Season 3 Delay

World of Warcraft’s arena season 3 has been delayed another week until November 27, 2007. Here’s the pretty language:

Everyone is preparing for the start of the third arena season and we’re excited to get new items, rewards, and fresh competition going for everyone participating in the arenas.

As we approach the previously announced start date we’ve had growing concerns of what the new season requires of us to actually launch, and its proximity to the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone wants the launch go as smoothly as possible, and in order to have resources available to tend to any issues as soon as they may spring up, we’ve decided to delay the Season 3 start date to November 27. One week after the previously announced date.

This allows us to have the quickest response time to any issues should they occur, and allows everyone to enjoy the holiday and the days leading up to it. While making everyone wait another week obviously isn’t the optimal outcome, in the end we decided it would be much worse to start Season 3 so close to the holiday and potentially make players wait longer until a problem can be resolved. Ultimately it allows us to provide the best possible service for everyone as we launch the new season.

Non-gamer types might wonder if there really are people whose holidays would be RUINED by broken game mechanics, but you and I (and the Blizzard Collective) know better, don’t we?

12 thoughts on “Season 3 Delay

  1. Non-gamer types might wonder if there really are people whose holidays would be RUINED by broken game mechanics, but you and I (and the Blizzard Collective) know better, don’t we?

    Indeed.

    Countdown to people crying on the message boards about how they were going to spend the entire Holiday weekend in the arena getting an awesomely high rating, and how Blizzard totally screwed them over in …5…4…3…2…

  2. Bonus thought of the day from TEH MANEGMENT: “Hey! If we schedule this thing right before Thanksgiving we can make everyone miserable who works here!” …. “OOH wait, maybe someone might burn down the building… lets delay.”

  3. LOL the technology companies doesn’t work that way. There might be a chance that developers want to go slow, but most good ones I meet want to finish stuff fast (and if Blizzard could get WOW out of door, their developers should not be too bad).

    That said, sometimes even the good developers got bugged down by strange problems, at times seems mysteries especially for huge projects (random crashes, impossible bugs etc). If that happens, it took time to debug, and it is hard to predict how long it will take. The managers and experienced developers will tend to give longer period than needed, because that is usually the case.

  4. As a game developer who just spent all of September at the office (and I mean 12-16 hours a day, every single day, weekends too) it’s refreshing to think Blizzard is trying to be nice to their workers and give them a real Thanksgiving vacation.

    Maybe they finally have enough money.

  5. 12-16 hours a day for the entire month? I remember I did 12-16 hours a day for a week twice in my life and I was dead tired.

    And that is a nice prespective too, from our point of view.

  6. “No one enjoys overtime over the holidays, except people with unusually toxic families. :P”

    haha. For the record I will be headed off the work in approx. 2 hours.. good call Jer!

  7. Oh once I worked 12 hour days (maybe 6-8 hours on saturdays and sundays) for 2 months straight. That was nuts, I’m never doing that again. But I was in my 20s then and dumb. 🙂

    Actually are game companies that bad? Most places I’ve worked would never schedule a rollout near a holiday weekend, because you know nobody will be around. At first I thought “that’s nice of them” but then realized they are just acting like any other company. Instead I wonder whose bright idea it was to schedule a rollout 2 days before Thanksgiving in the first place.

    Maybe someone wanted it done so people weren’t working hard before the deadline on the holiday, thinking “it will be done and working and the work will be over” 🙂

    No wowpanda, they want to finish, but they don’t want to push it into production during a 3 day workweek when they want to be taking a break instead of working.

  8. Death marches aren’t that uncommon in software development. Estimation is hard to do well, and when the manager starts giving your estimate the hairy eyeball it’s easy to cave and start shaving time off of your numbers. Couple that with feature creep and the fact that working in game development has to be way secksy for a developer who doesn’t know any better 🙂 , and you’ve got a recipe for 80-hour weeks.

    To give Blizzard credit, for all the badmouthing they get in the forums and blogs, they get it right more often than not and aren’t afraid to push a date back if it means getting it right. Everyone says they’d rather be late than broken, but Blizz seems to live it.

  9. I understand it was delayed, but isnt everyone happy now? It seemed relatively bug free and now we are all enjoying season 3.

    One thing I have to admit is that Blizzard releases much cleaner and less buggy code and patches than any of the other MMO I hae played. Can anyone say Starwars Galaxies? They push back if they have to push back, and the quality of their game is top notch because of it.

  10. Game companies are, I think, worse than most software companies, because they tend to be staffed by young, idealistic programmers who love games, and are willing to sacrifice their lives for “the cause”. Management (Publishers and the managers at the developers) sometimes abuse this zeal.

    And I think you tend to work over the holidays to try and get product out for “Christmas”, which for software means: “Be on the shelves the day after Thanksgiving, or work straight through till you finish the game.”

Leave a Reply