about the Hades 2 shadowdrop. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how that impacts indies launching in the same window and how that invalidates months/years of preparation on their part. isn’t there anything an indie impacted by something like this could do? isn’t possible to just delay the launch a few weeks/months?

Of course a studio can delay the launch, but a launch delay will have its own set of consequences. Remember, no game launches in a vacuum. Timing is the key factor.

The most obvious consequence goes back to the adage "Time is money". The developers working on the game need to pay rent and buy food. The studio needs to pay those developers during that time to keep them employed. Those costs don't go away when the game's launch is delayed - they will still accumulate. If the studio doesn't have the money they need to keep the lights on during that delay, it won't be able to make payroll for its employees or pay its bills/debt. In such a situation, a delay is impossible - the company will die without money from the game sales.

The second consequence is about the state of the gaming world over time. Imagine that we delay our game to dodge Hades 2. What happens after Hades 2? Will we need to dodge another big release? Will we need to dodge another competitor in our specific game genre? Will the market still be good for our game? Will the platform still be good? Remember, Facebook was a major gaming platform for years and then it wasn't. Imagine spending two years and millions of dollars to develop a major Facebook game only to have the platform die out from under you before launch. Things always change over time.

These two consequences feed into each other - every day we delay, more things change and new problems arise. Every day we delay, costs build up that we need to pay for somehow. Every day we delay release, our income on the game remains zero. At some point, the game will need to launch or the company will assuredly die.

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