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Nintendo says attention to detail is why it delays games

During a question and answer session after the recent financial report, Iwata discusses why Nintendo delays games and what benefit it has to gamers.

pikmin 3

By now we’re all familiar with the infamous Nintendo delay, which is the showcasing of titles like Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101 as launch window titles for the Wii U, only to have them delayed indefinitely. Both fans and press have voiced their frustration with Nintendo over the delays and Satoru Iwata has finally given a reason as to why this phenomenon continues to occur with every new console.

In a recent question and answer session over the recent financial report, Iwata stated that Nintendo planned to release the games earlier, but wanted to take time to give the developers a chance to add several layers of polish to ensure customers are truly happy with their games.

“The brand of a franchise would be completely degraded without customer satisfaction. This is why we delayed the release schedule of such games.”

Iwata further goes on to say that titles like Pikmin 3 experienced such a long delay because the development team for Pikmin 3–as well as other development teams–were understaffed during the period between the announcement and the expected release date. As such, Iwata stated that it’s impossible to identify one specific bottleneck when it comes to software development.

“These days it is becoming increasingly challenging to determine the minimum development resources required for customer satisfaction. A delicately crafted game will never fail to appeal to consumers.”

With the recent Aliens: Colonial Marines fiasco, Iwata hits the nail on the head when it comes to quality. Most consumers would rather weather a delay and receive a product that truly shines than to have a product shipped out the door that only delivers half of what was promised for the same price. It’s also nice to see Iwata speaking so candidly about Nintendo’s past performance and the future direction the company intends to go, as the company has previously been very tight-lipped on release delays and performance reports.

[via Nintendo]

Around the web
  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    With so many developers and publishers releasing a disc shaped piece of sh!t these days I do not mind a delay if it can be justified and the game delivered is more polished and refined. Some may like a new COD every 6 months to a year but quality over quantity is better IMO

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      I couldn’t agree more. Frankly I’m glad Nintendo takes the time they do to ensure quality releases. These days you hear more about how terrible launches are for games than how great they are afterward. Just look at Sim City and Aliens: Colonial Marines for examples.

      • DK_Hadouken

        This is why I understand the current Wii U drought. The closer we get to E3, the more we will see what Nintendo has been up to and it will be all worth it.

    • Agent X

      Totally agree

    • Nintedward

      Disc shaped piece of shit! xD

      • http://twitter.com/SeroReviews SeroReviews

        sounds like something AVGN would say, LOL

    • Adrian

      I don’t buy many games because I am a picky gamer….but man some games were just obviously put together poorly. To date, one of my top worst 5 game purchases I ever made was White Knight Chronicles. That game was so bad, that I felt I had to warn other gamers about it’s terribleness. It’s the only game I’ve ever taken the time to write a review for (On Gamespot.com). I think more “heart” needs to be put into games. And more intelligence.

    • NkoSekirei

      same i got monster hunter ultimate and other wii u games will keep me busy till then so ill be patience

      • AJ Chioino

        cant wait to get back to the US and play MH3U

  • Johny

    “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
    ~Shigeru Miyamoto

    • Thomas Fitzgibbon

      With the exception of Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever.

      • Johny

        Duke nukem… oooh dude nukem forever… i can still remember being a kid.. and loving duke nukem 3d… then they announced DN:forever…
        i can still CLEARLY picture the post in my gaming magazine back then :
        “MOST ANTICIPATED GAMES THIS YEAR:
        - Warcraft 3
        - Duke Nukem Forever
        …”
        good times :) its funny, because as i imagined it as a teenager, was how they worked on a game VERY throughtfully and wanted to take time for the game to be perfect… but then they took so long that gaming technology got WAY ahead of them and the infinite loop continued, with their never-ending development and “improvement” of a game, and then finally just releasing it as a gag game, so we can all forget about it and never talk about it again

    • Silent

      Ninja’d

    • mikel334u2

      Judging by the 9 month delay of Pikmin 3, I’m hoping it will be at least a candidate for GOTY with so much time put into it (and it will probably be mind-blowingly good).

