Stop Giving Excuses for Unfinished Games Being Released

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This is an editorial piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

I’ve been playing video games since my first Game & Watch handheld back in the 1980s, and quickly upgraded to an Atari, then a Nintendo Entertainment System, and so on. Like most passionate gamers, I typically preferred to play games that were fun, yet ultimately finished and polished end products. Video games are products, and we are consumers of them.

A hot button topic for gamers, developers, and most especially publishers is what we now consider a “finished product” in video games. To some, this means you can play the game from start to finish, while others refuse to play games that won’t perform at 60FPS. I think we can all agree on one thing: we need to stop giving excuses for unfinished games being released.

Now before you get examples of the offenders in this issue, hear me out for a second. Would you buy a movie knowing that you can’t see the real ending unless you pay a little extra to view it? How about listening to a new album that has awful production values? With this reasoning, why are we putting up with the practices seen in the games industry?

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Honestly, I think we have been enabling game publishers, and by proxy game developers – because I don’t think the blame rests solely on game developers, and not all game developers or publishers are guilty of releasing unfinished products. We’ve been seeing the “foot-in-the-door” technique being used in this industry over the years, and it has to stop.

One of the more flagrant examples of this to launch recently is No Man’s Sky – a game that was hyped to no end from major outlets, Sony themselves, and more. Expectations were set sky high (pun intended) and the game launched plagued with performance issues and had content gutted from its release, presumably to make deadlines. Why was this acceptable?

With the advent of the internet, the world saw a technological and cultural revolution. For software and thus video games, this meant you could add to the product and apply changes or fixes to it after its release. Now, we have developers releasing unfinished, broken, gutted products with the promise of delivering the real deal later – sometimes never.

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Let’s go back to the foot-in-the-door technique. I believe that over time hardware manufacturers, publishers, and thus developers, slowly eroded away expectations from gamers as consumers. The gaming press is also to blame, as some will be complicit and sometimes even silent regarding a blatantly unfinished game – usually in the fear of getting press credentials revoked.

The release of broken and or deliberately unfinished games is a multi-headed beast that must be approached from all angles. There are also modern platforms like Steam Early Access, founders packs, Kickstarter, and so on that let players get their hands on early builds – however sometimes these games never see a “full” or “complete” release.

There are some games that have entire swaths of content not included in their original release, despite a massive budget and a big publisher. Look no further than Street Fighter V, which lacked both an arcade and story mode in its original release. Let me repeat that: a fighting game without an arcade or story mode. This obviously doesn’t include performance issues.

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Some games are even released with “day one DLC,” a frequent option happily adopted mostly by publishers to help encourage those cherished pre-orders. Unless said downloadable content is free, this is yet another blight upon the gaming industry that has to be stopped, else it continues being a cancer made to placate shareholders. This also includes those Season Pass schemes.

While games like Street Fighter V and No Man’s Sky have finally been updated to include content (No Man’s Sky still needs more content) they should have had at launch, the stuff coming with the pre-order DLC shenanigans are sometimes exclusive to pre-orders. Sometimes, this DLC is later released for purchase separately; again, content that should just be included in the game.

Perhaps I’m just being an old grognard over here, reminiscing over the days when I bought a game and knew I was getting the complete, finished experience. Sure there were bad releases prior to modern patches and updates, however they were far and few in-between. Games had to ship with all-or-nothing, and hardware manufacturers generally had stricter policies with releases.

Ultimately I think it’s ironic that we live in the most connected, informed era in the history of our species and yet we as consumers are being taken advantage of, and sometimes expected to just “give the game a chance” or told “the game will eventually be good.”

Some recent games have even seen ridiculous, decade-long (if not more) development cycles, multiple revisions, and still the shipped version has performance issues. In this instance I’m referring to Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian, both games having at least a decade of development, while the final release still has sluggish performance.

I oftentimes find myself wondering how games with blatant performance issues get a pass like this, whether its the game journalist, the gaming hobbyist, or even the publisher for allowing the game to release in such a state. Maybe you just need to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro, then the game will run properly.

I’ll finish this off with an often-repeated, yet sadly ignored quote. In the immortal words of the legendary creator Shigeru Miyamoto: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

How do you guys feel about the current state of game releases? How do you consider a game prior to purchasing it? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

About

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Niche Gamer. Italian, but I love Asian culture. I also write about music, comedy, noodles and beer.

