When the visual novel Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator was announced last month, it quickly became hotly anticipated with fans of co-producing YouTubers the Game Grumps, quirky dating games and everything in between. But after a delay on the night of its intended release date last week, many began to lash out — despite the developers’ apology and transparency about what had happened.
Dream Daddy stars a group of single dads, voiced by the Game Grumps, whom the player’s own “dadsona” can romance. Unsurprisingly, the internet fell in love with it as soon as it was revealed. The game was set for a July 14 release, with hype building wildly by the Game Grumps and their fandom in the weeks leading up to it. Several Twitch channels streamed early copies of the game, swaths of people came up with fan art of their dadsonas, and photos of Dream Daddy t-shirts and cosplay spread across social media.
But launch day began with a message from the game’s official Twitter account that Vernon Shaw and Leighton Gray, the game’s co-creators, needed “a little bit more time to make sure everything is perfect” with Dream Daddy.
“It'll be [out] later in the day!” read a follow-up tweet. “Get some sleep if you need to! We promise the wait will be worth it!”
Livestreams took place in the lead-up, but fans became antsy as the game remained unavailable for purchase. As the day wore on, their impatience grew, culminating in a late-night explanation from the developers as to why the game missed its release date.
“As it went later into the day, it became more apparent with more late-game bug discoveries that this wasn’t yet the version of the game we anted to release,” Shaw wrote on the Dream Daddy account. “I checked in with all of the developers on the project with us, and while they were working as hard as they could, it was obvious that the last three weeks of sleep deprivation were taking their toll.”
What the team needed was a good night’s sleep, he said, after which they’d circle back to finding a new release date. Shaw called out three weeks of “crunch conditions” as the biggest culprit for the release day exhaustion, and apologized to those who were looking forward to the game.
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but in the end I think it will mean that you’ll receive a game that you’ll love as much as we do,” he wrote.
A wide swath of the top Twitter replies were understanding and supportive. But just as many followers cracked down on the broken promises, made more frustrating by the pre-release streams. Shaw responded personally to several of the more disappointed fans who expected to play Dream Daddy on Friday.
“We were trying our hardest but we couldn't tell anyone anything until we made the decision,” he said to one annoyed follower. “I'm sorry for making you wait.”
To their credit, the Dream Daddy team made good on announcing a new release date as quickly as possible. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator will hit Steam this Wednesday, July 19.
“Thanks for your patience and kind words, everyone,” the team tweeted the morning following the game’s initial release date. “We got some sleep and talked it through.”
Let this be another reminder that crunch time is physically taxing — and that missed release dates aren’t always something to get riled up about. After all, a good game is better than a buggy one.