      • Johny

        oh it will be amazing… that i can assure you :)

    • BGhp

      that’s deep

  • Mbrown358

    It just shows you how far the industry has gone in the wrong direction over the last decade or so. There has been and always will be developers who rush products, but the sheer number of them has increased dramatically. Not only that, it seems that the majority of gamers have accepted this as normal and buy half-assed games. Nintendo has ALWAYS delayed games for the better even though it can get annoying waiting the finished product is always better. I still buy all the consoles that hit the market, but i’m far more cautious about the ones that aren’t Nintendo.

  • JB

    Quality above everything else? This is nothing new with Nintendo. They’ve always delayed games to make sure they were at their absolute best. That’s why I respect them above any other developer in the industry. I’d rather have a delayed, fully polished classic that I know I’ll play years down the line than a quickly polished turd that I’ll play through once, if that. Or worse, something I regret spending my hard earned money on.

    With all that said, Nintendo’s worst effort ends up better than most’s best effort…

    • Nintedward

      Definitely. Their games are like Timeless pieces of Art. Other developers are like this Also , But Nintendo is the best at doing that.

      (Edit – I have some sort of illness that makes me put Capital letters in random places :S . WTF is wrong with me ? lol)

      • Ray01x

        You are not alone, I used to have that problem, But i am getting better at controlling myself. lol

        • Nintedward

          It’s like some sort of subconscious tick. I’m not as good at writing on a keyboard as I am with pen and paper for some reason…

    • Arthur Jarret

      …except pokemon channel… and farm… Geist was badly reviewed but it was awesome IMO. Doshin was a bit boring, tho – and odamas ball moved too slow. Dancing stage mario mix is one of the worst dance-mat games.

      I got all above games though, but what I’m getting at here is that said rule doesn’t always apply

      • JB

        Well you sure pulled up an obscure list lol. I get your point, but I stand by what I said, as I was really refering to the main entries in the series, Developed by Nintendo. All the ones you’ve mention were all second party games (though I honestly can’t remember any console Pokemon game that was actually good, save Pokemon Stadium, but even then that was a first party developed game) I can’t judge “Doshin the Great” because that never received a stateside release, but I am willing to concede to your point about Geist (though I thought it wasn’t that bad either)

        • Arthur Jarret

          Yup, obscure lists are like… my talent… lol

          Pokemon Colosseum / XD gales of darkness was decent, though.

          Steel diver was meh too… forgot that one on my obscure list.

          But, as far as I’m concerned a second party is actually still nintendo, they’re nintendo owned companies so they’re basically just another department.
          A bit like a department store bakery having a different name…

          But Nintendo are one of my favorite devs for their consistent quality – not the only one – naughty dog has got amazing consistency of quality titles, too and I have never been dissappointed yet by a Double Fine game.

        • AJ Chioino

          Dancing stage mario mix. i was excited for that game. im a hardcore DDR player so i went into that game expecting the amount of 8 step songs and up to be high. sadly i think the only one was bowsers level. i dont remember much about that game. its been years. but i kinda enjoyed it i guess lol. game was definitely oriented towards casual DDR players

  • Buduski

    The only reason people are complaining so much about the wii u is because we really have a small selection of titles to choose from (which will hopefully change sooner rather than later); in all honesty it is a little frustrating but shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone just because of the quality games the wii u is set to receive this year and months following that.

  • Jan

    To be honest, I’ve never been worried about Nintendo first party delay. This because I’ve never been disappointed with the final result. WiiU problems are elsewhere :)

  • CCM

    Nintendo’s 1st party games, especially Zelda are always much more refined, polished, tight packages than all but the best 3rd party titles. Nintendo still takes the time to get games right before they ship them, rather than selling $60 beta-level products to all of us to be guinea pigs to test. Then these publishers have the audacity to release expensive DLC a lot of times before they even release patches to fix the original game.

