Developers of the upcoming Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light were not able to finish their online co-op mode in time for the game's scheduled August 18 launch on Xbox 360. But instead of pushing pack the release date, the game will still come out as scheduled. A patch will come out next month to actually add the component that should be there in the first place.
In fact, if the game update hits its currently slated release date of September 28, absolutely no online functionality will be available for the first 41 days the game is up for purchase. That's crazy considering that online co-op has been one of the defining features of this new Lara Croft title since the day it was announced.
In a statement to Joystiq, manager Karl Stewart from Crystal Dynamics, the game's developer, said, "we made a decision recently because we were focusing on how we can deliver the best possible experience to the players. If we had launched with online co-op, we wouldn't feel comfortable that it was the best possible experience for the player."
Now, we like the fact that the new generation of consoles enables players to download extra game content after it's released. Where would Rock Band be without that functionality? And we do appreciate that the developers didn't half-ass the online component just to get it out on time. However, when developers can't meet their own deadlines and expect gamers to buy an unfinished product, with the promise that they'll finish making the game later, something isn't right. And asking customers to pay full price for a game that isn't even done is freaking ridiculous. Perhaps the fairest solution would be to make the game available for half price now and bump it to full price later on, when the finished piece is delivered, with early adopters paying the difference for the patch. But maybe that solution is a bit too consumer-friendly to survive.
Of course, the biggest question is why NOT delay the game. These things happen all the time. Well, there’s a solution to that, and it has a dollar sign in front of it. Guardian of Light was set to be the big finale for Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion. Can’t mess up the marketing plans, now can we?
Thus, on the same day that Crystal Dynamics releases the Xbox 360 patch, the full game will also be available for the PS3 and PC. So much for the 360 version getting timed exclusivity...
Aug 6, 2010
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light hands-on
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