  • Jack
  • Anon_Amous

    A lot of people bash Nintendo but I almost never have this problem with their content conversely to other publishers. Mind you I’m savvy enough to avoid things like Amiibo Festival and the new Mario Tennis.

  • Narmy

    “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
    Is that why Inafune delayed MN9 so many times?

  • Jeremiah Simpson

    Sometimes developers can’t fix a problem when the problem is the developer

  • Kiwi Hoy

    I know it’s somewhat of a narcissistic thought but I can’t help but feel like I caused this in part

    Which would be hysterical

  • OldPalpy

    Yeah that quote is basically a vapid platitude and I roll my eyes every time I see it. A delayed game MIGHT eventually be good, thinking otherwise is being extremely ignorant about this industry and it’s history.

  • Mir Teiwaz

    Nintendo has their own problems, like locking content behind amiibos that aren’t always easy (or cheap) to find, but they do generally put out games that feel complete at the very least..

  • sanic

    I gotta come from the other end here and ask the question when is a game complete?
    People are getting mad over the announcement that final fantasy 15 was going to get patches and they appear to have been in response to player feedback not hidden in the wings. It pisses me off that I’m sticking up for Square but they could have just not patched it and this wouldn’t have been something people got mad over. Heck they could have done the capcom thing and rereleased it as FFXV:hyper edition in 2 years and just made first time buyers get it again.

  • Jeremiah Simpson

    One thing most people would agree about Nintendo is they have some of the best QA

  • OldPalpy

    One example would be Team Ico and performance or should I say not giving a damn about it.

  • The patches is not why people are mad they are mad because after 10 years of development they released an early access game.

  • Well I made a point that not all games released pre-patch days were good.

  • Mr0303

    I think the two issues should be separate. Having bad performance and a game lacking content are two different problems.

    The former is the fault of the developers and the QA team and can be attributed to incompetence or tight deadlines, while the latter is a business move made by the publishers to extract more money from the product.

    While a buggy game can be a pain to deal with at least it’s fixable and you have no knowledge of it when buying it, while the fractured content issue will remain until the full game is released an year later. Microtransactions is another cancerous practice that has no place in “complete games” in the traditional sense.

  • What about their localizations.

  • It’s like people can not accept buyers remorse.

  • This is true…. I wanted to talk about both as related issues to the game being released as an unfinished product. Plus I sort of wrote this on a whim after thinking about it again recently

  • Xanados

    Well with FFXV remember when the new director took over they scrapped the story completely and redid it with 3 years time it was a convoluted mess from the start and nomura was only for the character design.

  • sanic

    You didn’t read what I wrote or misunderstood either way I’m going to need to give me your definition of an early access game if you are trying to talk to me.

  • King of Zeroes

    You must’ve skipped out on Xenoblade Chronicles X. Game played like a garbage fire until you downloaded a gargantuan dlc patch.

  • wombat

    I love glitches, but not when they’re prevalent like in so many modern games. They seem to just happen randomly much of the time. When a game is well made glitches will be hard to actually find, or require extremely specific things to get them to happen. I’ve had games so broken that I couldn’t play them because of glitches.

    Watch a Donkey Kong Country Speedrun (any category works, I like any% all stages, or just plain any% to see the most brokenness), the glitches in there will blow your mind, but also require very specific (and sometimes frame-perfect) actions that no one will find when playing the game normally. That’s an example of glitches I’m okay with.

    But modern games with physics breaking all over the place, or you randomly falling through the floor, or randomly disappearing graphics, or plot-crucial NPCs not appearing where they should… just stinks of incomplete game that wasn’t at all tested.

  • Mr0303

    Whether somebody makes excuses or not for both problems – buggy games and fractured content – at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. The open market doesn’t seem to judge them too harshly.

    We have Steam Greenlight, which is essentially testing beta versions of games and microtransactions in fully priced products. Both are already accepted industry standards. We’ve gone so far as to preorder a game we know nothing about with the whole crowdfunding trend.

    The average consumer is simply not careful enough with his purchases, which allows these practices to flourish.

  • Tristan (Chili1)

    Their localizations range from good to garbage. But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re typically good about releasing finished, highly polished games.

