Been reading a few threads just now and it struck me that relative to the speed at which technology is progressing, the development cycle for some games is quite long. It's not that uncommon for games to be in development for 4 years or more, and so many titles get delayed beyond the initial projected release date that it makes one wonder quite what the point of announcing them so soon is, beyond what the cynics might feel is an attempt to generate hype and preorders. Now, the reason this can cause problems is that if games are in development for a long time, the engine can quickly become outdated or at the very least needs to be tweaked throughout the development period in order to remain up to date and competitive. If you look at a game like Duke Nukem Forever, it's nearly 8 years overdue and has undergone numerous engine changes/rewrites. OK so that's an extreme example, but there are plenty more titles like STALKER:OL, HL2, Oblivion etc which have taken several years to develop and have slipped well behind schedule. In some cases we have seen much hyped games endure a long development and then have a luke warm reception when finally released. I think quite a few people have been let down by games like Deus Ex:IW, Daikatana and stuff like that. So, moving forward I can't help but feel that maybe publishers should be adopting a more aggressive stance and offering less support to developers. Games need to be rushed out the door a bit quicker even if they aren't completely ready rather than always striving for perfection and delaying things futher. Nowadays 'everyone' has broadband internet and so patching games isn't that big a deal. Heck, even games that are delayed by years still end up getting patched anyway. This is quite a controversial standpoint, but having seen various titles flop that have adopted the 'when it's done' strategy, one can't help wonder if it is worth spending 4 years developing an average game when 2 or 3 would have sufficied. To be honest I think half the problem with games being released 'too early' is more a question of them being pseudo-ports of console(xbox) titles, the problem isn't a lack of development time, more a lack of focus. I guess I'm not wholly behind the argument I have put forward here, because in the past I've often said that I'm not bothered about delays in game production, since there is a huge backcatalogue of fantastic titles I am yet to try. I also think that due to the complexity and amount of content present in modern games, it is inevitable that dev time will be higher than it was during the mid90s. But I thought I'd throw it up for discussion, anyhow.