Back in 2013 when Tom Clancy’s The Division was first shown at E3 2013, it was the first game that truly got me psyched for the upcoming Xbox One launch, then during E3 2014, it was announced that it would be released in 2015, and two delays later for a total of wait time of 3 years here we are with it finally launched to huge sales figures, breaking the first day sales of any game in the history of Ubisoft.
This isn’t the first time we have heard the words “record breaking first day sales for Ubisoft” as a game that was released not to long ago called Watch_Dogs held that title until The Division was released last week. The similarities don’t just stop there as Watch_Dogs also had a series of delays that jumped it from it’s November 19th 2013 release date to May 27th 2014. Many cries of “Ubisoft have just killed the sales for this game” was shouted across the internet, and that the hype for Watch_Dogs was all but dead. As we already mentioned, Watch_Dogs went on to break sales records for Ubisoft.
So first let’s talk about the benefits of delaying a game during its development, obviously, the studio gets more time to polish the game and make it look better, as well as to perfect the gameplay a bit more. Delays have never really bothered me too much, of course, it sucks knowing that you won’t get your hands on it for a little while longer, but I’d rather a developer took their time and made the game right instead of releasing it too soon and ends up being a disappointment to fans. Another potential benefit, whether this is done intentionally or not, is the extra publicity
Another potential benefit, whether this is done intentionally or not, is the extra publicity that the game gets when it’s announced that it’s having a delay. Which almost seems to make fans anticipate more of the game just due to the extra time that they had to improve the game. And at times, it seems like it could just be a marketing tactic to gather interest for the game. I know, it might be a bit of a stretch but think about it, if you were a developer and you thought it might improve sales to not only delay the game for more time to tweak the game but to advertise months in advance for your latest title?
There really isn’t much of a disadvantage as a developer to delaying your game that I can think of, maybe a small level of disappointment from the fans, that you can’t get your money for sales as soon? And that’s about all I can think of, I mean, as a developer to have your deadline extended, I can see that being a relief, knowing that you have more time to get the game where you want it in terms of quality.
I also think that it helps them to start having more time to work on the DLC as well since we all know that some developers like putting their DLC content on the disc and then want you to pay more to unlock content that you’ve already paid for in a sense. The Division already has it’s year one planned and I think that having that extra time helps to solidify the plans so that when you announce them, that they are more likely to come to fruition.
So what do you think? Do you believe that developers are using delays to increase sales? It seems to have worked for Ubisoft twice in the last two years whether or not it was deliberate. Please let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below. And as far as the next game that comes out from this developer, all I’ve gotta say is that we’re watching you Ubisoft…