  • FrankieL

    I’ve thought about this problem. I feel the obvious “fix” to this problem that developers and publishers are going to use are episodic releases. We as gamers will not get a full story out of the gate and will be told so up front. You’ll be able to play the first story arc where the game can be polished to near technical perfection, the publisher will be able to gauge the sales performance, then decide whether or not to continue with the project. Naturally, prices would have to be much lower when consumer know they aren’t getting the entire story right off the bat. I think that’s the only compromise that makes sense in today’s gaming world of technical issues and unfinished stories.

    The newest Hitman game was the test for this new system. I don’t know how good the game was or if it had any technical issues or if the story ended up being shallow and half baked, but I bet SE watched that experiment very closely. I’m curious about anyone’s opinion of the game who’s played it and if SE’s episodic experiment detracted from the game as a whole when you got monthly-ish releases, if anyone cares to comment about it.

  • Kevin Maginnis

    I think one solution would be to stop announcing games so fucking early. Seriously, don’t set a deadline for yourself that you think you might be able to full-fill because chances are you can’t and you’ll release a shit product.

  • FrankieL

    One flaw with this is that developers and publishers would have no way of gauging interest in a proposed game. Perfect example is Deep. Where the hell is that game? Capcom announced it when the PS4 was first announced and it’s still nowhere in sight. I get the feeling they just cancelled it outright because there was little to no interest shown for it from the general public. Announcing a game tends to help a publisher determine if they should put money on something new. I think the better solution is to not even bother estimating an actual release window. That’s where the problem get’s worse. Just be bad asses and announce a solid release date when the game is only 3 months away from release. Not 6 or more. Look what happened to P5. Just say “The game will release when it’s ready, so stop badgering us.” And that’s where you get into the publisher’s throwing their weight around and demanding deadlines and such for a game to get done. Time is money, so perpetual development doesn’t work for publishers, so the “it’ll release when it’s done” path doesn’t sit well with the people funding the development in the first place… So there’s a lot of catch 22’s in this problem.

  • OSad

    Nintendo does have the least powerful hardware so they must have the best development standards. In a way, the lack of horsepower is pretty good in that it keeps developers honest and enforces good practices.

  • Matthew Hage

    Fucking Telltale’s Batman…

  • Guin

    The issue isn’t about their (horrible) localizations, but the completeness which is unarguably above average. I may hate NOA, but I give credit where it’s due.

  • Guin

    This is unfortunately the sad truth, especially moreso in the Visual Novel scene. Constant delays is a sign that development is experiencing “technical difficulties.”

  • Master Bating

    You’re just entitled mate

  • Master Bating

    “Maybe you just need to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro, then the game will run properly.”
    One more cancer to join DLC, paid online and Microtransactions.

  • Morunier

    I believe that NMS’s impending failure was cleverly harnessed by the gaming press ahead of time to funnel the ire of gamers away from where it might have mattered. To lead us on this twisting, manufactured narrative, a wild arc of expectation and disappointment, for us to understand just enough of the truth of the state of the industry to give us a dose of this false feeling of satisfaction and vindication, when the full truth would make us genuinely angry, make us want to overturn and set fire to the sports car collections of poor, downtrodden developers and marketing people. For every controversial title there are at least a dozen that are accepted by modern gamers without question.

    Ask why they didn’t point out, as many of us “amateurs” did, that it looked like shallow hipster dogshit right from it’s very first showing, and explained why. Why they didn’t compare it to similar games that are shown at press conferences at every e3 to date, with attractive graphics and little substance. Ask why the need for this whole tragic downfall bullshit to finally arrive at a very obvious verdict for just one fucking game among hundreds.

    And even if you don’t believe that we have been and are being heavily
    conditioned into docile consumers (which if you don’t, you’re an idiot),
    you have to admit it must have pulled in the hits in a big way.

  • Matthew Hage

    Funnily enough the video I saw showed that the PS4 Pro didn’t run a game like FFXV any better (though they said the issue was framepacing, not framerate).

  • garf02

    call me a fanboy or whatever and complain about it (and Superman 64) but this was one of the advantages of the old Nintendo Iron Claw.

    and the problem could be fixed at the root, AKA the providers of the online services that is what let devs not release broken shit and use excuses to patch it.

