Final Fantasy fans the world over were frustrated when Square Enix announced that the next game in the series, the hotly anticipated Final Fantasy XV, was being delayed for two months. Now, we know what the issue was that caused the delay. In a recent interview, game director Hajime Tabata has admitted that the game could have met it's original release date, but it would have had to do so with a massive Day One patch, and Tabata decided he didn't want to force that on players.
Originally I was thinking it would be okay and we could put all of the extra updates into a day-one patch, but at that point I learned there are maybe a lot of people out there who play in an offline environment and don't have internet. When I found that out, thinking about it again, I'm glad I didn't make that decision.
Ultimately, the issue is one of making Final Fantasy XV the highly polished game that fans are certainly expecting. Hajime Tabata explains that it would take about a month to take all the data that would have been included in a Day One patch, and get it inserted onto the game disc. After that, it will take another month to polish the complete game up to a technical shine.
Game coding is something of a vicious cycle, as Hajime Tabata references in his comments to IGN. Adding anything to the game requires going through and debugging whatever you've added, along with debugging everything else, to be sure what you added doesn't cause a problem for the work you already did. Fixing bugs can require adding new things to the code, which then, in turn, requires debugging again. This is why your friends who are programmers are slightly batty.
While those of us who keep our consoles permanently online probably don't realize that lots of people don't, this is certainly the case. Those who can't put their consoles online would never have access to the Day One patch, and as such, would find themselves stuck with a less than stellar version of the game forever. It's unlikely that version of the game would feel that much different, but imagine if you were one of those people. Simply knowing that others are playing a more polished version would be infuriating.
This is actually a great thing to see from a developer. Too often it really feels like "release the game now, fix it later" has become the standard for game companies. Seeing somebody who actually wants to release a truly final, polished, version of their game is something of a novelty.
Are you glad to see Square Enix waiting to get their game up to snuff before releasing it or would you rather deal the Day One patch in order to get Final Fantasy XV a couple months earlier? Let us know what you think in the comments.