for delaying a game past the holidays for the sake of making a better product. I don’t know if the economy will be more favorable to video games by, say, next spring, but I’m inclined to think Take-Two sees an advantage in separating itself from the holiday game glut. At least one other high-profile game, the Playstation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain, is doing the same.
It’s my opinion that Bioshock was a flawed masterpiece, better left standing alone, so the news doesn’t bother me on another level. Still, I welcome any sign of better games in the off-season. A blockbuster game would be perfect right about now, in the summer.