There are so many days where I will sit down and play a game, only to end up yearning for yesteryear. You all know what I mean, you will play a brand new “AAA” release, only to run into a game breaking bug after 45 minutes. Sure, a patch will be released shortly to fix it, but will probably break three other things within the game which require yet another patch. This cycle continues until finally the developer stops supporting the game.
This type of life cycle for a game didn’t exist prior to game consoles having network capability. If a company released a broken game, it was broken forever. I mean, they could always update the game in later iterations of the cartridge or disc, but the copies out there could never be fixed. Personally, I wish it was still that way.
Game developers get to work with a net in today’s atmosphere. This past week, I picked up MLB 16:The Show for my PS4. Online play is a huge part of their marketing and a huge part of the game that was said to be improved in this year’s game, and yet, I was unable to complete an online game for the first 10 days of the game, until a patch was released a few days ago making things a little better. The company did offer $15 of in-game currency items as compensation for the issues, but still, this sort of thing is commonplace in today’s gaming landscape.
I hate it.
There doesn’t seem to be pride taken in putting out a good game anymore. It’s just a business of deadlines and marketing. Games are only delayed when its absolutely necessary to do so. I’ve pretty much stopped buying games on release day for the simple reason that I might as well wait until its patched and some, not all, of the issues are addressed. In 1990, if a company put out a game with a terrible bug, no one would buy it. Of course, there wasn’t any internet then to spread the word of a game’s sucky nature, but you always had the opportunity to rent games back then before buying them, so you could give them a test run.
Me writing this article, shaking fist at society!
I dunno, I guess it just bothers me. Maybe I’m getting old, but I have always considered making video games a certain kind of art form. You put your heart and soul into a game and watch people react to it out in the real world. They like it or hate it or somewhere in the middle, and you move on to the next project, always in the pursuit of the perfect game. Today’s landscape makes it seem like its alright to put out unfinished art. We are to the point where games receive ‘Day Zero’ patches, like you have to patch the game before it’s released…that’s just sad.
Again, maybe it’s just me. It’s not lost of me that today’s games are uber-complex when compared to the games of the past. Every aspect of gaming is enhanced from console generation to generation so I’m sure there are more moving parts which can breakdown. Games are larger, longer, more advanced, more online than ever before, so perhaps there just isn’t enough time to test every possible aspect of a game before release, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. We live in a pass/fail world where things and people are judged and immediately labelled. Video games doesn’t buy into that. Business models are often totally dependent on downloadable content (DLC) to lengthen the life of a game. Imagine being able to buy the warp whistles in Mario 3 for $1.99? Yea, I can’t either.
I guess when it all boils down to it, I want finished games, I don’t want developers being able to use online connectivity as a safety net. I don’t want to sit down to play a game, only to have to wait for a 700mb update file to download, which will allow me to finally use that door that glitches out every time I try and use it.
I want finished product.
I’m going to go play Mega Man 2 now and stop yelling at my computer screen…until next time!