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Unfinished business! What's going on here!

Updated on November 8, 2012
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I played a lot of video games as a kid and honestly I can't recall many games with really noticeable glitches, I'm not saying there wasn't any, just that they were few and far between.

Before the idea of having a constant internet connection came along, which allowed developers a direct link to your system; it seemed as if they kept the games on the burner until they were completely done. Now though, it seems as if they release games before they should, with the thought they'll just patch up any issues later.

Obviously not all games with glitches fall into this category, but there are a few standouts, for example the Fallout series.

I've also noticed that they're releasing betas for games that are already complete, which just doesn't make sense to me. I guess it's too ramp up the hype, but it just doesn't seem right.

I know with the advancement of technology and of course the margin of error for the human involvement, it's not an easy task to make a perfectly polished game. However, I don't think it's asking too much that a $60 game be playable from the moment you take the shrink wrap off either.

There also doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency on the developer's part to release the patches to fix the said issues at hand either, sometimes it takes weeks, months or even in Call of Duty's case, years. I don't know if they're not aware of them until it's pointed out, or if for our $60 we're buying a beta which we are the testers for, which in turn would make it more playable for the people who decided to wait on picking it up on release date and buy it later on down the road. Not every game, but there are some that I like to purchase brand new when they're first released, but now I may start to wait until they're used.

EA should really forget about the online pass thing and just focus on releasing games with the least amount of glitches as possible, maybe people would buy more games new if it wasn't such a gamble. A perfect example of this is the latest Medal of Honor game, hoping only to beat Black Ops out of the starting gate, they released a game that still had at least a couple months left of QA and polishing.

Just my thoughts, anyone have anything to add?

Michael

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    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      And this is why I play Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes. Because it doesn't matter if the huge "BETA" word is removed from the home page, the game is complete. And if there's anything wrong with the game the devs and pubs can say "Oh who cares, it's open BETA!" But seriously, that game's awesome.

      There's many games out there though which don't feel full, and I have to agree. For sixty bucks I expect well over 9 hours of content, and I'm not going to keep the thing just so the company can patch it. I'll trade it in and get something that's worth my fragging time. I do agree with Medal of Honour being incomplete - it had few bugs that I remember (or a story, cast or climax that I remember), but it still didn't compete at all with anything else. I find it hard to believe that Frontlines: Fuel of War was longer, and each mission in that was only 30 minutes long. THERE'S 8 MISSIONS IN THAT GAME!

      It's not just EA doing this. If anything, they're doing it right. They brought out regular content for Age of Reckoning, SW:TOR (insert Nelson laugh here about its F2P escapades) and even Mass Effect to stop everyone crying about a visual spectacular. Though it wasn't really what I wanted. EA are a bad company, but they're not the worst. They don't make sequel after sequel ALWAYS as an excuse to make money. Bungie is one example - Halo 3: ODST was supposed to be released at DLC price, and was never intended to sell for 60 bucks. But Microsoft Game Studios said "no - you WILL sell this 5 hour campaign at a full 60 bucks to those retards out who call themselves fans".

      Apologies for my rant. Voted up and useful - you're fragging right about this!

    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 4 years ago

      You're right, it's a whacky situation. Interestingly, in the UK, if you buy a game that's riddled with glitches/bugs you can return it to the store you bought it from citing the Sale of Goods Act. (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/281679/buggy-...

      Of course, stores are so reluctant to take them back and say that you need to contact the manufacturer. That's a lie since you bought it from the store and thus you have a contract with them. Hopefully this'll help anyone buying the upcoming Black Ops 2 which will no doubt be full of glitches ;)

      Great article.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @JohnGreasyGamer you are absolutely right, it is not just one company doing this, unfortunately this seems to have become a common practice among many developers in the game today. I do believe it is the fault of a constant internet connection that this takes place, not that I have a problem with it overall, but it has made some developers feel they can just release half done products with the thought they'll just patch it later.

      Thanks again my friend for the positive feedback.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @SolveMyMaze that's actually a really good act...and honestly, should be brought over to the US. That way developers would be more cautious of trying to release "betas" and passing them off as the finished product.

      Thanks for the positive feedback...I really appreciate it.

    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 4 years ago

      I'm shocked they don't have a similar Act in the US. It's a shame that the end user always get's shafted by big companies!

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
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      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @SolveMyMaze true...we need something like the "Lemon Law" for electronics here in the US.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_law

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Bah! I had a already typed out a long response when I accidentally hit a wrong key combination and caused my browser to go back. Ugh.

      Anyway, time to do this again I suppose.

      Michael, remember your other article entitled, are we spoiled as gamers? Does the same question apply to this topic? When ever it comes to bugs you many not remember that games were buggy in the early days of gaming, in the 80s and 90s but they were. Furthermore, I think what has occurred and why the appearance of games being more buggy this time around lies in the fact that for the console gamer, this is the first generation that games for consoles can actually be patched.

      So is it that games are releasing more "buggy" or is it the ability to patch them giving off this appearance of games being "more" buggy? You see the bugs still existed with in older games and you might not have even been aware that such glitches or bugs existed in the previous games because there was no way for the developers to fix these matters once the game was published. Now, that developers can fix the bugs on console games all of a sudden it may seem like devs are releasing games that are not completed or polished as "good" as they used to be in the past.

