In a post on IGN yesterday Ryan McCaffrey interviewed Studio Head Dan Greenawalt who was talking about Forza 5 requiring updates on the day of launch.
This isn’t DLC; although the download will comprise of game content such as cars and tracks. It is in fact a scheduled release.
“Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on Day One.”
This is happening for a number of reasons. Games need to be tested and certified before they are manufactured and a delay in this part of the process could leave you missing your release window and clashing with another title. It is also so that more time can be spent on development right up to the point of release and this point is where I believe we are about to see a dramatic shift in the way the games industry is operating.
Turn 10 may be the first games studio reported to be moving to a more agile release process towards the end of projects, but I certainly don’t think they will be the last.
The games market is volatile. The ability to adapt quickly is becoming increasingly important as was displayed by Microsoft with their 180 on always on for the XboxOne.
Changing the games development cycle towards an agile methodology could enable faster player feedback and the opportunity to revise the title giving the studio, publisher and distributer a greater opportunity to release to the wider market a title that may succeed.