It was recently announced that BioShock Infinite has been delayed to 2013, and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s not that I don’t want to see the new BioShock game.  Quite the opposite: I want to see the new BioShock game as much as anybody.  But I want it to be the absolute best that it can be, and I want it to be a product that the developers are pleased with.

People like to make jokes about games being delayed.  Most of us probably still remember the Duke Nuke’m Forever meme, and I can’t remember the last Blizzard game to be released on schedule (has there ever been one?).  But despite all of the complaints leading up to the eventual release, there isn’t a peep on launch day.  And why is this?  Because people are too busy playing the game.

Sometimes (Duke Nuke’m) the disappointment that follows makes the situation even worse.  Other times (Diablo II) it’s like the memory of those delays was magically wiped away from the community’s memories within a week of the launch.  The anticipation enhanced the payoff.

A few years ago, I did a series of videos about bad games, and in that series I reviewed ET: the Extra Terrestrial on the Atari 2600.  I use that game as an example for all of the people out there that like to complain about game delays.  ET had a deadline of 6 weeks; the developer completed it in 5.  Let’s be clear about that: he delivered the game EARLY.

In both the case of Diablo II and the case of ET, nobody cared about whether it met the deadline once the game was released.  All they cared about was the quality of the game.  Diablo continued to make sales a decade after launch; ET filled a landfill in New Mexico with millions of copies.

So keep working on BioShock, guys.  Take your time.  Just make sure the product is good.

EDIT 13MAY2012: Tomb Raider was also delayed to 2013.  All you Tomb Raider fans out there had better say “thank you.”