So, do you still complain about official long dev cycles?

  • Yes, a serious game needs a sensible dev time
  • No, the game should be cooked for as long as it needs to
  • Depends

0 voters

!!! The poll is only about the dev cycle of official games and studios, not romhacks !!!

So now that you’ve kinda seen what the game development process contains
do you still complain about games that take too long to come out?
Yes different technology and process
but also bigger teams, budget and better tools.

Is it justifiable and should stay in the furnace 5~10 years if the game needs it?

Or should be pushed out after some maximum time has passed
and then fix it with free patches?

Have in mind, official games charge you to access them
and then there’s MTX and DLC on top of it
HOWEVER you don’t know the game’s quality until it comes out.

Well, what is it?

A wise man (Shigeru Miyamoto) once said:

" A delayed game is eventually good , but a rushed game is forever bad ."

There are plenty of examples of this in practice, like Pokémon Sword and Shield. Those games show signs everywhere of being rushed.

On the other hand: I don’t want to wait ten years to ragequit over one of my units dying in the new FEGame that (in this case) has been massively delayed.

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Developers should make sensible roadmaps with realistic timelines and plan games around this. They should avoid announcing titles, or not be made to announce, when the game is nowhere near being done. See: Final Fantasy Versus XIII, The Last Guardian, Cyberpunk.

Versus XIII (gross) almost gets a free pass because the developers made a custom engine for it… but then they immediately abandoned this for FFVIIR and used Unreal Engine 4 instead lol. Given Unreal takes a large cut of developer revenue, I can understand wanting to develop an in-house engine to keep expenses down, but at least use the damn thing.

Long dev cycles are fine - just look at most Disney movies which spend 5-10 years in development hell before coming up with a release. Premature announcements are not fine.


It’s just my opinon, but I disagree with “cooking the game as long as it takes until it’s perfect is a path to sucess 100% of the time”. That doesn’t mean that I disagree with delaying games to add features, but it depends a lot in how you handle it.

Of course it’s good to delay the game as long as you can guarantee that the end result will be better, but game developers should do their very best in a reasonable timeframe. If you delay it too long, you lose one of the most important features your game would have had: Innovation. I’m going to cite as an example a game that has been already been talked about, but I think Final Fantasy Versus XIII deserves a bit of analysis.

Back in 2006, the first trailer was unveiled and the graphics looked mindblowing. They were far beyond any technology at the time was expected to perform. The gameplay was quite unique as it also represented a transition from the regular turn-based RPG to real-time action RPG combat.

Fast forward to 2016, the game, now renamed Final Fantasy XV, comes out and it’s… okay. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just good. That’s the problem. We went from “Mindblowingly awesome” to “okay”. The graphics were great, but it’s not anymore something that no other company could achieve. The gameplay was good, but by the time it was released, JRPGS had already transitioned to action gameplay and the market was saturated by them. The soundtrack was awesome, but we already knew that because, guys, it’s Yoko Shimomura, so it’s not a surprise.
Most of the great achievements that FFXV was suposed to achieve were lost because, in it’s convoluted 10-year development cycle, other companies had beaten them in those areas. In other words, FFXV lost what made FF games great and what made FFV13 great : Its uniqueness.

That’s exactly the problem, it’s perfectly okay to delay a game a few months or even a year or two if you really believe it will make the game better, but if you keep delaying it, by the time you’re done putting those features time will have moved on and they will not be new and possibly not even interesting anymore.


Waiting is usually the safer bet, but waiting too long will result inunforseen issues popping up - no game developer is perfect and the longer the creation time takes, the more likely SOMETHING will go wrong. I’m not so sure on the state of it now but Cyberpunk 's PS4 launch looked more like an original Playstation game despite its lengthy development, and there were a fair few bugs I heard reported for it.

A good company can probably make a longer timeframe better, though, even their devs, I just don’t trust many companies to not fuck it up if they go too long.

Same goes for going too fast, because then you get FIFA where its literally the same game with 5 new faces and new numbers to go with everything.


There’s a certain threshold where crossing it takes you from “we’re taking our time to make sure the game is as good as it can be” to “development hell”. If I knew more about game development, I would suss out an amount of time where exceeding it would most likely make you cross that threshold (two years? three years? four years? probably not more than that, right?), but I don’t. I’m sure there are plenty of people on the internet who have!

I don’t get many chances to complain about game development these days because it’s rare that I actually look forward to a new game in particular, though. I’m too busy with what’s already out there!


ROM hacking a GBA game with a wide breadth of resources is not even vaguely within the same realm of “what the game development process contains”

true, but it’s a good foot in the door. personally, I got started with RPG Maker years ago. ROMHacking is probably equally if not more hard as something like RM or SRPG Studio.

studio projects should take all the time they need. even with their 500+ staff, they have the budget to afford it.

for indies though, at some point when time gets too long and budget constraints reveal themselves, it’s time to lower scale. features get simplified or cut – or development goes on hiatus.

as was mentioned, this can be avoided by solid project planning and management, though. if you read Gamasutra’s postmortems about how developers look bad on their development cycles, especially for indies, there’s always some part of the game left unfinished for the sake of shipping the game on schedule

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while some dev cycles are unacceptably long (Duke Nukem Forever, Mother 3, Spore) or took too little time in the oven and came out as disease infested as uncooked chicken (Sonic 06/GBA, modern mario party, EA games in general, virtual boy), but other than these examples games should take as long as they need.

That’s a loaded question. I’ll have you know I am, and always have been, a saint.

Honestly really surprised Depends doesn’t have more votes. I can’t imagine such a broad question applying to dev cycles in general.

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Yeah it can apply to everything in general but I wanted to keep it within gaming
as long dev cycles and delays have become the norm now.

I’m on the depend side and I think no game should take more than 5 years for any reason.
That’s 2 games in a decade.
Over-roasting your chicken doesn’t make it better, only turns it into charcoal.
Also, bloated dev times show a lack of clear direction with a project.

Finally another thing to point that irritates me is this:
If a company clearly has the resources to throw them on indie spin-offs
and other media (live actions, series, magazines, novels etc)
then they better focus them on the main project >_>

I know why people quote it, but I wish they would stop quoting this cause Miyamoto himself has said that he meant that you would regret rushing a game, not that it would literally be bad forever.

In any case, I like what some game companies have been doing recently where they announce games fairly close to the release date.

For all I care, a game could start development before I’m born and end development after I die. As long as the people working on it just don’t tell me they’re working on something more than 6 months before they predict it’ll be ready.

Like, if I hear about some game that I didn’t know was being developed, 6 or fewer months before it releases, I couldn’t care less that it may have taken 43 years to get to this point. I didn’t have to anxiously wait for it all that time after all.

This is honestly my take as well. There would be no need to rush if no one knows the game is being made until its announcement. Use all that beforehand time to get everything as close to the final product as you can, announce the release date, then the rest of the dev time is tweaks and touch ups