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Op-ed: New video games shouldn't be so broken

By Jos · 31 replies
Dec 10, 2014
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  1. It seems these days that a big game just can't launch without some kind of technical issue. The accepted response to this by both consumers and the press seems to be "well, that sucks, but it'll probably get fixed soon"....

    Read more
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. I totally agree with this article, you get little for your money.
    I have said it before, when they must still be making a profit on their £20 classic / platinum / essential copies they release later, I wonder why people are so happy to pay twice that or more on release.
    And don't get me started on digital content from the consoles own stores that charge an insane price like £60 - £70 for a game that is not worth £20 ... seriously this is insane.
    You get a game which you then have to pay £20 - £30 for an expanision / season pass, and sometimes theres two. You are going to spend £100 on a game.

    But that being said, if you watch the new south park episode, the next generation of parents are going to be better off if kids choose to watch people play games rather than play them themselves. I mean its a whole new level of couch potato. Just when you think kids couldn't get any dumber or lazier... but the games toooooo hard, I will just watch pewdiepie play a few levels... ffs.

    Fudge the game industry, fudge the internet. I wanna play tic tac toe.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  3. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 437   +112

    I only have one point of defence of the video game industry from this article, the rest I completely agree with. From the day that the game is considered 'finished' to the time it takes to be 'released' there is probably a good 2 weeks or so for disks to be written and produced and delivered to wholesalers/ warehouses that then trickle down to local stores,. This means that they can ship the game a little bit broken, and spend those two weeks for a day one patch - something they could only really justify by saying the game NEEDS online, but it does happen, not a millionth as often as it should, but it does happen.

    The most annoying thing I've found about digital content is that: on console the game is £40-£60, you'll get the main DLCs which are a sepeperate £8-£15 of which there are typically about 3 for each AAA game nowadays, you get a £15 'season pass' where you have to pay to play online, or get extra rewards which you had in the previous game for free, but they decided they wanted to remove it and make you pay for it, and then you get shitty little DLCs that are anywhere from £2-£8, for extra characters, maps, scenarios etc. which is absolute bullshit because they also probably were developed for the orginal game, but removed so they could suck more life out of you.

    The only DLC I genuinely don't have an issue with are cosmetics ones - yeah you get some douchey developer that makes you pay for each individual skin, when they should be free unlockables, and you get some that overcharge for skins, but on the whole it's purely cosmetic, you don't miss anything if you don't buy it.
  4. NeurotechHD

    NeurotechHD TS Rookie Posts: 61   +19

    Far Cry 4 was a broken mess on PC, too. Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed Unity, Watch_Dogs - all ported to the PC by Ubisoft Kiev.

    Kiev is basically low-paid (budget?) workers responsible for porting Ubisoft console games over to the PC. Meanwhile, the teams that made the game in Canada are dissolved away onto other projects leaving only a skeleton crew to fix bugs (to finish the game). This allows them to ramp up production on other titles while preserving their talent, all the while churning out broken games that are missing that last 5-10% of polish, or in the case of PC ports, completely unplayable for many people.

    The reason these games are all broken is simply because they're trying to save money. That's it. It seems like this is more a problem with management trying to hit a deadline/ bottom line rather than the gamemakers themselves. The people that are pouring their hearts and souls into making the game want you to enjoy it (they're gamers themselves), but they're at the mercy of schedules (which NEVER get met in the gaming world) and whatever Ubisoft calls that thing they do when they strip a game of all personnel and put them on other projects.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  5. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,708   +868

    This type of thing has been happening since online gaming began with 56K and Mplayer.
    Author mentioned about 4-6 games in the past year that have had some type of launch issue.

