Will it be fixed for Friday?
Has DriveClub actually been trolling us this whole time?
Think about it. Ever since Evolution Studios announced that they were dropping Motorstorm to work on a generic new IP, we've had insane delays, PR lies, U-Turns and spin, all of which will be forgiven if the game itself manages to measure up.
But even now, at the eleventh hour, DriveClub is still finding ways to mess with us. Following a shambolic US release yesterday, Sony has announced that the free PlayStation Plus version has been temporarily delayed as the servers can't keep up with demand, but we can still buy the full version right enough. Will these issues be fixed in time for the UK launch this Friday?
"In order to help all DriveClub players who have the game already, we're temporarily holding back the PS Plus Edition and the My DriveClub app to ease the load and traffic to the servers," explained project lead Paul "Rushy" Rustchynsky in a Facebook post. "This should give players a better chance of connecting to the game servers and, once the servers are operating well, we'll be sure to let you know when the PS Plus Edition and My DriveClub app will be available to download."
"To our PS Plus fans, we're sorry you're having to wait longer to play, but we want to ensure that when you come on board, you get the best experience possible. Rest assured, if you've pre-ordered the full game upgrade from the PS Plus Edition, you will still get the full version of DriveClub digitally, and if you can't get online you'll be able to get started offline like everybody else with single player mode as you start your DriveClub tour."
So US gamers can't test the game for free, but they can still buy it sight unseen and pay for the privilege of being our beta testers? Brilliant. I suppose that's the "for the players" philosophy in action. The timing of the delay, one day after DriveClub's incredibly mixed reviews hit, is coincidental yet also incredibly embarrassing.
"You'll still be able to earn fame, unlock cars and get to grips with all of the options for playing and creating your own events and challenges - and everything you do will be synchronised with the servers when you do get connected, so you can set-up a bunch of challenges to send out to your friends as soon as you are able to join each other online.
"We fully appreciate how frustrating this is for everyone. We want you to get online with your club because racing, challenging and having fun together is what the game is all about. We know that racing with your friends online is what you've been waiting for and we are doing everything we can to deliver that experience to you as soon as possible."
So why didn't you ensure that your infrastructure was fit for purpose ahead of time, then? This is a racing game, not an MMORPG. You don't have to sustain an enormous persistent 3D world 24 hours a day, existing on numerous simultaneous shards and servers. It's just regular multiplayer and stat tracking!
Okay DriveClub. We've had our differences. But at the end of the day all will be forgiven if you're fun to play, look good and actually work at launch for paying customers and PS+ subscribers who've been waiting patiently for you to arrive despite countless cock-ups. Make sure it's sorted for Friday and it's all water under the bridge!
For now, dear reader, I'd suggest not pre-ordering, pre-purchasing or touching it with a bargepole until the free version releases and you can try it for yourself first-hand -- and then pay to upgrade if you enjoy the experience.