      This is not something new though to anybody who has been involved in PC gaming as the patching process for PC games has been an ongoing one for years with in the PC gaming. As a matter of fact it is one of the ignorant statements that was often labled at PC games by console gamers in that they were always buggy and needed to be patched.

      Furthermore, there reaches the point in time in any creative endeavor were one has to state that it is good enough, or nothing will ever be released. A writer can sit back and work on the rewrite of something for ever, because usually it will never be good enough in the end, through some pursuit of "perfection." Actually it is funny, the world of books have their own patching system in place. Since most books release in Hardcover, there are times were editors can miss errors and the book will be published with these errors. The paperback will see a "patch" take place when it is released a year later.

      Of course, this brings us to the Lemon Law and this Sales of Good Act. The arrogance, spoiled nature, and this idea everything being perfect anymore is reaching a point were if matters like this keep getting pushed, who knows, you may not have any video games to complain bout at all to play as ridiculous standards get set into place that would see to it eventually that it isn't worth the time and effort to produce anything if "perfection" is required. Seriously, do you return a bugged book because it accidentally has them instead of the, or they instead of the. The only reason I would return a book would be if pages were actually missing, which is the fault of a the production of the book, or if somehow during the same productions process the words were smeared or something along those lines.

      Anyway, that is another topic and another discussion on more of a philosophical and political nature. So back to the topic at hand.

      The bugs and patching doesn't bother me that much when it comes to games releasing "incomplete." What does bother me is when a game actually does release incomplete due to the used game market as developers are trying to figure out ways to entice gamers to buy the game at new price. What I am talking about is either the various "pre order" bonuses that comes attached to games, or games that hold back content for the finished product release it as DLC on the day of release or a week or so later.

      For the first instance I remember when Arkham City was releasing last year that if you preordered from this place you could play the challenge maps as this character, but if you preoredered from this place you could play as this character. Oh, not to mention 5 different skins for Batman in various costumes from the comics and animation series. All this stuff was developed and could have been implemented into the final game, but because of the used game market and devs and publishers trying to entice people to buy the game at $60 dollars they do this business now.

      Another fine example of this is apparently when Dragon Age Origins released they already had a DLC available the day of the games release. This DLC was there when you first went to your camp the first time and there was a quest giver there, talking to this quest giver eventually led to the point where the game asked you to buy the DLC.

      So here goes instances in which a game is truly incomplete, or content held back, because devs and publishers need to make up for the used game market and figure out others to make money on the product.

      For me this is the more disturbing trend that has taking place then the whole bug and patching issue that you bring up here in this piece. It is actually one of the reasons I don't buy a game new anymore for the most part as well when it releases. I still buy games new since I am more a PC gamer anymore and not a console one. Yet, I don't buy day and date of release not only because of the whole $60 price tag, but because you have games that will eventually release ultimate editions or "enhanced editions" or Game of the Year editions later that will include all this DLC and crap in it at half the price that you would have bought the game at when it was brand new.

      For instance they are releasing a GOTY edition to Batman AC next month that will include all the various preorder BS and the like. You can get the Dragon Age Origins Ulitmate edition that includes the expansion and all the DLC. As a matter of fact this is the cheaper way to go now. I was giving a free copy of DA:O from EA for the one year anniversary of Orgin. It wasn't the ultimate edition though, so for me to get all the DLC plus the expansion would cost me 20 for the expansion and roughly another 20 I think for the DLC.

      The ultimate edition sells for 30 bucks, or can go on sale for cheaper than that as Amazon had it 15 bucks recently and Steam had it on sale for 7.49 recently.

      Anyway, change your approach to gaming, if you don't think games are worth $60 then don't buy them brand new on day and date of release. A game you haven't played is still a new game regardless if you buy it a year after it was released.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel you know what, you do bring up a very good point my friend...something to really think about.

      Bugs/glitches have been around since video games came onto the scene, they just seem more prevalent today because patches/updates are more commonplace today, which in-turn makes them more noticeable...in the grand scheme of things, I guess ignorance really is bliss...and when all is said and done, I am a spoiled gamer. Thanks for helping me see a different prospective on this, I really appreciate it.

      Also, I completely agree with you in regard to the whole DLC/add-on bonuses, it's really getting out of hand. However, as much as I hate to admit it, I do understand why companies/developers have to do it...or at least something along those lines. With the used game market being what it is today and gamers waiting for the inevitable price decrease when a game goes to the used market, which really isn't all that long nowadays, these companies have to come up with a way to entice people to buy new. Unfortunately, at the end of the day it's just business, whether we like it or not.

      Oh yeah, sorry for the issue while posting...please don't hold it against me, I had nothing to do with it LOL.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      @Michael

      I do my best to try to logically show a different perspective.

      This is just another reason that unlike some I side with the developers and console makers desire to get rid of the used game market. It is in the end is doing more harm than good to the industry as a whole and many gamers probably don't even think about how it affects them beyond just the price point of a game.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel the used game market does cause a lot of waves, some for it and some against it, but realistically it's not going anywhere...at least anytime soon. It's kind of a double edged sword for me, I do enjoy buying games at a cheaper price that I most likely would never play but at the same time I don't like what it's doing to developers and ultimately the effects it has on us consumers.

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