    I can name several hundred going back to late 90's; from Drakan: Order of Flame, Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 and Doom 3 to everything new and in between.
    Now, if we can just get a new Croc: Legend of the Gobbos.
    andrewyoung likes this.
  6. When they released the horse armor DLC, we told you this would happen, and no one listened( or cared). This is what you get. I only buy heavily discounted games, humble bundle, or specific online only games (WoD for instance). I won't support this industry one bit, and I consider myself a "core" PC gaming enthusiast. Compound this with the SJW movement within the gaming industry, and I see myself having to take up new hobbies as I grow older. It's sad really. or it's just the way things are, lay down the things you did as a child and become an adult, not sure anymore
  7. I refuse to pre order any game anymore. Last one was nhl2015 on ps4 most of the game is missing. More features in last year's last gen.
    I've even just said screw it and wait for game to drop to 30 bucks before I buy anymore. The gaming industry is killing it's self. Dlc is a joke, I've had cases where did is on the disc already but gotta pay whatever to unlock it.
    Sad but I surly can find other hobbies to spend my hard earned money on then video games(too bad).
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,780   +1,530

    This problem goes WAY back. Even Doom had problems when it was first released. I was lucky enough to have been in on the beta tests and we fixed a BUNCH of problems but still a few more cropped up. There obviously has to be a balance between the time it takes to get the game running right and the cost to the developer for testing before release, but some of these have been absolutely pitiful. I really appreciate those games that will check your system on-line and let you know what deficiencies exist that might affect play ... nothing worse that loading the game up only to find out you've got problems!
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,968   +2,866

    The author is preaching to the converted. I couldn't agree with him more. It'll be a cold day in hell before I'd consider pre ordering. I'd still like to get my mitts on Unity but I'm not spending a cent until Ubi's cleaned up their mess properly.
    It always seems like it's us PC gamers that get stiffed the worst the most & worst.
  10. thegroveman

    thegroveman TS Rookie

    I think of it like movies in the theater. Companies rely on the day one experience of games, at full MSRP, to make a game successful. You don't hear about films succeeding based on Blu-ray sales, you hear about their success from the box office. It's the same with games, where they succeed or fail based on how they sell during the first few weeks where they are the hot new thing. People want ambitious AAA games, with 1080p graphics and high production values. Those are very costly to develop. If people just want to pay $20 for games, they can buy 4 hour downloadable games and shouldn't expect the big titles. Or they can wait a couple years until they're cheaper.
  11. I already do that. Won't spend a penny on a game until I see reviews and player reviews that it is working great. If it's broken, they (the publishers) are not getting my money.
    psycros likes this.
  12. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +26

    I have heard this before, this entire rant. I think it was from extra credits but as of current I am not sure, when I find it I will be back.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,154   +394

    I think it's out own fault in a way. So many impatient instant gratification people that just want it now now now. It is never fast enough for them. The common and heavy use of the internet to spread news, previews, videos and information have made this worse. And to top it off, greed. Companies who just want more money, faster. Generate hype, then rush the product to market to make your buck. It's a nasty, vicious cycle, but we are partially to blame. Some people might come back and say too little too late, which can be the case in some situations but if companies just wouldn't announce coming games and spend more time polishing this wouldn't be so bad.
  14. No one mentions Nintendo here. I feel they still have decent quality assurance at that company. Mario games are usually playable from day one.
    Anyhoo, it's obvious that AAA games are over-represented in these statistics, so... pointing out the obvious: The bigger and more complicated the games are the more time and resources you need for testing. And time is not an abundant commodity this time of year.. Rushing out stuff in time for Christmas has never been a great idea if your goal is *production quality*.
    How to solve this? Well, if Sony & M$ wanted to play hard ball they could force devs to do a bunch of things, but they are afraid to alienate devs and lose them to the "other side"...
    (Good or bad, heres just an example: Sony could tell devs that no patches are allowed for the first 2 weeks after the game release and if it doesn't work at release, it will not appear in the Sony online store.. stuff like that.. One would think the devs would think twice before rushing the game out then).
    It should also be pointed out that it's almost never the devs fault, but rather the publishers and marketing people. The devs have nothing to gain by releasing prematurely...
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,487   +3,481

    Fantasy talk. Devs have the same thing to gain as the publishers by releasing prematurely (in b4 Captain Cranky): money. Development studios are just as much business entities as the publishers. They aren't exempt from the financial consequences of delays.

