Assassin's Creed: Unity

Six Games That Probably Should Have Been Delayed

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There have been absolutely loads of game delays announced over the past couple of weeks, with Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Marvel’s Avengers all slipping from their previously confirmed release dates. Hopefully, this ends up being a good thing, with the extra time provided allowing developers to create a better product, and hopefully stop staff from crunching.

As Mario maker Shigeru Miyamoto may or may not have said, “a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” This isn’t always true anymore, with modern internet-enabled consoles allowing games to be fixed post-launch, but it’s still pretty crap when a game releases broken or unfinished - and then you’re charged full price. There are plenty of games we can think of that needed a little extra time in the oven before releasing, so check out our list of games that probably should have been delayed, but weren’t.


I know what you’re thinking - Anthem already had a three month delay. But judging by the game we got, it still needed more time. Underneath the long loading times, unbalanced loot system and dull mission structure, there was a really good game in Anthem when it launched. The combat was satisfying and punchy, and the flying was bloody excellent. But Anthem was meant to be a looter-shooter, a service game that would bring in players in their droves and keep them playing for years to come. EA and BioWare needed to convince people to pick it up, but despite already having been delayed from 2018, the game released with too many technical issues and not enough content, and the reviews at launch were not kind.

The game didn’t generate enough hype, didn't hit EA’s sales targets, and didn’t do enough to keep players playing. Anthem was always going to receive post-release support, but launch day is so important, it’s when you should have the most people talking about your game - and on 22nd February 2019, most of the talk was negative. Anthem could still have its Destiny: The Taken King moment, maybe a relaunch further down the line, but in reality, BioWare should have been given more time to clean up the tech problems and polish the game, maybe even adding some more post-game content. As it stands, most people will remember Anthem for how it was at launch, and that's a real shame.

Alpha Protocol

It feels a little cruel to say, but you could probably have a lot of Obsidian games on this list. The developer makes excellent RPGs, but until recently, polish has never been its strong suit. Fallout: New Vegas is often spoken about as the best modern Fallout game, but also one of the buggiest; South Park: The Stick of Truth was very funny but mired in technical issues; but the Obsidian game that was most in need of a big delay was Alpha Protocol - ‘The Espionage RPG’. While it has become something of a cult classic now, it released to average reviews and poor sales. Much like many of the titles on this list, the potential for a great game is clear to see, but Obsidian was not given enough time to complete its vision.

The RPG mechanics and choices still hold up well to this day, but a longer delay would have given the devs more time to polish the visuals and tighten up the gunplay, which were already feeling outdated way back in 2010. No developer goes out of its way to make a game that is just okay, and I have no doubt that Alpha Protocol could have been as good as Mass Effect 2, but as it stands the game’s execution just couldn't match its ambition given the time constraints. Maybe one day we’ll even get a sequel that lives up to the potential of the original.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

This Atari 2600 game is the OG - probably the most notoriously broken game of all time. And while some of the games on this list were damaging to their respective franchises, developers or publishers, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial has the dubious honour of nearly killing the American video game industry in the 1980s. Incredibly, the game was developed in only five and a half weeks, with Atari rushing the game out of the door in time for Christmas 1982. The game did manage to sell over a million copies, but it was critically panned and left Atari with millions more copies in stock that they could not sell, with many being buried in the New Mexico desert. It took years for the games industry to bounce back, with Nintendo’s NES successfully revitalising the market in 1985. After nearly killing video games full-stop, I think it’s fair to say that Atari should probably have just delayed the game for a good while, don’t you think?

Fallout 76

Listen, I know Fallout 76 has been updated since launch, I know there has been a load of stuff added and bugs fixed, but there was absolutely no excuse for the state the game launched in. The frame-rate could occasionally leave the game nearly unplayable at worst, and frustrating at best. Lighting bugs and frequent pop-in made a fairly average-looking game look even more hideous. Lengthy load times weren’t ideal either, but the worst offenders were the bugged quests and full-game crashes. Many of these issues were already known from the multiple beta tests prior to launch, and there is no way Bethesda didn’t know the problems the game faced. This game needed a hefty delay to fix the multitude of issues faced, and customers who purchased Fallout 76 at launch for full price would have had every right to feel hard done by. A nice big delay from Bethesda would have been perfect in this situation.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Assassin’s Creed Unity wasn’t the last annual entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but it almost certainly spelled the beginning of the end for the yearly release schedule that the series had employed for so long. Everyone remembers one thing from Unity, and that is the horrible glitch that had characters walking around with terrifying floating eyes, teeth, and hair, with not a scrap of skin or flesh to be seen. While this was the most well-remembered bug, the game suffered from a litany of technical issues and glitches, with a stuttering frame rate and random crashes. The game released unfinished, with Ubisoft apologising for the issues and promising fixes. The French gaming giant even acknowledged years later that the issues with Unity went on to affect the sales of the next year’s Assassin’s Creed game, Syndicate. Ubisoft eventually, seemingly learned its lesson, and the series is currently on a biennial schedule, with both Origins and Odyssey releasing in a  far more polished state, if not perfect. But Ubisoft should have acted much sooner, and given Assassin’s Creed Unity the time it needed to be really good.

Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

This game should have been delayed. This game should still be delayed. Sonic ‘06, the game that nearly killed the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, should never have seen the light of day. There is no redemption here.


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Game Info
Ubisoft Paris


US November 11, 2014
Europe November 13, 2014

Price: $59.99USD
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