Sorry, Batman fans: in addition to your hero being a humourless slab of meat with fists attached, he’s now a humourless slab of meat with fists attached who you won’t get to digitally puppeteer again for a little while longer. Batman: Arkham Knight, the probably really good and really familiar upcoming game from Rocksteady, has been delayed until some time in 2015, in order to make it even more good and familiar.
Arkham Knight joins a growing legion of AAA games delayed significantly from their original release dates. It’s happened to Bioshock Infinite, Watch Dogs, Mad Max, The Division, The Witcher 3 and more - nowadays, unless you’re talking about a strictly annualised (and probably compromised as a result) series like Call of Duty, it seems rare for a major title not to be delayed. Could it be that studios are making a habit of setting woefully optimistic release targets, unrealistic for even their huge teams of talented and often overworked staff to meet? Yes.
In the realm of games, significant delays seem much more common than in the that of movies. Movie release dates are fought over tooth and nail, and a title moving even a week forward or back can be seen as a huge deal. A delay into the following year can only mean disaster. Games, on the other hand, are different in their development processes. A movie can be pushed out the door with slightly under-par visual effects, for example, but if a game is broken, it's broken. That, combined with the gaming release calendar being a little more evenly-spread (though boy, that pre-Christmas season can get fraught), results in a public that - it would seem - is at least somewhat accepting of delays. I'd rather have a late game that runs really well than have a buggy mess at release day. Then again, the best solution to this issue would be for publishers to be more realistic in their initial expectations. Valve learned their lesson here and they're doing it right by not announcing anything around Half-Life 3 until it's good and ready.
And hey, with this delay, WB can release Arkham Knight alongside Batman V Superman! ...oh wait.
I guess Batman just takes his time these days. His joints are a little creakier; his steps more cautious; he occasionally forgets who he was going to beat up next, leaving him in a confused fog. It's okay - we all get worn out someday.