The problem with the games industry is that developers have no power at all about release dates etc. Publishers have all the power and the developers are their bitches.
Actually, some developers have control over their own release dates. For example, I give you id. id software releases their product when THEY want to, without influence or instruction from Activision. I'm sure Valve has a similar agreement with Vivendi.
Also, Half-Life 2 is not going to be delayed because they'll sell more copies during the hiloday season. HL2 is going to sell a million copies, and Vivendi is going to get that money, no matter when it's released.Films vs. Games
No one here said movies don't have problems, or that they never get delayed. But movies and software have different problems. It would be easier to compare the release of Half-Life 2 to a version of Windows than something like The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings. The problems you run into just aren't the same. They are two creative processes, but they're for completely different media types. One is designed to run on multiple hardware configurations with different operating systems, the other is designed to work on Christie Projectors. One is designed to allow interaction, the other to be observed and enjoyed.
Games may sometimes provide a movie-like experience, but it doesn't mean that they're the same. And the truth is, they're not even close.
I'm not saying movies are easy to make when compared to games. I understand that they too have a very complicated process. I'm just saying that they're different types of entertainment with different kinds of solutions for problems.