Monday, 1 December 2014

Are we paying for unfinished and broken games?

By Sam Coles:
With the latest slew of games having problems with their launches such as Assassin’s Creed Unity and Halo the Master Chief Collection, the question that I propose is that are we paying for unfinished products? Do the developers these days have a “fix it later” attitude towards development?
The problem that I have is that a lot of gamers don’t seem to have a problem because it will be fixed later and they have a go at critics because they analyse the game in its current state at launch. For example the latest game to have problems was Halo MCC and Gamespot gave it 6 out of 10 due to the fact that the multiplayer servers are not working properly. The community however did not like this because the campaigns are good and all that, but do not acknowledge the fact that the game is in an unpolished state even though they had a day one patch that was a massive 15GB.
It even becomes a problem after the launch of a game like the latest one to be hit by a game breaking bug was Alien Isolation on the PS4, I bought this game about a few weeks ago and when I put it in the system it did a usual patch for the game, this is expected. What is not expected is that there is certain mission where the game will crash and you can no longer progress in the game, and it was the patch that broke the game. Excuse for thinking in an old fashioned manner, but aren’t patches meant to fix games and not make them worse? Give them their due they did respond very quickly to their consumers and they are trying to roll out another patch to fix the problem, let’s hope it is soon because I’ve enjoyed of what I’ve played so far.
Now we have the big one from Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed Unity the game has been having frame rate problems across all three platforms although surprisingly it has been performing the best on the Xbox One, this is another unacceptable case especially when in some cases the frame rates drop down to 15FPS that is unplayable and it should not be happening in professional triple A gaming. According to fans of the series there is a very simple fix to the problem all you have to do is disconnect the game from the internet and it will start to play at a smooth frame rate, so what Ubisoft are making you do is play a singleplayer game online didn’t they not learn from Blizzard and Diablo III that you’ll still get latency issues even if you’re playing solo. When I’m playing a singleplayer game I don’t want to be connected to a server and have my character gliding along like he or she is on roller skates.
People say that we didn’t have the luxury of updates and patches and games were more glitched and buggy, but they were nowhere near as unfinished and unpolished states compared to more recent releases I get that the games are getting bigger and more complex to make, but if it’s not finished delay the game.
However this is not the first time in the gaming industry that this has happened let’s take a journey back to the early 80’s with the world of Atari. In 1983 the video game industry crashed due to lack of quality control because anyone with the know how could produce a game on the Atari 2600 and due to this there were a bloated amount of games and back then there weren’t really any reviews to go by because the video game journalist industry was non existent at that point. The only way you could find out that a game was good was word of mouth. The major game that caused the crash was the famous game E.T. but games like PAC-MAN for the 2600 was another game because it was ungodly mess and completely not finished with flickering ghosts and ear grating noises.
Although at the point of this published editorial the games are more stable than they were at release, but what I’m saying is that it is unacceptable to take a dump on your consumers by releasing a bug infested and unfinished mess that you like to call a video game. If you don’t want to lose you customers then give them the best product that you can deliver and if it doesn’t work delay for another six months.
The point I’m trying to put across in this short editorial is that don’t let another video game crash happen because if you keep up with this behaviour triple A publishers then you’ll run this industry into the ground and who knows maybe Nintendo will save it again.

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