As we suggested in our article regarding Mighty No. 9's delay into early 2016, Comcept has endured a tough and damaging period for its image with fans. After the giddy highs of the game's successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, multiple delays and some poor communication / decision making around its RED Ash: The Indelible Legend Kickstarter campaign has brought plenty of criticism on the company, some of it certainly justified.
Speaking to Engadget at Gamescom, Mighty No. 9 producer Nick Yu discussed the delay to the title and some of the negative publicity that's swirled around the company. To start with the delay itself, Yu shared his regret.
I'm sure a lot of people -- almost everyone is upset about delays, and things that can't be done. But, and this is my personal view, the creators announcing the bad news feel worse than the backers. You know that you have to tell the people, and it'll make them sad; it'll make them upset. And you're the reason for that happening. You're the one making it. Even if it was accidental, or you had no control over it, you're the reason the delay happened. We feel bad. Really, really bad.
People are saying that we didn't announce the delay fast enough. But although we saw the possibility of the delay, we weren't sure. You'll never be sure until the moment when you say, "This is not going to make it anymore." Even if there are rumors or possibilities for delay, we can't say anything until we are sure. In the end, that might cause some bad PR, people calling you liars, but there's nothi-- there's maybe some things we could've done better, but, at that point, we couldn't say anything for sure, so. ... We are upset as well, just as much as the backers.
In terms of explaining the delay, it's highlighted that it's related solely to the online aspect for multiplayer, with the solo campaign 100% done. When pressed on whether the game should have been released as a single player experience with online features subsequently patched in, Yu gave a rather long-winded explanation highlighting issues with multiple submission approvals and losing value of the product at market.
For us to make that change -- only single-player, then patch multiplayer later -- simply put, the approval process would be doubled, and we would have to spend even more time to break those two aspects of the game apart into separate packages. Submit the single-player first, get approval, fix the multiplayer campaign, get approval again. And there'll be even more quality assurance because we're taking stuff out. All that together, I think the game will be out with them together before we could've pulled them apart, even with the delay. That's the reality, however, I know we should think about something to show that we are really sorry to the backers. We're looking to see if there's something we can do for the backers. But, we're looking into that, and we're looking to get a proper release date, seeing how bad the bug is. How fast we can fix it. Once we know that, we'll announce the release date properly. For now it's just Q1 2016
Yu also addressed criticisms around the perceived dividing of resources to begin RED Ash before Mighty No. 9 was launched, a negative perspective exacerbated by the delay. In fairness to the game producer he makes a valid point that, actually, the nature of development teams means that not all employees can tackle lingering issues with Mighty No. 9, and are better served by pushing ahead with a fresh project.
The reality is, we said all that stuff in the updates, in the interviews, we did say [that Mighty No. 9 is not affected]. But it wasn't communicated nicely enough. I'm not in that team, but I see that from the side, that communication wasn't done right, at all. Timing-wise, it was bad, but for a small company like us, we need to have projects constantly to be working on, or we have people just sitting there doing nothing. For a small company, even a month of sitting there doing nothing will hurt us a lot.
People say, "Why are you overlapping these two projects together?" The answer to that is, "We have to." Or people lose their jobs, or -- this is a little bit exaggerated -- the company can go bankrupt. For us, we can explain the reason behind it, but I know it's hard for everyone to understand. There's just no way the level of understanding will become the same.
...There are people still working on Mighty No. 9, but other teams are just doing nothing, so we need to move those teams onto new projects. Something that can generate payments, generate their salaries. We had this idea for a while, about Red Ash, and we just thought, "Why not do another Kickstarter?"
We recommend checking out the full interview below, but let us know what you think of these comments from the Mighty No. 9 producer. Are you in a forgiving and understanding mood with this game?