It's not always just games that become ensnared in sticky production. The holiday season is a cruel deadline for gaming companies. Whether they're struggling to produce the latest flickery handheld toy or a new installment in a hit game franchise, they've got to get it all done by the time parents compete to gather loot for their pleading offspring. An off release time could lead to financial disaster. A rushed product could do the same. It's a tricky juggling challenge, one that usually results in either a raw, unpolished game from an otherwise impeccable publisher (Left 4 Dead 2) or multiple delayed release dates (Portal 2). Gaming development seems to be a town populated exclusively by rocks and hard places.