    Nintendo would NEVER conduct business in this way, which is why most of their games get delayed. They come from a time before the Internet. Back in the NES, SNES and N64 eras, once you released a game, that was that – no patching the game after the fact. You had to get it right before releasing it or you risked major ridicule and bad sales. I’m glad they still operate this way, and even though delays are frustrating, in the end we all get a better gaming experience because of it.

    • Adrian

      Sony (Ps1 and PS2) also survived without patches. I never payed much attention to XBOX. Honestly I don’t even know when the first XBOX came out.

      • fireheartis1

        The first Xbox was an amazing console with most of the games being pretty polished. What happened with the Xbox 360 is beyond me man. The only games that come out polished are the 360′s only two exclusives. Gears of War and Halo are the only games that really never need to be patched. This seems odd to me and should have never happened. The PS3 has some great polished games from 1st parties, but the 3rd party games always seem to need patching. Same goes for 3rd party games that came out for Wii U. I know they were rushed for launch but come on now they could have been a little better. That’s why I love Nintendo’s 1st party games they are always very polished and rarely have any glitches in them. Microsoft and sometimes even Sony can take a lesion from Nintendo for sure.

        • Th3PANO

          Kameo was great, really underrated game. And easily the best game Rare made after Conker.

          • readypembroke

            Viva Pinata isn’t bad either but can get boring after awhile.

  • Syrindigo

    “We just finished that, lets make it better”

    ~Shigeru Miyamoto

    • Nintedward

      ”I can levitate higher than Criss Angel”

      ~Shigeru Miyamoto

      • MetroidZero

        LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/ageofepic.gaming.7 VideoGames Next

    Nintendo hardly ever ships unfinished games I’ve never had a glitchfest from Nintendo games. Ever !!! Other companies will ship games that require patches every other week, fighting games are different because they have people look for things to break the games lol. But Nintendo always gives us the complete products

    • Arthur Jarret

      Skyward sword had a game-breaking bug they patched, but other than that I agree with you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ageofepic.gaming.7 VideoGames Next

        That’s true I remember that. But I just feel like they never rush their products and because of that we get golden games. I hate payijg 60 bucks for a game only to be told hey its not complete so if you want the full version give us another 30 bucks

  • Zuxs13

    Here’s the irony of video games in general. Most successful games are games built on established franchises. In order to capitalize on those franchises they need to released often enough where people remain interested in them. If you do it every year people will call it CoD or Madden. If they take their time and make a quality game then they are only able to make on maybe two games per console generation.

    Basically its a never ending cycle of gamers bitching and developers cashing in. That’s why I try to play and like as many types and genres of games possible. I play CoD every so often when a year where none of my favorites (Zelda, ETC) are out and I don’t expect them to be a masterpiece .

    I for one love Nintendo quality can hope they increase the volume of games in the near future . They should have planned better though and utilized things such as the VC to fill these gaps sooner it would have gone a long way in creating a larger install base for when these games do come out

    • http://people.ign.com/returnofthetruth2 ReturnoftheTruth2

      Agreed. This is why a masterpiece like GTA has to come every 5 years! So much work is put into it that when you get the final product, it is STILL playable after 5 years!

      • fireheartis1

        What!?!? Your actually agreeing with a Nintendo fan? That’s just amazing man I can’t believe it myself. Plus although I’ve never been interested in the GTA series I have to admit they are quality games. I’ve been more interested in games like Dead to Rights were you play the good guy, but you know that’s just me lol. Anyways wow I’m stunned here bro I really am.

        • http://people.ign.com/returnofthetruth2 ReturnoftheTruth2

          Well i’m not here to simply disagree with people, I am here to kick facts.

          • [000]

            Yeah, like 1% of the facts that show up. If that’s really why you’re here, then you fail horribly at what you do. Nice try, but you can do better.

