When Release Dates Go Bad …

Back in the day (that would be just 10 years ago) I would cling to every release date and get upset when the dates would slip. Ah yes, the good ‘ol days of 1995 when the PlayStation was new, the Saturn sucked, and everything that did not rule went back to the store. The internet was new for the masses, and sites started posting release dates. Back then I lived and breathed release dates. Heck, I still do it to some extent with games such as Gran Turismo 4, but it is really not that important to me anymore. I just preorder what I want and when something shows up it is like a mini Christmas.

Getting pissed over missed released dates is such a stupid practice, especially for someone in the software industry (that would be me) that should know better and understand why dates slip. Why do we cling to release dates and get so upset when something happens and the game misses the published target date? Is there some God given right that I am missing when it games to ship dates?

Exasperating the problem is the internet – gaming retailers such as EBGames will post their best “guess” at a date, usually based on marketing and sales fluff, or “estimated” dates from the publisher. Of course all hell breaks loose when the dates changes, especially if the publisher put together a major ad campaign months before anyone realized that the game would miss its target date. A few years ago no one would have any idea that that game slipped, but now that the curtains are down, we all know that the date was missed, so pissed off we become.

This may be old news to some of you, but I was trying to find some news on the differences between Football Manager 2005 (UK version) and World Wide Soccer Manager (US version of said UK game) when I stumbled over this thread on the SI Games forum. This one sure went into total chaos as the date for WWSM seemed to change with the wind. It is pretty funny how seriously some people take games and ship dates. It is also a great example of what happens when release dates go bad.


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