Game development is not like other software development (which, it needs to be said, is almost always late anyway). While not being privy to the details of DW delay it's incredibly common for games to be delayed at what appears to be the last minute. Implying incompetence, malice, subterfuge (or all three) is not warranted.
In what way is video game development any different from any other technical process that gives it a special exemption from outside criticism of the process? While the fine details of any trade can be simple or complex the basic route of any product is a basic and simple one.
1.You have an idea.
2.You rough out the basics of how the idea will come to being, and develop method or technology that may be required.
3.All the pitching and funding parts (I will skip most of the details for sake of saving my keyboard)
4.You begin the actual design parts and start to compose them into something that resembles a product.
5.You put a prototype version of the product out for testing to a select group.
6.After feedback you rectify any problems raised in the testing stage.
7.You test again
8.You put out a finished product (assuming your testing has resolved all issues).
There really is nothing else to it and any successful and established business will tell you that. If the expansion was due to be released at the end of March then by mid March it would of likely been finished and ready for mass manufacture and stocking. So if in the middle of the first week of March, a problem arises that pushes back the release. You have only a number of scenarios.
1. The developer lacked the ability to design a product without a serious flaw.
2. The testing period was either inadequate in size/time or feedback was ignored thus causing a failure in the product.
3. The distributor of the product placed an unrealistic time constraint on the developer making a timely delivery impossible.
4. The distributor knew of a problem prior to now but chose to not disclose it for their own reasons.
There simply is no other options if a good practice model was followed you can only have a set number of possible failure points.
I do not know the role any of the forum moderators hold within the Matrix company structure other than as forum moderators, as such I do not expect them to be fountains of knowledge on Matrix Games products. But if the potential customers of a company are asking for information then surely you would be banging on the doors of your respective company contacts for such information. So far it has been the same old sales pitch line about "unforseen delays, these things are common" and so on. We live in an age where single person companies are springing up all the time, and with kickstarters all over customers are getting to see real insight into development.
Spend five minutes on any indie game forum and the developer will be littering it with updates on what they have added, what bugs have been quashed, and what new problems have suddenly demolished six months of their work life. Also these projects never get complaints regarding marketing or time delays, this is because they bother to inform. I understand the dw developer likely cannot spend their time on this forum posting (we would rather they were coding our new shiny expansion). But Matrix Games does have at least one person in their marketing and sales department I am sure. Having regular contact with their game makers and then using an intermediary to inform and communicate in total honesty about products surely cannot be that hard? After all they already have someone spending time posting facebooks, tweets and youtubes.
These are the reasons for comments such as earlier in this thread "Your marketing strategy is CRAP, Matrix. Why haven't we heard a FREAKING THING about Universe?" That right there should be a giant red alarm the company is doing something wrong. That person probably doesn't care if the expansion is delayed or not but they do care that a company refuses to offer any information as to upcoming delays or even communicate.
To say it is unwarranted of me to accuse Matrix games of either incompetence or with holding information is frail. This is a publisher with a history of taking a lot of games to market, it is not a new kid on the block. Even if they were new I would still have high expectations, I have high expectations of everyone who provides any form of paid service. If you charge for a service but cannot give the absolute best service in your industry you will get criticised for it and held to account, this is how as a company you learn from your mistakes and improve your service to be the number one there is in your industry. If that is not the goal of the company they have no business being in business.
We are primarily a digital business and as such we don't have months of mass manufacture or stocking. Given that games across all developers, all platforms, and all genres are more often late than not I would suggest that your assertions on how development works are perhaps a little reductive. In fact you mention Kickstarter projects - and from my reading something like 75% of all technical projects are delivered late, if at all.
I appreciate that players keen for the game may be frustrated by delays and crave more information, but often there is no definitive information to give.
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