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Is it OK to ask for information about an upcoming game?

When is Halo 4 coming out?

Or is this too speculative/subjective?

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  • What if there's an actual release date? – juan Jul 8 '10 at 21:06
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    @Juan - when was the last time any game had an actual release date? :P – delete me Jul 8 '10 at 21:12
  • @Jon Trinity Universe, just to name the first one off the top of my head. – Grace Note Jul 8 '10 at 21:13
  • Can SE sites be programmed to automatically close a question after a certain date? – Jonn Sep 4 '10 at 7:51
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    So when are we going to see Duke Nukem Forever? – Pops Sep 10 '10 at 3:05
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The problem with speculation questions is that they're often on the border of closing.

Prior to the release date, it's subjective because it's only when people expect it to come out, you can't get the factual answer until release.

Post release date, it's too localized because it's no longer relevant.

However, if it's not something that's going to need speculation (i.e. there's a strict release date and people have even started pre-ordering the game), then there is a strict answer and it is a valid question, so it doesn't need to be closed.

I think they can be more trouble than they are worth, but if we can actually answer them, we shouldn't spare it a second thought. So make your judgment on a case-by-case basis, not as a whole. I would prioritize answering these whenever it is actually possible, and vote to close when it's going to just be speculation.

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  • so, the question only has value in a certain oint of time, between pre-ordering and release... which makes it pretty localized in my opinion. – alexanderpas Aug 18 '10 at 2:03
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    Re: "it's no longer relevant". You've obviously never argued with a Counter-Strike player claiming to have played the game for 11 years when the game had only been out for eight. – sequentiallee Sep 4 '10 at 20:54
  • When you say it's only people speculating, you're talking about highly experienced professional project managers. Certainly, they often get it wrong, but I think it's a little insulting to describe their trade that way. People want to know release dates in order to plan their purchases based on available time and money. Plans are almost always formed on less than total and cast iron information. Plans can change based on more recent and accurate information, as can outdated Stack Exchange answers. – sequentiallee Sep 10 '10 at 9:35
  • (If I misunderstand you and you're talking about third parties pulling dates from the sky, obviously that is unwanted.) – sequentiallee Sep 10 '10 at 9:40
  • I'm talking about third parties pulling dates from the sky, @CallMeLee. I'm talking the speculations that we would be doing. If we receive what is supposed to be an official release date from the company, and they don't deliver on it, that's no skin off our back nor a fault of our answerers. But when no such date is provided, then it is just speculation. – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 12:08
  • Wonderful. :) I think that's possibly been an issue of confusion in this thread (or maybe it's just me). In cases where the release date is TBA I think we should state exactly that and update the answer when it has been, using whatever system is in place to do that (i.e. tags/meta list) and delete any speculative answers. What I'm primarily opposed to here is closing the question. – sequentiallee Sep 10 '10 at 13:47
  • @CallMeLee I'm actually pretty sure that all 3 of my downvotes are because no one notices that the first and last paragraphs are the important points (speculation questions are on the border of closing, but non-speculative questions should be addressed). – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 14:29
  • @Grace: The downvote you got from me was because I disagree with your ¶'s 1, 2, and 3. I've updated my answer to include what I think about speculation questions being borderline. – Larry Wang Sep 10 '10 at 17:39
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I disagree that such questions are useless after the release date. Instead, it makes sense to reword them from "When will game X come out?" to "When did game X come out?"

I think that games that do have a set release date should not be closed, unless it is decided that they are off-topic. Then they should be closed for that reason, not for being "too localized."

Games that do not have a fixed release date, or so-called "speculation questions" do not fall on the border of being closed for me. I think a question very much deserves to be closed if we know that nobody on this site can provide a correct answer. They can be reopened when that is no longer the case.
The close reason given should be "not a real question" because they fall under the category of "This question ... cannot be reasonably answered in its current form."

