Boss Rush Banter: Should Games Withhold Release Dates Until Development is Complete?

Games and other media take a long time to develop, leading to many obstacles that may cut content or delay the project. The recent news of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s sequel has caused disappointment for fans of the series, though many anticipated another delay. Having a delay to a game is completely acceptable, especially when a timeframe has been presented prior. So this leads me to the question: should game developers normalize withholding a release date until development nears completion? No, that should not be the case.

I remember fondly waiting for any sliver of news for new Zelda, then referred to as Zelda WiiU, once it was first expected to release in 2015. Ultimately the game did not release until 2017 which gave fans plenty of time to speculate and theorize every minor detail that was made available. I discovered this speculation through YouTube content creators and then eventually to podcasts, both are now staples in my entertainment consumption. The delays created more enjoyment of the product itself, expanding my overall entertainment value. The ideas shared through these mediums inspired me to interact with content creators and provided me with an opportunity to be part of the Boss Rush community. I owe many hours of entertainment and creating new friends because of a game getting delayed many times in order to provide a superior product.

Zelda Youtuber, Zeltik, with his nearly 7 minute analysis of 15 seconds of new footage for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Other AAA games like Starfield and Forspoken have had trailers announcing a “concrete” release date, the latter recently being delayed by five months. Though a delay may or may not occur, the excitement and speculation around any news can build excitement to the eventual release. Of course the final product must meet the quality that the players expect in order to determine a delay being worth it.

What do you think of delays in gaming and other forms of media? Do you spend time developing theories and trying to figure out the mysteries provided? Let us know you thoughts below and be sure to check out our Discord to continue the conversation.

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