    This isn't to exempt publishers form their shenanigans. But suggesting devs are innocent victims of big business is patently false.
    psycros likes this.
  16. You have to realize that most of the time when you get pre-ordered games, those games are still in early alpha. You pay to get it before others, so therefore you should expect it to not be completely finished and polished off! It helps when you think "Hey, I should be grateful. I am getting to play something that a bunch of people haven't seen yet!" Also, really it is pittiful when people try to critique a game and throw a temper-tantrum over graphical glitches. The states that these games devolpers work in are horrible and they have to create a cut scene, a battleground, and the AI combatants in 2 days when it take a heck of a lot longer than that!
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,259

    I don't think anyone is bitching about the condition of prerelease titles.
  18. S_Brideau

    S_Brideau TS Rookie Posts: 65

    This article is pretty much the main reason I don't preorder anymore. I now wait to see if it's full of bugs or not at launch, and rightly so. It saved me a lot of money since I wanted AC:U, but will either wait until the price lowers, or not buy it at all. Same with MasterChief collection, it's the one I wanted the most this year, and will probably not be buying it at all.
  19. S_Brideau

    S_Brideau TS Rookie Posts: 65

    When they advertise it as being a release, then it is not in Alpha or Beta anymore, it's a release. Which pretty much cancels your whole comment. Yes deadlines are tight and it's a hard work environment, but they can add delays which isn't unheard of either.
  20. Nilbud

    Nilbud TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +10

    I read several comments about "pre-ordering" which is where you hand over money ahead of time for no reason. If you're dumb enough to do this then you can't fault the game manufacturers for taking your money.
  21. I am disgusted to continuously see the representation of Kotaku hosted on this website. I come here to flee from those deceptive click bait articles who have contributed to Gamergate, and numerous issues in journalism, but they're still here.

    If this continues, I will be finding a new technology website.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  22. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,180

    The problem is the pricing model is broken.

    Look at major websites/services that work and those that don't. Amazon, newegg etc, they work, because every minute down is lost money. healthcare.gov doesn't work, and why should it? No money lost if it's not working. If your game server isn't working for a game you ALREADY paid for, they don't lose any money. that's the problem.

    I used to play WoW ($15/month subscription) and outside of short scheduled maintenance breaks it had a very good track record (at least during the times of day when I played). If they didn't people would quit and stop paying their $15/month. Blizzard rolled out content regularly too so people stayed interested.

    But people don't want to pay for a subscription, they want to buy a game and play for free. I guarantee that if games were free to own, but pay to play based on time we'd see FAR better results out of the game makers. Put the risk on them instead of us when something is broken or down.

    that's because advertising is what makes them money back. If quality made them money, they'd spend money on quality. Complain all you want, but ask yourself if you're willing to pay for a game subscription.

    What we need is a Netflix for games. pay your $30/month and get access/logins to a bunch of them.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  23. andrewyoung

    andrewyoung TS Enthusiast Posts: 47   +14

    Last game I pre-ordered was F.E.A.R.
  24. Agreed, not to mention the vast open holes they leave for players to then cheat in tons of different ways. The truth be told that these game makers are no longer selling us, or launching full version games. They are selling us and launching to us Alpha and Beta test level versions of the full game... this way the CEO at the top and his cronies make a shitload of more money, and you the consumer become conditioned to accept and expect being screwed for your money and without lube. The whole industry is a joke, just look at how many games are available for xbox one and how you cannot take ANY of your games from 360 to ONE. It is high time we all SERIOUSLY reconsider what we are doing with our money and whether or not we should really even being spending a penny with these bastards. I for one will be ending my relations with such people real soon. I will not look back once I have done this.
  25. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,782   +1,003

    I don't think the fact that it has existed for a long time at all lessons the importance of these buggy games today. The only reason it is being talked about more is because it has become increasingly common.

    The internet allows these companies to release buggy games and promise to fix the issues later. What really ends up happening is only a portion of these bugs are squashed and the developers get off the hook for delivering a faulty product. This cycle of irresponsibility will only continue it we don't start holding these guys responsible.

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