    Sony and Microsoft could demand better performance out of the games they allow in teh console. but they wont for several reasons

  • garf02

    Nintendo said it once, the reason they started to backdown in hardware in Wii (1 of the reason tho) is that old hardware meant people were more experienced in it. experience = skill = better final product

    at this point after all this time no one could code better than Nintendo in PPC

  • garf02

    if you mean LOCALIZATION like changing this dialog or censor this or that, they are guilty, but performance wise you dont see their games crashing trying to load.

    hell Look at Xenoblade X for a game of that size and the world features, the only problem pop-in that are due to hardware limitations.

    see then games like Order 1886, a corridor shooter scripted as FUK, and they get drops to the single frames

  • garf02

    the patch is for loading faster times. after the overworld is loaded there is no problem.

    also the DLC was not a patch, was simple a way to directly install what was in the BD on the Hard Drive to improve the reading times. get your shit right

  • Master Bating

    It doesn’t, the only change to the CPU was a slight Overclock from 1.6 to 2.1 Ghz meaning the updated GPU gets massively bottlenecked by it.
    You’re paying 400 dollars for a slight res bump or rarely a framerate bump.

    Its fucking asinine

  • Zero Eternity

    Nah, or I hope to god not. Episodic releases would be downright terrible. Eventually even the people who are okay with that kind of thing would decide not to buy episode 1 and just wait after experiencing one too cliffhangers and waiting 4 years where you no longer remember what the game was about.

  • garf02

    currently there is no way to say when a game is 100% complete, or when some of the content was gutted out on purpose.
    But there are thresholds of what we can argue is a complete game and the extra are DLC.
    again this might sound as fonboyims. but. SFV released with a piss poor roaster size.
    compared to Mario Kart 8 or even Smash. hell even Hyrule Warriors.

    people is mad mostly on FF XV is that a game that took 10+ Years out. is a technical mess at some points. story is meh. and yet they are announcing more “Story” DLC

  • Travis Touchdown

    Note how this wasn’t a problem before Sony and Microsoft entered the picture. And still isn’t, where Nintendo is concerned.

    The second gaming crash will bring an end to these unsavory practices. Developers are simply putting out too many games that NO ONE is buying. Final Fantasy XV and Street Fighter V are the beginning of the end for their respective brands.

  • True Goddess Reincarnation

    “Guys stop buying AAA games”

    Y…yeah

  • Guin

    Episodic releases only ever worked in the MMO genre and even then, they had content in between to keep the player base subbed.

  • Akeashar

    This problem goes back to the MS DOS days really. Elite – Frontier: First Encounters, an early CD Rom game that was all but completely unplayable unless you wanted to stick with the first ship without a patch.

    Day one DLC? Meet Ultima 7 Part 1 and 2 with their expansions.

    And don’t get me started on 3D Wolf and Doom. Buying all the episodes (when they were eventually released) and the constant patching you’d need to download off BBSs or hope that its on PC Gamer’s coverdisk.

    Its all nothing new if you’ve been around long enough. Except for random loot boxes, and spending real cash on it. You can thank Valve and Gearbox for those becoming so prevalent nowdays. Stupid hats…

  • Zero Eternity

    So lets see here, I’ll probably miss some but the things that need fixed or not done in games is; 1) poor performance/framerate, 2) microtransactions, 3) Continuous patches, 4) story related DLC /with high prices to boot, 5) season passes, 6)paid online multiplayer, 7) extended/plus editions, 8) pre-order only DLC, 9) Story endings behind a paywall/priced DLC 10) Content like Arcade or Story Mode not being included on the disk/cartridge already. 11) Censoring or altering the the game dialogue/scenes from the original work beyond making them understandable in the new language. 12) Bad translations 13) Unbeatable, broken games. Etc. What’d I miss?

  • Anon_Amous

    What about them? They’re finished. I’m more of a gameplay person than a trimmings person so NoA’s silliness doesn’t affect me too much.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    no game is ever finished unless it’s some random low budget title

    even my favourite game of all time demons,darks souls was unfinished

  • Zero Eternity

    Yeah that was always more understandable since MMOs were constantly adding new content. Had events in between, and I didn’t actually pay money in most of the ones I played. I think I only ever paid money in two of them and that was because I was a young idiot who hadn’t realized I could obtain the paid items,mounts during one of those in game events.

  • VERY TRUE

  • Grayares Fakcot

    well said.

    you can hate them all you want and pretend like they’re something new, but the fact that is we had to endure this since forever and will have to continue enduring, forever more.

  • bdp

    >One flaw with this is that developers and publishers would have no way of gauging interest in a proposed game.