          • Silent

            Life is based on looks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/justin.j.thomas.31 Justin Rashad Thomas

        GTA IS BORING AS CRAP DUDE. ALL OF THEM ARE OVERRATED AND DATED. RED DEAD WHICH WAS GTA IN THE WEST WAS GOOD BUT ALL THE OTHER GTA GAMES PUT ME TO SLEEP.

        • http://twitter.com/Jamie_Clabon Jamie Clabon

          you need to fix that caps lock key.

      • david jarman

        I absolutely agree!

      • NkoSekirei

        wow a rare sight to see u agree on something without trolling

        • Magnus Eriksson

          Why use the word trolling instead of disagreeing?

      • Silent

        Your GTA kisses SSB’s arses and feet.

      • Zuxs13

        Yeah i think they put a ton of polish into their games, although i prefer Red Dead over GTA myself. I think some games can be master pieces after 3 years but games on he scale of GTA need more time.

        The issue with that time line though is you inevitably only get one game per generation and often the developer may not have been able to squeeze ever bit of power out of that system. If its too early in the cycle then no, if its too late, then why not jump to the next gen etc.

  • RyuNoHadouken

    translation: “their wasnt a large enough install base in the launch window, and there still isnt, but we will release it closer to the holidays in an attempt to sell more consoles.”

  • uPadWatcher

    Nintendo’s first priority in making games, whether it’s for Wii U or Nintendo 3DS– perhaps both, is always and foremost… QUALITY.

  • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

    Smash bros was delayed like, 3 times, and that was a great game. I’m fine with waiting

  • Agent721

    Good gaming companies always do this, with Nintendo and Rockstar coming to mind as the two biggest culprits. But look at the games delivered as a result! The top two studios in gaming by a wide margin, quality wise.

  • http://twitter.com/SeroReviews SeroReviews

    Yes Nintendo, please continue giving us your finely crafted masterpieces. That’s why your games SHINE!

  • Fred

    I just don’t understand why they’re not bulking up on help. More studios or better staffed studios or both. It’s not like they’re broke and can’t afford to hire more people and when they do finish these games they sell like crazy (go look at sales for the top ten games on Wii…all Nintendo First Party titles)

    • Patrick Francis

      You can’t just hire anybody. They probably have teams of people that work well together and adding new people could actually be a negative thing. If you have ever worked on a huge team project you would find out that you can’t just hire new people, expecially in the middle of the project, unless it is a dire situation.

      • Fred

        Actually I’m a mechanical engineer. We’ve recently been swamped with more huge TEAM projects than we can handle.
        We just hired a new electrical guy this week.
        We’ll hire a new mechanical guy next week.
        And a third hire is being considered.

  • Sidney Majurie

    If you’re surprised by Nintendo delaying games to make them the best they can then you must have become a fan in the last 2 years. I remember them doing this back to the Super NES days. Nintendo Seal of Quality ring a bell? And the N64 days saw delay after delay. Actually Wii U reminds me of N64 in some ways. The transition from 2D to 3D games proved tricky and dev cycles were unpredictable because of the learning curve. Nintendo’s new learning curve is now HD and a comparable online infrastructure.

    Nintendo is notorious for doing this. That’s why they never release buggy, unfinished, broken games like many development studios do these days. That’s why people will buy their games over and over again and those games have staying power and a “timeless” feel. That’s why they are able to make game changing and amazing games that revitalize and innovate the industry. That’s why they are my favorite gaming company :)

  • Sidney Majurie

    Anyone remember the N64 delays? Those delays saw the release of Goldeneye 007, Super Smash Bros, Starfox 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, etc. Games oft referred to as the greatest of all time and industry “game changers.”

    • http://people.ign.com/returnofthetruth2 ReturnoftheTruth2

      The only game changer was Goldeneye, we say everything else on the others.

      • Nintedward

        lol no. Ocarina wasn’t a game changer ? Smash bros wasn’t a game changer ? get the fuck out of here.

