One of the most disturbing trends in gaming these days is seeing the release of games that are unfinished and broken. Development for new consoles is more difficult than ever and many games rely on a heavy online component that never truly gets tested until it’s released to the masses. Looking over releases in the past couple of months there has been a plethora of games released that needed serious patching right out of the box. What started way back with
Brokenfield Battlefield 4 (not the first ever, but first this console generation), and its broken multiplayer that pretty much stayed broken, this problem has almost become an expectation of jaded gamers everywhere.
Let’s quickly run down a list of games that have released over October and November that were broken, glitchy, or otherwise unplayable; Driveclub, NBA 2K15, Assassin’s Creed Unity, LittleBigPlanet 3, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, WWE 2K15. I’m sure I’m missing a few, please feel free to let us know in the comments which games you encountered serious issues in. The point is though that in a mere two month period I quickly listed six full priced AAA titles that were released with serious playability issues. Ok, well some infractions were worse than others but the point still stands. How is this acceptable?
Is this something that should be expected now with publishers pushing development teams to their limits to make unrealistic deadlines? Let’s consider the team behind Assassin’s Creed Unity for example. Do you think they worked their asses off just to have their game be lambasted by media and gamers alike for serious issues? We’re talking about thousands upon thousands of work hours full of late nights, overtime, and little to no time off just to have players brush them off as lazy developers. I can’t imagine that was the case at all. I can imagine, however, that the team might have been pushed hard to meet a release date for a game that just wasn’t quite ready to hit the shelves. In turn, people who shelled out a hard earned $60 had to wait for patches and various fixes to be rolled out over the next few weeks. On Ubisoft’s part they ended up giving everyone who bought the game free DLC just to try and say sorry which in turn hurts their own bottom line. Is it not safe to say that they might have been better off delaying just a little bit longer to release a playable title on release day?
The instances of games being broken upon release or promises of features in a game that never quite materialize is steadily on the rise. We’re seeing it more than ever and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. While I personally haven’t encountered any serious issues there have been rumblings about issues with the recently released ‘The Crew’ from Ubisoft. It’s a sad state of affairs when gamers are expected to just put up with these issues as par for the course for new games. No matter which console or platform you choose to play on they all have broken games; Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, EA, 2K etc… almost everyone is guilty.
As the number of broken games being released has risen though, so has the dissatisfaction of gamers. More than ever they are speaking out about issues and expecting companies to stand behind the products they make. At some point it would seem that this will all come to a head but who knows what the end result will be. I’d hope that publishers are listening to their customers and that perhaps we’ll see a decline in the future. As it stands though, the current gaming climate is rife with patches, hot fixes and “We’re Sorry” official statements.
What do you think the future holds? We’d love to know your thoughts so feel free to leave them in the comments.