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  • By this reasoning, I disagree with the reason given for closure of the Duke Nuken Forever question. – Larry Wang Sep 4 '10 at 0:11
  • +1 for the re-wording suggestion – sequentiallee Sep 4 '10 at 21:06
  • Sadly, I don't EVER see this happening – Ivo Flipse Sep 6 '10 at 6:32
  • I am actually not very pleased with using Not-A-Real-Question on these, because it actually is a rather real question with nothing wrong about the question itself. Moreover, it isn't that it cannot be answered in its current form; it cannot be answered properly in present day. But when you are posing a question wherein you are exactly seeking people to speculate the release date (not simply a lack of a fixed release date, I mean no release date at all), then it is entirely subjective. When the question isn't inviting speculation yet the release date is not set, then just leave it open I say. – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 17:56
  • @Grace: Say someone asks "How many minerals are required to build a nexus in starcraft 3?" If you think a question like this should be left open until starcraft 3 gets released, that's fine, but I disagree for the reason in my answer. If you would close such a question, what is the difference? – Larry Wang Sep 10 '10 at 18:15
  • That example question is going to be pure speculation - no one has any factual basis to judge for addressing it. Sounds like it's going to be subjective and argumentative to me. But it's not as if the question is "ambiguous, vague, incomplete, or rhetorical", the part you excluded from the close dialog. When that question DOES become answerable, it is still in the same form as it was when it got closed! I actually find a lot of importance in using the correct close reasons, and NaRQ is just not applicable. – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 18:21
  • @Grace: Yeah, I'm not totally happy with Not a Real Question either - as you noticed, I did have to torture the description to make it work. I just don't see how it's Subjective & Argumentative. Maybe it's a case of mods cleaning up well, but I've never seen people arguing about their own ideas of what the real release date will be on any of those questions. – Larry Wang Sep 10 '10 at 20:46
  • I think there's no actual arguments because people realize that trying to argue a speculated date is stupider than making such an unfounded answer in the first place. When it is only a question that can invite nothing but opinions (what pure speculations are), it is subjective. And when you have opinions that can come from anyone without restriction, there exist the possibility for conflict if anyone's opinions are opposed. We shouldn't host material that is begging for argument even if no one is stooping low enough to argue. – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 21:08
  • Sometimes you have to watch these, though, and take a reactive approach. Sit back and watch it, see if it starts to generate unfounded speculation. When that happens, smash it closed (or at least give 1/5 votes for it) and wait until someone pokes you with a comment shouting "Hey! There's actual info now! Open it up!", and vote to reopen it. Other times, nothing happens and everyone is happy. Combined with how these don't come up all that often, this is why I feel that we have to analyze these case-by-case, and not instate some official policy to lock them all down until objective data exists. – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 21:11
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I do not like these type of questions because I cannot see the added value for a site like this.

A lot of times this question could not be answered even by the developers/publisher. Look at Valve Time, for example.

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    I agree. I think it falls too much into the "localized" category, and I think these kind of questions should be closed. – Oak Jul 15 '10 at 9:03
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I don't think any release date questions should be closed. It's useful to know the anticipated release date even if it turns out to be incorrect. We of course don't want to retain stale information, so to update outdated release questions we'd need to maintain a list of them on meta. Once the game is released we can change their tense and drop them from the list on meta.

I really think the focus of this site should be about providing users with accurate and helpful information and not searching for reasons to exercise community moderator power. I have more thoughts about this, but that's for another topic.

If this suggestion gains traction I'd be happy to post the framework of the meta list.

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  • No need for a human-curated list: just use tags. – Larry Wang Sep 5 '10 at 6:40
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    I really don't like this continual image that we're "searching for reasons to exercise community moderator power". To me, community moderation is done entirely with the goal of providing people with accurate and helpful information. I agree that release date questions should be answered, but I don't think that we should let something that is going to be purely speculative with no basis to float around as if it had authority on the subject. Questions which seek to provoke this behavior are what I think should be closed. Not when the date is simply "unknown". – Grace Note Sep 10 '10 at 18:05
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    Then we're in total agreement. @Grace – sequentiallee Sep 10 '10 at 19:13

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