Has anyone noticed in the verbal and written interviews companies are giving in the last 6 months or so with games in development that the "Company Line" for when is the release date has been "When it is done"?
A simple question really. When is your game being released?
Several games that were released in the last 7 years have been the same thing. The game gets released and it is an incomplete project with the plans to update in the future. As I stated in my blog entry found here http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/WolfClaws/052008/1685_Unfinished-Games-Gone-Gold . Some games, never make it. Vanguard SoH is a victim of this. All the bugs led to the masses leaving. Other games have this problem as well.
But when Blizzard was releasing Starcraft II, well the answer they gave was "When it is done." Now say what you will about the juggernaut Blizzard, but even the original WoW team said "It will be done when it is done". Now Diablo III is up and that is the line given. Do I believe them? Oh yes.
Another company that prides itself on quality product...Bioware. Big titles such as Mass Effect and the Knights of the Old Republic and The Old Republic... it is done when it is done has been the line for a couple of years. These guys have EA breathing down their necks, not to mention Lucasarts for release dates. Right now, they feel the game is darn close to completion.
While watching XPlay on G4TV, they like to interview game companies and developers to give the latest news in the multi billion dollar industry, Several companies are saying the same thing now. So it makes me wonder.
Is the unstoppable force of a MMO that isnt even out yet having game companies rethink how they are doing business? Could it be changing since the time of Ultima Online when MMO games that were released were "finished products"? What made UO and EQ great is that new patches helped tweak a few things, and updates pushed out to increase landmass and quests, not rewrite code. WoW did this as well (hate all you want, but they accomplished a great feat).
Hopefully The Old Republic will make it. Hopefully it will be a hit for the years to come. Diablo III will sell a lot of copies, but will it still be played 10 after its release like its younger brother? Only time will tell. But if it does, the industry might change, for the better.