        • AJ Chioino

          OoT.. isnt that the first game to integrate an effective day/night cycle? its the first one i ever played anyways. back when it first came out. even ff7 didnt present me with a better sense of adventure than OoT.

  • Michael Ngo

    I really wish they add texture to the Pikmin 3 grounds. It looked like an N64 ground =/

    • Nintedward

      More like Wii ground lol , but I know what you’re saying. The game is like a mixture of Jaw droppingly incredible graphics and mediocre out of place graphics.

      The overall look of the game is awesome though :)

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Leave a message…I think it look nice enough overall. Nintendo saw probabably that they needed to enchance some of the stuff, like ground, to meet todays standards…

    • Th3PANO

      probably cause it was a Wii Game before, it is in developement since ’08. The first game from Nintendo that really will show what they can do with the system will be the next 3D Mario.

      • Michael Ngo

        If the graphics look that insane with Mario galaxy on the Wii, imagine how it would look in glorious HD!!!

    • AJ Chioino

      i was thinking that same thing…. hopefully they work that out.

  • $41809923

    problem with injustice is the game is not as good as super smash bros u
    injustice as problems combos do not work right and online mode needs to be fix so this why we have good games and bad games

  • david jarman

    And this is why I truly love nintendo.

  • http://people.ign.com/returnofthetruth2 ReturnoftheTruth2

    Translation: We are still trying to figure out how to program for the Wii U.

    • fireheartis1

      Dude of course they are this is Nintendo’s first HD console, and Mr. Iwata has already admitted it’s harder to program for a HD console than it is for a SD console. It’s funny how you bring these things up when we already know this lol. Anyways Nintendo will learn how to program for their new HD console soon enough and the games will be great. And please don’t try to tell me it’s the same thing as developing for a SD console. I know it’s not through my graphics class in college bro. HD textures take a lot more time to get right than an SD one does. This is because a SD texture can look a little fuzzy and not make a difference, but HD takes a little more tweaking to make it look good.

  • http://people.ign.com/returnofthetruth2 ReturnoftheTruth2

    My experience tells me that Nintendo will be lucky to get one titles out by the end of the year. Pikmin 3 looks like the best bet. If others were possible, we would have seen or heard about them by now.

    • DragonSilths

      Pikmin 3 and 3D Mario and Mario Mart U and Retros game and Windwaker Reborn will all be out this year.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Very unlikely…

        • Jimmy D. Fugate

          Actually, those are more than likely to all come by the end of 2013.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            So, clearly you do not derive this from WiiiU’s history… So where do get these silly ideas from? We are already in may, and Nintendo launched in November… No new games yet. Nothing to come.

          • Jimmy D. Fugate

            Pikmin 3- August
            WW HD- Fall
            Mario Kart U- Holiday 2013
            Retro’s game and 3D Mario are the only two I would say may be released in 2014.

        • http://twitter.com/Jamie_Clabon Jamie Clabon

          wind waker’s confirmed for this year, isn’t it?

      • NkoSekirei

        wat the hell is a mario mart lol

  • Moshugaani

    Aaand Ninty needs to hire more folks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.j.thomas.31 Justin Rashad Thomas

    hey everyone video game next is having a contest and is giving away a free copy of animal crossing new leaf when it comes out check it out here https://www.facebook.com/#!/VideoGameNext

    • http://www.facebook.com/ageofepic.gaming.7 VideoGames Next

      Thanks I’m glad the word is getting out about this ! Like said win a free copy of animal crossing new leaf this june check out the contest details !

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Seems to me like Nintendo underestimated the time to create HD games. The same problems happened in the beginning of the last generation with HD. They seems to bee both to early (softwarewise) and to late (hardwarewise). This shows what the fans are up for in the future. Slow pace in the flow of games. This shows why they was so eager to get 3rd party support, but failing to do so and therefor turned to indiedevs as a last despeate grasp in the dark. So sad…

    • DragonSilths

      So because Indie Devs are getting the most spotlight they have ever had that’s a bad thing? That’s a great thing for the Indie Devs.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        No, of course not. But this is not what happened here.

