Game delays are big news and bad news. But once a game comes out and proves to be good, game delays are often forgotten news. Batman: Arkham Asylum was delayed in 2009. Its lead creator recalled that forgotten moment.
You would think that delaying a game is an awkward process. The game is closing in on its completion date. The studio needs to be finished. Ads are placed. The publisher wants to start selling the thing and making money.
You'd also think that Arkham Asylum game director Sefton Hill of Rocksteady Studios might have had butterflies in his stomach when, earlier this year, he and his team broached the topic to the games publishers that the game, which was planned for a late June release, could benefit from being pushed back.
He doesn't tell the story as if he had much fear at all: "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%."
For consumers, the delay turned out to be two months. Arkham Asylum slipped from June to late August, when it was released to rave reviews. It seemed such a short delay, in fact, that some gamers thought they sniffed out a different motivation. "I think there were some rumors that it had just been delayed for more sales, but that wasn't true. We were still working on it like crazy."