Late last year Valve announced the "shortest delay in Valve's proud history of delays" for Portal 2. An interview with the Portal 2 team has explained some of the reasons behind the delay, and revealed that Valve chief Gabe Newell was the biggest supporter for the eight week slip.
In an interview with Develop , Portal 2 project lead Josh Weier explained the thinking behind pushing back Portal 2, saying that the decision was "not especially controversial."
“Newell was asking about what we wanted to do with the extra time, and he said there was no data to suggest a delay was going to hurt us, and that in fact all the stuff we said we wanted to do for the game made it sound like it was going to be really good.”
“It wasn't like we were racing to get Portal 2 out the door before the fiscal year-end to please our stockholders," he added, saying "our fans are our stockholders, really.
"What really would have been a controversy would have been to get a game out early and it not being very fun.”
Portal 2 writer Erik Wolpaw said that staff welfare was an important factor in considering the delay, saying “I think the only negative approach to the whole delay thing was people asking if the team could handle another eight weeks. That was carefully examined because, of course, you do hit a bit of crunch time there.”
Gabe Newell said recently that Valve have moved towards shorter and shorter development cycles, in part to help protect designers from long, wearying crunch periods. Ultimately, it looks as though the Portal 2 delay paid off. We gave it 94 and an Editor's Choice award in our Portal 2 review .