    Not really an issue if a game is a sequel.

  • MachineCultist

    “informed era”

    I think we’re the most misinformed. Online everyone just runs off to their safeplace / echochamber to feed their delusions and name call and attack people with other opinions instead of debating or gaining any real knowledge or experiences. And you either conform to a groupthink or you end up getting ganged up on and run off or banned. These days it’s incredibly hard to find a good honest source of any news that doesn’t just have a group they pander to for profit. Even fake news is believed to have played a big part in the recent US election, as well as Liberal circlejerking about how they had already won.

    I don’t want to say we’re the most ignorant since there are much worse era’s of that, but most misinformed we certainly are.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    the more information you have the more misinformed you are

  • MachineCultist

    Mark Twain?

  • I think I should have put a bit more exposition but I didn’t want to come off as full of myself or something. I tend to consider myself primarily a console gamer, and most of my history in games are with consoles.

    I didn’t game on PC heavily until probably the late 90s early 2000s, and even then I primarily played single player stuff. I don’t really remember THAT much post-launch patches and things like that, you know? I just feel like the past couple years have only seen it get worse, mostly with Early Access and things like that.

  • landlock

    I play a lot of games and while there are a few graphical glitches here and there ReCore (2016), Far Cry 4 (2014) and Skyrim (2011) are the last games I remember that had game breaking bugs in them that I came across.

    ReCore I had to start the final boss 4 times to get it to work correctly.

    Far Cry 4 stopped saving my game after a certain point so I manage to finish it but couldn’t do any of the side bits.

    Skyrim obviously had some broken quests including the Thieves guild missions that stopped working. If you took to long.

    other then that I’ve been good all round in terms of glitches.

  • Akeashar

    I’ve bounced back and forth between PC and consoles, just heading back to PC after a long time on consoles for the last few years. I really didn’t miss screwing around with config settings when I was playing on consoles, tbh.

    Back in the 90s, before they had that new fangled internet thing worked out and being able to get games patched directly from launchers, if you got a new game you’d be hanging out for the latest games magazine coverdisk for patches, and checking to see if the dozens of patches and mods that were on the disks were ones you already had, or new ones. Every major release had multiple patches for it, both with the single player and multiplayer games. SSI’s Gold Box, and the C&Cs, Unreal Tournament and Baldur’s Gate.

    The example I mentioned, First Encounters, was the first time I’d encountered a physical release that had a bug that was so utterly gamebreaking that the publisher actually distributed free disks to all the game stores so that people could actually play the game they bought. I’ve not really seen a release that was that utterly unplayable, but then again with Day One patches, how would we know?

    But in the Pre-360 and PS3 days, consoles really weren’t that patch friendly. The Xbox had some, and the PS2 with its HDD had some patches too. But when there was a broken game that had glitches, gamers just really had to suck it up and either play it anyway or return it. I know theres some PSX games I’ve played that would’ve definitely needed patching to fix some bad bugs, but the option was never there. (That and the memory card would never have enough space to hold them!)

    Early Access is a weird beast since its essentially people paying to be in on Alpha and Beta, and then sometimes the games gets abandoned and never ‘Finished’. But I’ve also seen games that I personally would consider completely playable remain in Early Access for some time.

  • I have to wholeheartedly agree with you on this, Brandon. I’m genuinely sick and tired of having to fork out extra cash where it isn’t needed, and I would rather wait for a game to be released in full, even if it takes several years to get it done, because I want a complete experience from the get-go, not later down the line. Not to say we can’t get extra stuff, but there’s a reason it’s called “extra” stuff and not “the rest of it”.

  • Smug

    psshhh…. get a job…. kiddo….

  • Smug

    >second vidya crash happens
    >nintendo dies alongside with sony
    >cody then commit suicide
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19668b5fdb6feb87851522ca17339729ee7282445e4c76c123a651c41904df63.png

  • Smug

    “Fake news”, just like “alt-right”, are both memes used by the mainstream media, which is losing power over non-corporate news for a lot of topics (immigration, globalization, oversea wars, environmental issues and corruption).

    Hence why the EU is trying its hardest to censor them

  • Smug

    if your sole sources of information are from the MSM, then obviously you wont know shit

  • Early access is basically you paying for an incomplete game. Don’t you steam?

