Disclaimer: This is not a rant against delays. I'm not saying delays do not help to finish the product. It's a rant against people claiming that a delay is a good move and that the game is better off with it. It's not a good move, it's their god damn duty to delay a game if it's not in a playable state.
I'm sick and tired of this narrative.
People claiming that companies are so smart to delay a game because they have more time to fix it. Well I call bullshit. Games aren't delayed because the developers want to make it perfect, they are delayed because they cannnot even be released in the state that they're in. It's not about making the games perfect, it's about making them actually playable.
Point 1: How would you know what things they are "fixing" during the extended time period? How would you know that it's for the good of the game. For all we know they could use that time to perfect their DRM or closing more marketing deals.
Point 2: A lot of games get delayed without us even knowing it. Are the games better because of it? No one is making that claim. Is a game that is released "on time" less perfect because they should've taken more time? No, because we don't know what happened during production. People will always say that they should've taken more time to polish a game but that's not how it works. They're only trying to make it as playable as possible.
Point 3: Longer development time does not mean higher quality experience.
Point 4: Look at all the games that have been released. Any of them close to perfect? How about those games that were delayed because they wanted to make them better? Any difference to games that release on time? The answer is no.
At the end of the day it comes down to this: There are 2 reasons for a product to be delayed. Someone sucks at project management or someone sucks at producing the product. Take your pick. But just don't expect games to be better because of delays.
So just please don't give companies credit for sucking at their job.
Delays (and decisions not to delay) are made for purely business reasons. At the end of the day, the drivers are financal and reputational.
I agree that good project management and efficient development are two essential factors in getting a game out on time, and when one or the other falls down, this can result in a delay. But there are other factors, too.
For example, Watch Dogs must have been bad enough that Ubisoft were willing to pull it right before the high profile X1/PS4 console launch, knowing that they'd have to weather the storm of financial losses and share price drop.
But with Rayman Legends, they made the controversial decision not to release it as a WiiU exclusive, but to delay it and release it as a multiplatform; their reasoning to reach a wider audience since the U's install base was too small for it to be profitable. Was it a wise decision in the end? We'll never know for sure, but what we do know is that a by-product of the delay was that owners of all platforms received a far superior game to the one that would originally have been released on the Wii U - with extra levels and bosses, because they gave themselves more time.
It's not beyond possibility, that a company might delay a game for a month or two for a little extra 'polishing' if it were to increase the chance of high critical acclaim (and greater sales) and if the delay meant little financial risk.
Delays are good for the game, good for the company and good for the gamers, but carry their own risks, too.