Back in 2012, legendary producer Shigeru Miyamoto once noted, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” And boy, did he hit the nail on the head. Some developers force their team members to go through “crunch” periods in an effort to get their game out in the proper time frame. Fortunately, some have taken up the practice of delaying their releases and giving them the breathing room they need to finish the job. But what about the ones that suffered from rushing their release out the door? Well, there have been quite a few cases of that, and these five are the most noteworthy examples. Maybe next time don’t rush to get something out the door, yeah?
Street Fighter V
Capcom had a lot of cards on the table for Street Fighter V, hoping to get the same success out of it that they did with Street Fighter IV. And it did happen – well, eventually. The problem is, when the game came out in February 2016, it was surprisingly bare bones. By that, it was missing some key components, including a story mode, some HUD details, the
ability to use Spectator Mode and so much more. Many fans complained and, because of that, the game’s sales suffered at launch – probably the worst in Street Fighter’s history.
Alas, Capcom learned from its mistakes and have added a ton of content to the game sincethen, and are promising that they’ve learned the error of their ways with the forthcoming Street Fighter 6. We hope, anyway.
Initially, Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red was supposed to drop in April, but complications from its development pushed it back several months. However, it finally arrived in December 2020 – and boy, did it face a world of trouble. That’s because the game launched with a tremendous amount of bugs, including some that made it play horrifically on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It got to the point that millions of players requested refunds, and CD Projekt Red even had to apologize for its slapdash development.
It’s since patched the game to the point that it runs respectably, but this was one of those times where shelving its release to 2021 wouldn’t have been the worst thing.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5
Boy, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 was a mess. It arrived in September 2015 with very little marketing behind it, nor any sort of push for its online player lobbies. And, boy, did players notice all sorts of things wrong with it. The game ran miserably, and it failed to even come close to the level of the previously developed games by Neversoft. (Robomodo took the helm of this one.) What’s worse, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games were badly delayed, and when they did arrive, they were even worse – and without online features. It would take years for Activision to recover with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 on new-gen systems. But, alas, we’ve probably seen the last of the Hawkman – at least, for a while.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Many fans were looking forward to the return of the Mass Effect franchise after a dramatic sendoff with part three – but didn’t exactly like what Andromeda delivered. It debuted in March 2017 and fans immediately ripped into it, thanks to its countless glitches, its unmemorable characters (even sex couldn’t make them appealing) and its numerous gameplay problems. EA and BioWare attempted to repair the damage, but it was already too late, and Andromeda became a laughingstock. However, after whatever the heck Anthem was, BioWare got back into good graces with the beautiful Mass Effect: Legendary Edition; and are currently hard at work on the comeback of Commander Shepard with a yet unnamed sequel.
It takes a special kind of dumb to screw up the launch of an entire game console. But that’s what Sega did in the summer of 1995, unleashing the Sega Saturn months ahead of the Sony PlayStation. However, in doing so, it caught everyone off guard. Store owners didn’t know what to do; developers tried to rush the games that they thought they had time to finish; and gamers had to deal with a drought of titles, since only six or so were available over the course of the summer.
The move was put in place to throw off Sony from its PlayStation launch…but to no avail. The company shrugged it off during a following press conference (“$299.”) and released it in September, where it sold millions and made a name for the company in the gaming world. Lesson learned by Sega, who bounced back with the Dreamcast in 1999 before eventually settling into third-party development.
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