A few weeks ago it was announced that Media Molecule and Sony's LittleBigPlanet 2 was going to be delayed into 2011. Originally intended to be released on November 16th, LBP2 will now be releasing sometime in January of next year. It was previously speculated that this delay was to give Media Molecule more time to tweak the new gameplay systems they have added to the sequel. However, it turns out that may not be the reason for the delay.
Alex Evans, co-founder of Media Molecule, revealed to VG247 at the EG Expo that the delay was to place some necessary day one patches on the Blu-Ray instead of making people download them:
“Like LittleBigPlanet, we will be supporting the game with patches, updates and whatever, but you have to realise right from the beginning that there are those people who don’t have online and that is why we decided it was the right decision to delay the game. In the end, the main reason for it though was just that we played the game and in the end realised that we had to make the Blu-ray perfect, and I don’t mean 100 percent perfect, but I just mean something we are proud of."
With the surprising number of consoles that are not connected to the Internet because of a lack of broadband in the area or other reasons, I think this is a smart move on Sony and Media Molecule. Releasing a patch on the first day the game comes out to fix something that could tarnish the experience for players would go by unnoticed by offline players and potentially ruin their enjoyment of the game.
“We respect people don’t have online and don’t want to patch their game to get the full experience. We could have shipped it and it would have been fine, however we realised that with just a couple of extra week’s we could make the game super amazing, adding the super onto the already amazing which exists today. This is something that will live forever and the delay, people will forget about. I’m really sorry the delay frustrated people, even us, I mean I really wanted to get this game out for Christmas so hard. We pushed ourselves but realised with just a few more weeks we could make it perfect.”
Taking the extra time to make sure the game is working properly off the disc is something that more companies should do. For example Nintendo's Metroid: Other M recently shipped with a game-breaking bug, and since Nintendo has no way of patching the issue, it has caused a lot of confusion. I imagine the helplessness that Other M players are feeling is similar to what offline HD console players experience when they miss out on some important update because a game developer figured they would fix an issue after release.
So Ranters, what are your thoughts on this? Should these companies worry about the audience without their consoles online? Or are you fine with release day patches?
LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for a January 2011 release on the PS3.