With the latest news of MLA Total Eclipse being pushed all the way back to September, it made me wonder what things we as consumer are able to let be late. When it comes to basic planning, the deadline should be set in stone and everything should have their own place in the schedule. A good planner usually leaves some room in the schedule as well as overlap certain issues with each other. Of course, the earlier the project is finalised, the better.
As we’ve discussed, no product ever is finalised. Often finalising is cleaning the rough stuff off and hide all the worst flaws from the viewing eyes and using hands. Before the ‘net became as widespread as it is, even digital products had to be made to a point where they’re finished, polished and ready to used and enjoyed. Yes, using a well made product is nothing but joy. The 80’s Second Game Industry Crash was caused because the people developing the games at the time, be it the code monkeys or the big brass, didn’t care about the product that was put out. All that mattered that something was put out. Nowadays the same thing is happening to an extent with Steam Greenlight and other games that are, by all means, sold as they are. The difference at this time is that the users don’t realize that they’re paying for product that is far from finished and are actually defending their position as “early buyers” or some other bullshit. There has been some arguments that this sort of early-pay-early-access model supports the developer and allows them to put more effort and money into production.
This is, of course, a lot of bullshit.
There is no other industry that’s selling unfinished products to their users. A restaurant can’t sell you a meal that’s half cooked you to eat in promise for a proper one later on. A car dealer won’t sell you an unassembled car with a promise that they’ll assemble it later on. A musician won’t sell you a song that will be finished later. The comparisons may not be wholly accurate, but they still stand at their core; paying for an unfinished product is stupid, especially if the provider is able to take your money and unfulfil their part of the deal.
Which comes all around to release dates, in the end. A restaurant has a definitive deadline when it comes to meals, a car dealer has to deliver the car as promised (most cases instantly) and musician works according to agreements.
There’s very few industries that allow prolonged deadline pushbacks. The electronics game industry is a prime example of why this is a bad idea on all fronts. The rule of thumb is The longer the development time is, the worse the product will be. There is the other extreme as well, where there’s no use of pushing a product out too early.
âge is notorious on working on their products overtime, sometimes years to no end. Well, their products are all story after all. That doesn’t really excuse any of their pushbacks. Muv-Luv Alternative was supposed to be part of Muv-Luv as one of the routes, or the true route of you will, but things didn’t look all too good with the work they had for them. Alternative was released three years later as a sequel of sorts. âge really seems to love three years of nothingness.
From the perspective of consumer, there should have been no reason for the latest pushback. Total Eclipse has been written out in text form. It has an animation. Hell, they have released the VN on PS3 and X360 as well. What the PC version is, by all means, is the definitive release. It seems like they treat every iteration they do as some sort of blueprint for yet another version. After all, the console versions are the base where the PC version comes from, and the hard work has already been done. The PC version is merely a remixed version. Comparison the NES Super Mario and to All-Stars Super Mario isn’t all too inaccurate. Sure, this time we’re sort of promised an actual end and perhaps even some other things. I wouldn’t get my hopes up thou. To be honest, I’ve had a pre-order on Total Eclipse’s PC version from the time it was announced, but I’ve come to a conclusion that this sort of thing just doesn’t cut for me. I’ll wait until we’re closer to the actual release, that may end up being pushed sometime next year if things keep continue going like this.
Perhaps, in the end, it is the fan voice in us that keeps us putting money into products that we’re not going to have in our hands in some time. Pre-ordering is sort of normal and I can see its benefits as long as money does not exchange hands until the product is delivered as promised. With games, especially nowadays, there’s no reason to pre-order anything because of the quantity they have of each copy. There might some pre-order bonuses here and there, but these are worthless on the long run. You really can’t run out of a game if it doesn’t have a limited run, but even then the game will most likely get a digital release, which further undermines the value pre-ordering. The days when games were sold out the day they were released has been over for some time, and digital releases make sure that no new game is sold out as you can’t run out of digital copies, thou certain vendors might want you to think otherwise. Nobody is ever going to hunt a copy of a game for their children from another country for them to play on the same day. Long gone are the days when games could and would sell like Zelda II. The ‘net makes these things even easier, and you don’t even need to walk out from your lair nowadays.
That’s good thou, even if it comes with the double edged sword in the end.