news: Batman Delay Effective, Publishers “Backed It 100%”

Game delays are not usually seen as a good thing. Often publishers will purposely push a title if they don’t believe the estimated release window is optimal and if the designer falls behind schedule the relationship can get shaky.

It certainly helps to have a publisher who is utterly and completely confident in the developer, so when the developer says, “hey, we need more time,” the intended distributors just say, “you got it”. This apparently happened when Rocksteady Studios asked for three months extra development time before launching Batman: Arkham Asylum. Warner Bros. and Eidos didn’t balk at the question and they freely granted the extra time required.

“We discussed it with Warner Brothers and Eidos and said, ‘Look, we believe we have a really good game here.’ What we all agreed to do at the outset was put the time in and make sure we deliver a game worthy of Batman. … [We] said what we really need to do here is spend this additional three months to make sure we tidy the game and deliver the game that we all set out to do. To give Eidos and Warner a lot of credit, they backed that 100%.”

The delay only turned out to be two months in length and gamers ended up with one of the best experiences of 2009. The idea that they pushed the game in order to rake in extra sales is untrue; they were “still working on it like crazy,” according to Hill. They were trying to finalize certain aspects of the project, like the game’s fluidity; you never see any loading screens when playing, do you? They also worked hard to make sure the frame rate was solid, too. Now, you can bet this bit of polish is likely what vaulted the game into the generation’s elite – and sales were excellent, too – so perhaps this little story will allow publishers to be more lenient with devs in the future. After all, there nothing worse than an obviously rushed games. At least the current generation of hard disk installed games can be patched (or ‘finished off’) after release!

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