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March 16th, 2007, 10:08
While everything Dhruin has said is absolutely true it might also be worth to note that a company like Blizzard has spend a long time building a name and a reputation for themselves. They have made a couple of gambles that have paid off big time leaving them with a huge reservoir of cash to fund their next project.

A game like Diablo 2 and the expansion pack stayed on the top 10 best sellers list for several years. That means cash by the truckload that can be used to spend a few (or many) extra months (perhaps even years) on the next game to fine tune it and squash bugs. That is a luxury most other developers don't have and THAT is why Blizzard games tend to contain fewer bugs than many others.

If Half Life hadn't sold so well there is no doubt that Valve would NOT have been able to afford delaying Half Life 2 a whole year like they did and the final state of Half Life 2 would most likely not have been anywhere near the quality of the game we know as Half Life 2.

Without cash deposits the like of Valve's and Blizzard's, developers don't have the luxury to make their own schedules. They have to make deals with publishers and that usually forces an often very rigid deadline upon them (along with the fact that the publishers also take the greatest piece of the pie afterwards leaving the developer dependent on them for the next project as well).

As dteowner said: It is a matter of available capital. If you can afford to spend the money on proper QA and/or necessary delays to ensure that the product is as bug free as possible then that's wonderful. If you can't … well, then you're at the mercy of your creditors/investors and as we all know, THEY tend to prioritize a holiday release a lot higher than the quality of the product.

Does that suck? Absolutely but as Dhruin has said: If you want to see games from smaller independent companies then you have to accept that a smaller purse won't buy you a Ferrari (I just couldn't help using the car analogy )
"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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