I noticed a question asking about when a Call of Duty: Ghost expansion was coming to PS4, which has since been deleted (@Frank found the question). I agree that these are not good questions, but the best close reason I could find is: Questions about unreleased or illegal content are off topic on Arqade. We only support questions about games available to the general public through legitimate means.

This is not a great option for this question, since the content is already released to Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PS3/4 players with the Season Pass. Another example of a question like this would be "When was Civilization 2 released?". That one is actually still open.

I agree that these are poor questions, since the information can almost always be easily found using a search engine or even the game's tag on Arqade. If we agree to continue closing, I think we need to add some wording to the current "unreleased" reason.

  • The question was literally about unreleased information. Yes, the content in question was available, but only to a specific subset of buyers. When it will be released to the general public is unknown. Unreleased is the perfect close reason for exactly that.
    – Frank
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:57
  • 2
    The question referenced
    – Frank
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:01

3 Answers 3


Questions asking for future release dates should be closed. Depending on your definitions, the questions are either asking about unreleased content or not asking about a game at all. A release date is no different from gameplay information given by the press and publisher before release and can easily change until the game is released. We already saw this with Watch Dogs being postponed quite heavily near its originally announced release date.

We're not a news service and, quite frankly, the only place for release dates are the tag wikis. Release dates are in our tag wiki format too! There's no reason we should have questions about it too.

  • I agree that they are poor questions, but the content is not always unreleased. In the case of the Civ 2 question, the game had been out for over 10 years.
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:27
  • @Batophobia The game, for that platform, would be unreleased. (But that's not really why I see a "problem" with these questions.)
    – user98085
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:44
  • @FEichinger So Civ 2, having been out for over 10 years, is still considered unreleased content if asking about a release date?
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:38
  • I feel like something was misunderstood here.
    – 3ventic
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:39
  • @3ventic Based on this meta the content is publicly available, even if it is not on the desired platform. Saying the question is "about unreleased or illegal content" is incorrect. Don't get me wrong, I think these are terrible questions. I just do not see how they fall into any of the current close reasons.
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:50
  • @Batophobia you're using an awfully awkward definition of 'content', but, to run with it, gameplay questions about civ 2 which are platform agnostic would be fine in that case. The 'unreleased content' in the specific question is the specific bit of code that allows it to run on a new platform. Apr 10, 2014 at 18:10
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz So if I asked for a release date on the new Call of Duty: Ghost Map Pack for Season Pass owners on PS4, that is on topic, since it is currently out. If I ask for the PS4 date without the Season Pass, that is off topic because, although the content is out for the mentioned system.... Not sure how the content is considered "unreleased" here.
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 19:39
  • @Bat again, I think you're working real hard to use the letter of the law to defeat the spirit. It's pretty clear, that the intention of the rule and the (long settled) consensus on questions about release dates is that we don't want them. If you want to propose improving the rule as written to increase it's clarity, I'd urge you to go ahead and do that, but trying to find a loophole and then driving on through it and saying that's the way things should stay is, in my mind, a nonstarter. Apr 10, 2014 at 19:43
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz I think I may have been unclear in my question. I am asking that we make better wording for the close reason. I've stated many times that I also think these questions are terrible and deserve, at the very least, downvotes. The problem I was hitting is that none of the close reasons seemed to include a scenario like the one mentioned. I would love to continue closing these questions, but the reasons should to be accurate.
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 19:49
  • 2
    @Batophobia the close reasons are also not comprehensive. Users with 3k rep can close for a custom reason. Apr 10, 2014 at 19:50

As has already been mentioned, "release dates" have a lot in common with "unreleased content", in that the proper answer can only come from what the developer (or publisher) said. (Personally, I don't see it as that big of a deal, because this is part of the game's specifications - just like, say, system requirements.)

There are two more points here, though:

Release information is already covered in tag wikis. This may be a minor issue at first, but we should not be replicating information. There's a reason we have these tag wikis - they are our version of the game's spec sheet.

Release dates are not uniform. Although we usually only see up to four separate regions, we have multiple platforms, various geographical locations, re-releases, and digital distribution - all of these are parameters that play into a release date. If we have to cover various combinations thereof, we start to get a problem.

  • I can agree with everything in this answer. It does not seem warrant a close vote though. There is no close vote for "This is already in the tag wiki", nor do we close questions that are not uniform due to multiple systems. Instead of "unreleased content" the reason should be "developer intent".
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:35

Personally, I see no reason they could not remain open. Sure, it is easy to find an answer, but that is not a reason for closing. After all, mouseover text for the down-vote says: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful, so by all means downvote it!

The main argument I expect for closing is that the date could change. If that happens, the answer is easy enough to update. Once the content officially comes out, the information is not going to change.

Another argument I expect is that, once the content is released, the information becomes useless. Juha Syrjälä asked the Civ 2 question after the release date, so apparently the information might have use to someone.

The final argument I expect is "this is not about an playing games, so off topic". Neither is one of our top voted questions. Heck, here is a list of questions not about an issue from playing specific games.

I ask that you do not misunderstand me. I am not encouraging these types of questions. If you can easily find the answer via a search engine, offer it and downvote the question. I do not think they deserve close votes, though.

  • 3
    "If that happens, the answer is easy enough to update" That sidesteps the issue, I feel. Yes, the system is designed to support answers being updated with the introduction of new information. But the issue isn't the need of update, it's the nature of the scope being outside our comfort zone. It's the matter that release dates are just as much a part of upcoming game data tracking as anything else about upcoming games.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 10, 2014 at 16:37
  • @GraceNote I understand that, but the wording just sounds weird to me. For example, if I asked about the new maps in the CoD map pack, that would be on-topic, since the content is released for all Xbox and Season Pass PS3/4. The fact that I intend to play on PS3 without the season pass does not make the question about unreleased content. How, then, does the date the content will be available to a different platform fall under that category?
    – Batophobia
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:43
  • Availability in a different platform is about the same as availability in a different country. We aren't restricted to only the release dates in the US, so likewise if we have the data by virtue of its availability on a different platform, we have the data. Note that in an ideal situation, the question would be asked about the first release, and there really isn't a reason to post about the second platform as if any differences are assumed. It'd be best to assume they match until release shows otherwise. The date on the other hand is specifically in the future, which returns us out of comfort.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 10, 2014 at 20:05

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