The Annualization of Games. How Much Time is Enough Time?


As frustrated as I get over this, I begin to wonder. How much time is enough time? Is two years enough for certain developers to craft a great game? Is it enough for gamers not to fell franchise fatigue?

I ask this because when it was released I had an odd experience with Uncharted 3. Let me get this out the way now, I think Uncharted 3 is a great game and deserves praise for its story and gameplay. However, this nagging feeling came over me when I finished it. It felt the same, it wasn’t worse than Uncharted 2, it just did the same. The story, while great, left more to be desired and certain plot points were just left unresolved. That nagging feeling left me asking, did Naughty Dog need more time? I can’t help but think it they had an extra year would I see Uncharted 3 differently from Uncharted 2?


Recently publishers and developer have gotten smarter when it comes to making sure the quality of their games are not diminished by short development cycles. Switching developers seems to be a favorite tactic. The way Activision does it is with the Call of Duty games is one developer releases a game while a completely different one works on theirs to be released the following year. This cycle goes on and on giving each studio two years to finish their game. However, other have tried this method as well and we end up with games like last years Batman: Arkham Origins, which wasn’t bad but was not as good as Rocksteady’s original games.

I don’t know, I’m no developer, I can only see trends from a consumer perspective. Three years, maybe more seems to me like the right amount of time to craft a great game and appreciate it. Then again you can’t take too long or else you might end up with a mess like Duke Nukem Forever or almost non-exisistent like the reintroduced Final Fantasy XV.  Maybe developers are too overconfident, perhaps publishers are too anxious. I can only guess what factors into a games release. When it comes down to it, I only see negatives when any game comes out a year after its predecessor and continued trends like this can only end badly.

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