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BioShock Infinite has been delayed? Good

Submitted by on Wednesday, 9 May 2012No Comment

BioShock Infinite won’t make its October release date, 2K Games today announced. Seanoc argues why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us. Find out why…

I felt a feeling of disappointment when Ken Levine announced that BioShock Infinite would miss its scheduled October release date and not arrive until February 2013. I’m certain thousands of gamers around world felt the same. It’s a natural response, but I’m over it and I suspect everyone else is too.

Whoever decided to hold back the game – whether it was developer Irrational Games, the label 2K or the head company Take-Two – they made the right decision.

Ken Levine, the main man behind BioShock, said in an open letter to BioShock fans that they are holding back Infinite so they can make some tweaks and improvements to turn the game “into something even more extraordinary”. You can read the full letter here.

You have to hand it to Ken. He is a great wordsmith, who knows which words to use to stir the right emotions from his audience. He says, “I won’t kid you”, as if he’s about to come out with a damning criticism about his game, but he follows with proud declarations. He says, “BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter”.

Ken also reminds us that the original BioShock suffered delays. He says Irrational used this time to make the Big Daddies the “Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love” and to “add one more coat of grimy Art Deco” to Rapture. Ken simultaneously reminds us why we should have faith in Irrational as he describes the benefits that come to those who wait.

If you have faith in Irrational, as I do, then Ken’s words should leave you content enough to wait a few more months. But there are also other, business-related, reasons for why it is right that Infinite will arrive in February, not October.

The schedule on the run up to Christmas is brutal, as it is every year. From September to December we have Dishonored, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Resident Evil 6, Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, Alien: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2 and Metro: Last Light. Oh, did I mention Call of Duty: Black Ops II?

After E3, we may find God of War Ascension, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V or another huge title thrown into the mix.

BioShock Infinite would hold its own in that list, that’s for sure; but what’s the point in fighting for scraps in October when you can dine at the premier table just a few months later? L.A. Noire benefited enormously from its quiet May release. Infinite will also benefit from its February release.

It will also benefit from not sharing a release window with Dishonored. These games are already drawing comparisons because they share very distinctive art styles with bold gameplay choices. They are both artistic with strong individual qualities – they are a connoisseur’s choice, you could argue. It’s only right that these two very exciting games are given room, so they can shine individually – and not be treated as two games fighting over the same arguably limited market.

Games are both expensive and time consuming and the public only has a limited amount of money and time to share. It’s about time publishers realised they can’t all be winter winners. There are 12 months in the year. Use them all.