I need to start off by reminding you that I am 30 years old. This means I was born in 1981 and starting really getting into games (mostly computer games) around 1989 and the early 90’s, before the internet was widely used. I’ve been hard at it ever since.
I’ve been noticing a growing horrible trend. It may be a bit too late to talk about it now seeing as how this is old news to some, frustrating news to others, and has always been normal every-day stuff for the rest. I’m talking about lazy game development.
The latest AAA title release from developers Gearbox and publishers 2k games is what has finally pushed me over the edge and prompted me to begin this blog entry. Yes, I know the game Borderlands has been out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 for quite a while now, but is plagued with bugs, many of them started off as game breakers. Just take a look over at the official forums to see what I’m talking about.
What has me up in arms here is actually 2 related topics.
First off, game developers are lazy. Back before the internet was used for games we would see official released, completed and packaged games for both the oldest of consoles and the earliest of computers. You may not think about it, but back then developers didn’t have the luxury of patching their games. There was no quick internet download patch, the game consoles were not connected 24/7 to the internet. What you got was what you got, finished product, nothing else to download, nothing else to patch.
But, today we have the internet connected to everything from our computer, console, TV, and cellphones. What has this done to quality game development? It’s caused it to go the way of the lazy. Taking a look at Borderlands, we see the plague of bugs around their fully released AAA game and we as consumers are just expecting them to patch up the bugs in a soon to be released patch (or patches).
Why do we expect this? Because this is the current trend in game development. Develop a game, spend less on testing, more on marketing, expect the release day customers to buy and freely test our games without them even knowing it. They post up on our forums with their bug findings, we fix the bugs in a couple of patches a week or three later, problem solved.
Meanwhile the retail customers are stuck with a game that in many cases is full of game breaking bugs and playability issues that should have easily been fixed with proper in-house testing.
Shame on you lazy game developers!
Why do we put up with this?
This brings me on the 2nd related topic. Taking a look at the forums of many of these bug ridden games we see that many of the customers expect to have a few bugs in their newly purchased game. What’s worse is if you complain about the bugs these same customers (who bought and own the same game you have) spout off nonsense about how you should be patient and wait for the game developers to release the patch, since the game is ‘just brand new’.
Wait a minute? I am expected to wait for a patch to fix bugs that already show up in a game that is already released before I can play the game as intended? What happened to testing the game before releasing? And why do these customers find this to be normal and actually expect the games to be released full of bugs? What happened to expecting quality from a product you buy?
At what point did consumers start believing new and broken is worth full retail price or simply worth buying at all? Why do I get castrated on a game forum by my fellow game enthusiats when I post up about how I think it’s absurd that I have to wait for a patch on my brand new game? Why are they selling themselves short, expecting less out of their retail purchase than I do?
And I refer you back to the first topic, lazy developers and taking the quick and easy route rather than the responsible route.
Bring back the quality!