Video Games – Ping of The Week – Broken Games

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*You can listen to the audio version on Me-Time Gamer Podcast – Episode 2*

2014 was a weird year when it comes to video games. We had awesome games like Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Far Cry 4, but we also had terrible games that fell short of the mark like Driveclub and Master Chief Collection. These were suppose to be big console movers but new owners of those games were met with a big disappointment when matchmaking wasn’t happening or people didn’t get a certain PS Plus edition of the game. What really happened that caused all these events which really just angered a lot of gamers? Was it negligence or just having trouble and not knowing what to do about it?

Let’s get one thing straight, this is in no way, shape or form acceptable because people pay big money for these games when they come out. At a price of about $70 a pop, you don’t want to wait for a patch that will come in 2 weeks. I don’t mind a day one patch because it probably fixes bugs that they found between going gold and launch day because if you think about it, they can’t call back the retail versions to fix stuff. This is where I think the new era of gaming helps a bit not like the old days of the NES where the game you got was the game you had forever, no revision change. Where the problem lies is when the game is broken when shipped and still is after a month, even 2 months after launch and people feel cheated.

This is where get into problems like when Shuhei Yoshida had to apologize for Driveclub. The game is not bad at its core but the online was completely broken right off the bat. Even today, they’re still updating it so we can have an optimal game. Because of the launch problems, the PS Plus Edition of Driveclub has been put on hold until further notice, which angered a ton of people. Looking at Master Chief Collection, I’m still hearing that matchmaking is touchy but in general is O.K.

Now who can we point the finger at? Well, there can me multiple culprits here. It could be shareholders weighting in more than they should because they want revenue and don’t really care about the gamers. In consequence, this leads to extremely tight deadlines and a hard push to reach the goal. Then, what might happen is publishers know that the game has issues but decides to release the game anyway and patch it later, which seemed to be a big trend in 2014.

Another avenue we can take is the new hardware. Are game developer overwhelmed by the new systems and their infrastructures? Maybe. What seemed to be the biggest problem last year was the multiplayer side of things. Going back to our usual suspect Driveclub, we can see that this might not have been an issue during development but when you have thousands of people login in at the same time, it creates an overload of demand that the coding might not have compensated for, especially if you only tested with a couple hundred people.

To wrap this thing up, I just hope that developers and publishers will take the time and create pristine games. If you have to delay it, do it if it will help your game. A bunch of games did it last year like Battlefield Hardline. When I was younger, I hated when games got pushed, but now I understand that at this point in time it might benefit gamers more to wait and get better, working games. That’s all us gamers really want at the end of the day.

Follow Me-Time Gamer on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! You can also read Jonathan’s articles at Gambitcon.com

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