I've always been one to defend RobTop but it is really hard to do that when we've been waiting nearly 7 years for Geometry Dash 2.2. I get game development has its hurdles but I can't help but think RobTop made a good amount of missteps along the way.
But without a doubt the biggest misstep RobTop has made is missing the Geometry Dash 2.2 release date.
With this single mistake, RobTop singlehandedly destroyed what little trustworthiness he had left. It doesn't matter that RobTop says it will come out in November. It is just impossible to trust him.
I'm honestly surprised that most people are seemingly okay with this. And don't get me wrong, I'm fine waiting an extra month for the update. But that doesn't change the fact that trusting RobTop is no longer possible. The update could get delayed to 2024 at this point and I genuinely wouldn't be surprised.
So let us take a look and see what went wrong. Let's see what led to this outcome and how RobTop announced the Geometry Dash 2.2 release date in the worst way possible.
I see a lot of people sending hate towards RobTop due to 2.2 getting delayed. And the first thing I can say before anything is that hate is never justified. You have the right to critique RobTop and be disappointed, but hate won't make anything better.
One "argument" (if you can even call it that) I keep seeing, however, is that RobTop is lazy.
But that couldn't be further from the truth.
RobTop hasn't always made the best decisions, but blaming this outcome on laziness is entirely unfounded.
There are many things you can criticize RobTop for. But laziness is not one of them.
From the start, I had my suspicions that 2.2 was going to get delayed until November. And it all started with a release month.
I'd imagine if RobTop was confident, he would give us a release day instead of a release month. Without a precise release date, 2.2's release felt like a far off estimate instead of a set-in-stone fact.
I was surprised that RobTop wouldn't just give a release date like October 31st (or November 1st if he didn't want to release it on Halloween). I don't think there is any harm in finishing the update a few weeks early and giving us an actual release date to look forward to instead of convincing the community that the update would just be dropped with no warning.
Speaking of this, the lack of communication between RobTop and the community throughout this ordeal was very disappointing. All we were given were a few ominous Discord messages. We were only properly warned of the update being delayed only a little over a week before the end of October.
Given that RobTop did not feel confident enough to give a specific day in one of the most hyped up Geometry Dash videos ever made, perhaps a far off estimate is all this "release date" ever was.
I mean, maybe the reason that the community is so seemingly okay with the update getting delayed is because that's all this release date was ever seen as.
Perhaps this was a deliberate decision made by RobTop to shield him from backlash if he were to miss the deadline. But I like to think he fully intended to release the update in October. Whether or not he gave himself ample time, however, is the subject of Exhibit B.
Another thing that made this release date feel more like a far off estimate was how RobTop talked about it in the very few times he would pop in the Geometry Dash Discord server.
From the day it was announced, we were very wary:
it is possible that RobTop will miss this release date
While we deemed 2.2 being delayed unlikely at the time, on September 27, RobTop said he was only "aiming" to release the update in October 2023, which is a far cry from a reliable release date.
RobTop lowered community confidence again when the Geometry Dash server migration took over 10 hours instead of the 6 hours expected. He then went on to lower community confidence even further by attributing server maintenance to be a primary cause for having to delay update 2.2.
In some of these posts, it is hard to imagine a world with 2.2 releasing in October.
Ultimately, I am glad RobTop at least warned us that 2.2 wouldn't be releasing on time. I just wish he did so more officially like when he finally confirmed the update would be delayed. A few Discord messages lost in the sea of conversation is a far cry from an official status update on Twitter and YouTube.
However, I think this all boils down to RobTop greatly underestimating how long 2.2 would take to finish.
As the developer of this very website you're on, I know more than most how difficult it is to aproximate how long a given programming task will take. I will start something at 10:00 PM expecting it to only take 15 minutes, but then see the clock at 1:00 AM and wonder where all the time went.
But this is hardly an excuse. If you are going to be so bold enough as to give a release date in one of the most hyped up Geometry Dash videos ever, you should not delay such a release due to anything short of Armageddon.
Given how server migration took nearly twice as long as expected and we're well over a week into November with no word from RobTop on how close 2.2 is, one thing is clear: RobTop did not give himself anywhere near enough time to finish 2.2.
As an apology for delaying 2.2, RobTop released a Geometry Dash 2.2 trailer. This would have been a perfect opportunity to announce a new release date, but instead, he only briefly mentioned that 2.2 would be delayed to November.
This drastically undermines the reliability of this new release date, which is why I wouldn't bat an eye if 2.2 got delayed until December or even further.
RobTop had an opportunity to fix everything I've stated so far in this article. He could have given a new release day instead of a release month, given himself ample time to not show ample doubt, and announce this in another one of the biggest Geometry Dash videos, but he did none of this.
What I am most disappointed about in this whole situation is how lackluster RobTop handled everything.
RobTop has historically not been great with release dates and even less great with planning ahead (given the fact that we've been waiting nearly 7 years for 2.2 when it was only supposed to come out a few months after 2.11).
This was his chance to prove us all wrong. But he failed.
At the end of the day, I am disappointed. But given the series of events that unfolded, I do think delaying 2.2 is the best option. I mean, I consider it to be the only option assuming releasing an unfinished game is the alternative, but I digress.
However, I still think RobTop has time to improve. There is still nearly 3 weeks left in November. RobTop can stil stick to his word and release the update on time. And in the process, perhaps he can give us an official release day in another video.
Even if 2.2 gets delayed again, I hope instead of shoving out another trailer and gracefully promising a release in December, RobTop takes the time to plan ahead and give us an accurate release date. I'd rather be told the update is releasing well into 2024 than just be continuously promised the next month.
Nobody writes 1500 words about a subject, even if it is critical, unless they truly love it.
I have the utmost respect for RobTop. Despite his shortcomings, I wouldn't rather anyone else be running this game. While RobTop can clearly improve in a lot of ways, he is without a doubt the most passionate about this game and its community. I would rather that than anything else.
I don't want the tail end of 2.1 to live in infamy. I wish for this end of an era to go down in history as anything but a series of broken promises. I wish for RobTop to release 2.2 in a fantastic way and amaze all of us.
And there is still time to do that. Both for 2.2 and all future updates.