Ever since the launch of the current generation consoles we’ve seen launch day problems from games like Battlefield 4, Assassins Creed Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, just to name a few and quite frankly, every time a game is released in this state, it damages the gaming industry. After a shaky launch day for a game, you can quite often head over to Reddit and see right there on the front page, a post either making fun of the developers or videos showcasing these bugs. It’s a sorry state of events and is absolutely absurd that developers and publishers alike can allow unfinished games into the homes of their most loyal fans, just to be patched later.
We’ll pick apart some of the games I just mentioned to be begin with. Battlefield 4 was forced to launch mainly because EA was in the driving seat of that game. The game launched with some terrible lag that made the game almost unplayable, unstable framerates as well as a whole slew of other things leading a revolt from Battlefield fans. Fortunately, after seeing the error of their ways this time round, they decided that Battlefield: Hardline was not going to be ready on their original October 2014 launch date and delayed it until this month, not wanting a repeat of last time.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is also experiencing multiplayer matchmaking issues much like Battlefield was, but these seem to be much worse, with both Microsoft and 343 Industries both scratching their heads looking for a solution. It’s hard to say whether this would have been avoided by a delay in the release but it sure as hell couldn’t have hurt!
Finally we’ll talk about the Assassins Creed Unity launch which was so dreadful, plagued with framerate and playable terrain issues that Ubisoft offered the first DLC for free to everyone who had bought the game and a free Ubisoft game to all those who had bought the season pass. While these reparations are a step in the right direction, how can developers allow games to be pushed out of the door with such glaring errors?
It seems ludicrous that games are marketed these days as something the developer worked so hard on that is promises to be “as bug free as possible” instead of it “working nicely and it’s everything we hoped for while developing this”. It’s so much more reassuring to hear the developer talk about how they had this idea for a while and have been working tirelessly to make sure it’s the best product they know how to make.
Which brings us to this point, how can games be allowed to be published like this, and what is the solution to this problem? It all comes down to money. While I have absolutely no problem with profit motives (I actually think it pushes people further), you get the feeling that there are some downright greedy publishers pressuring developers to release their game regardless of how bad the issues are so they can get the money, then just push a patch out later to fix the issues. If you’re reading this and you think this is a good way to do it. You’re a moron. It’s a terrible way to do it and reflects bad on the gaming industry. There are a few publishers I will not name that are extremely corporate, and I mean that in the worst sense of the word. This needs to change.
The correct way to handle these problems is to DELAY YOUR GAME. There is no shame in pushing a release date back by a few months. People understand it takes a while to make sure things run as smoothly as possible and games are one of those things that can’t be rushed, or you get complications. The thing about delaying a game versus releasing a buggy game is that the latter is so much worse than the delay, and there will be so much more backlash.
From the outside looking in, it seems the fix is a lot simpler than these publishers and developers want to believe, but releasing a buggy game is, scarily, becoming the norm for this industry since the current generation of consoles released in 2013. It has to stop, otherwise gaming will become a laughing stock.
What do you guys think, is it better for a publisher to push the release of a game back, or release a buggy product and promise to patch it in the weeks following the launch? Let us know down below!