  • Super Buu

    Release the best possible Pikmin 3 you could ever release and show the world how a real game is meant to be!

  • Denvy

    I’ll be honest, delayed games are certainly disappointing. But when done for quality/ finishing up purposes, how does one get mad, or even enraged??

  • Kenshin0011

    Why are they understaffed? Why why why WHY?! Nintendo, you have billions in reserves, and I’m not gonna lie, understaffing at the start of a new generation which helps cause delays in games is a bit of a slap in the face.

  • Steven Penberthy

    I just wish nintendo wouldn’t put an exact date on a game if they know it will possibly be delayed, they should just put the expected year of release, if pikmen 3 and wonderful 101 said coming 2013 we’d still have no issue with it what so ever.
    Maybe should take a play from blizzard and just put on the trailers will be released (when its ready)

  • Chris Woods

    Now i respect nintendo alot more. im excited they are taking the time to trully bring pikmin 3 out to its best

  • greengecko007

    But it’s perfectly possible to release high quality games quickly… And even if you take a long time trying to polish a game, you can still end up with a game breaking bug like in Zelda Skyward Sword.

    Nintendo has already admitted that HD games took longer than they thought it would, so I wouldn’t expect future releases to take this long.

    Pikmin 3 screenshot looks awesome!

    • Silent

      Things called patches can now fix game bugs.

  • Joshva

    I think that it’s all going to be worth it once these 1st party games start rolling out, to see that amazing Nintendo polish and attention to detail in 1080p HD we will finally experience what HD is SUPPOSED to look like

  • majora :D

    You know which other games were constantly delayed? Ocarina of Time, SSB Brawl, Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3, etc. Do I make my point?

  • jeffp3456

    Well worth it, IMO. I had to wait 6 months for enough patches to make Fallout 3 playable so I would rather games just be released with more testing and better quality even if they are a few months delayed.

  • Silent

    ”A delayed game is eventually good, a rushed game is forever bad”
    – Shigeru Miyamoto

  • prettypinkpanacea

    The way I see it is there are two types of game development/publication companies. The first is the type that values authenticity of the development process, and, subsequently, the gaming experience over the sales and/or profit margin. The second is the type that values the sales and/or profit margin at the expense of the development process, and, consequently, the gaming experience. Of course, all development/publication companies are essentially seeking a profit. But strategic priorities become apparent through the quality of the end product and/or gaming experience.

  • David Gonzalez

    This is exactly why I love Nintendo games. They take their time to make it bug free instead of releasing it for players to find bugs/glitches *cough* *Bethesta* *cough*

    • Ahferom Abraham

      THANK YOU.

  • ChariotMan7

    Nintendo Has Something Up It’s Sheeve. That’s why there Hold their Best Games Like The New Mario 3D or ZELDA WIND WAKER HD. Super Smash Bros HD. A New Metriod Game and the Rest of their First Part Games. Because they know the Other Companies is Gonna bring it. so they had to Delay them To Compelete with the PS4 and the NEXT XBOX.

  • Jeffrey Debris

    I’m glad Nintendo is doing this. There’s so much crap being put on the market only to receive tons of patches to get rid of bugs that should not have been in those games in the first place. Or no patches at all… I totally agree with this stance, especially since Nintendo can afford to do so.

    I just hope I can play Pikmin 3 soon by now… I’ve been looking forward to it for ages now! xD

  • jay

    People are finally waking up to this?!!

    I read the article and see a big “DUH!” after every sentence.

    I remember when Twilight Princess was being delayed I was the only person excited every time they announced a delay.

    And no matter what this will never shut up the gamers who complain, “I want Smash BROS Tomorrow!! WTF Nintendo you suck!! Tired of delays! BRing IT TOMORROW!!!”