It seems like every blockbuster “Triple A” video game follows the same pre-release pattern these days. Splashy debut trailer, inconsistent showing at major games media event, a much publicized release date announcement, and the day in which that release date is pushed back by a couple months. Final Fantasy XV is the latest game to fall victim to this trend, and while fans might be angry that their most anticipated game of the fall is now set to launch firmly in the winter, what they need to realize is that game delays should no longer be a sign of a games development staff struggling to ship a quality product. Instead, delays have become more and more about publishers trying their best to release a product that lives up to the high standards of fans.
Square Enix has been working on Final Fantasy XV, in one form or another, for more than a decade. Originally planned as a Playstation 3 exclusive spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it’s since undergone a major change to just about every aspect of its design. A game of this magnitude, with a budget the likes of which the role playing game industry has never seen before, absolutely has to be a commercial success for Square Enix. There is no room for failure. Which is precisely why they have elected to push the release of the game back nearly two months, from September 30th to November 29th. When a game is delayed for just two months, so close to its release, it’s a sign that while the game is basically done, the developers need a little more time to smooth out the rough spots. Sure, fans of the series will have to wait a little longer to get their fix, but would they rather have an unfinished, lackluster product? I don’t think so.
Final Fantasy XV is not destined to be the next Duke Nukem Forever. It’s essentially finished, and Square Enix is using this high profile delay to ensure that the title that will make or break their holiday season is one that fans will remember for its stunning gameplay and cinematics, not the broken nature in which it shipped.