Design director Simon Barlow talks about the delay and Evolution’s reputation.
Game delays are a very dicey solution. On one hand, extra time is needed to ensure the final product lives up to expectations. On the other hand, you have to deal with the backlash from not only fans but the publisher funding you. In that respect, Evolution Studios got off easy when it had to delay DriveClub on the PlayStation 4.
Design director Simon Barlow spoke to Videogamer about the same and stated that, “We’ve never been late before, we’ve never had to delay a game before, we’ve always delivered. And really, that was the reason why we delayed it because we’ve got this reputation to uphold.
“We’ve got our own pride in this experience, we believe in this title and we don’t want to deliver something that’s half-finished. We could have delivered it; it was a good game at the launch of PS4. It probably would have sold pretty well, people would have had a good time, but I don’t think it would have quite been the experience we’d promised. It wasn’t what we wanted to do.”
The delay in question “bought [Evolution] a lifeline and we were so lucky that Sony allowed us to do that because they could very easily have said, ‘You’re releasing it or we’re canning it’. They were the two options. The third option – we’re going to delay it – was unexpected, I think. It’s very rare that a major publisher, particularly a platform holder, allows a development team the time and space to deliver on that vision but they believed in the title as much as we did.”
The extra time was to be devoted to polishing the game and Barlow said that “What the game was 12 months ago is not exactly what the game is now.” The main issues were trying to fit all the ideas and content that Evolution Studios had in mind. The jury is still out on the final game but it’s been looking damn fine till now. Stay tuned for its release on October 7th in North America and October 8th in Europe.