  • SalsaMoose13

    I’m looking at you, Bethesda.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    the opposite also holds true.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    the difference between day one patch and no patch is that the latter you laugh at the bugs for being “lol so random” when the first one you gets angry for “wow look i found this 1 minor bug i need my money back shit dev 0/10 would not play again”

  • 2501

    Oh wow, that Last Guardian footage. It was like one frame for every year.

  • Smug

    that really depends of the context
    when it comes to the subject of immigration for instance, there is no corporate french news that ever told you the situation in Calais was so fucking bad, alongside of every major town that sheltered them (just like nothing was said about migrants being in majority adult males and mostly from Africa). Not to forget that in France it’s illegal to make demographic researches or polls based on race and religion. In fact, despite officials claiming the contrary, freedom of speech doesnt exist in the country (or EU in general) unlike in America

  • Grayares Fakcot

    in this case, the author of this article is horribly misinformed while claiming that this is the “information age”.

    scroll down and read Akeashar’s posts.

  • Smug

    My problem with current games especially on consoles is that developers have become too lazy to fix shit beforehand and release a broken piece of shit that costs you 40-50 bucks (looking at you Eiyuu Densetsu Zero on Vita in particular, should have just played the PSP version right away instead).

    Bugs and other shit in games existed before, but it wasnt that much of a widespread issue like it is now.

  • totenglocke

    You’re spot on. That’s why I almost never buy new games anymore because it’s only half the game and if you wait a year or more, you can get the full game plus save money. DLC is a cancer to the industry. Digital distribution is great, but the practice of splitting games into a dozen pieces each sold separately and released at different points in time is fucking awful and I despise gamers for bending over and taking it in the ass while saying “THANK YOU, SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?”.

  • totenglocke

    If only the size of the optional install content wasn’t the size of the entire fucking internal storage. That’s honestly my only real hardware gripe with the Wii U, the pathetically small internal storage.

  • totenglocke

    Expansions are not DLC. Expansions are whole new story lines that continue to original game and are essentially a sequel, but they reuse the original engine and graphics to greatly speed up development time…which is why expansions usually sold for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of a full game.

  • Flamingfighter

    Bethesda will never be held accountable because the “It’s a feature” meme has become true. fans of Fallout and Elder Scrolls will actively defend glitches or bugs saying that they are part of the experience like it’s a good thing

  • DDD-kun

    Many factors can go into that. But I can tell you easily one factor that will help a customer understand and even be helpful is being transparent. It’s the same principal on getting your food delayed at a restaurant: A waitress or waiter playing games and not being up front about what’s going on is likely to have guests walk out or get a pitiful tip. Someone worth their salt that’s honest about the delay, comps your drinks, and maybe offers a fast and light entree is going to possibly win themselves regular customers.

  • Random Dude

    It just works!

  • AR7777

    I have never bought a DLC and never will and have never spent a cent in microtransactions. Won’t ever pre order anything neither, those policies are shit and can only be stopped if people stop supporting them.
    The thing is there’s a legion of retards out there who not only buy into all that crap, they even whine when a game doesn’t have DLC.

    I miss the old days when you just bought the game and that was it, the whole fucking game.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    Your mistake is in thinking this is a new phenomenon. The only difference the internet brings is that we have a wider variety of echo chambers and fake news (what we used to call propaganda) than before.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    It’s all “fake news” in the modern era and has been since at least the days of the yellow press if not even before. The only difference is that we’re not calling it what it really is: propaganda. Free societies allow the most forms of propaganda to coexist; you know you are living under a brutal authoritarian regime when sources of propaganda contra to the ruling oligarchy are squelched like you see in Europe.

  • Knikki

    That’s bullshit. Doom’s first episode was shareware and episodic content is not at all comparable to day one DLC or games being in an unfinished and unplayable state. If anything Doom is an example of the exact opposite of modern trends.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    On the flip side, we have steam sales and bundles which allow us to hoover up even triple A games for pennies. People who buy games on release are unpaid QA for those of us who wait for the sales. We appreciate their service, but question their sanity.

  • Captain Vidya

    >SEGA rises from the ashes
    >all those IPs they have laying around are revived with them
    >new Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Clockwork Knight, Vectorman, Jet Set Radio, Alex Kidd, Panzer Dragoon, Skies of Arcadia, Puyo Puyo, Shenmue, Yakuza, Valkyria Chronicles, Billy Hatcher, Super Monkey Ball and even good new Sonic games for years to come

    Where’s my ticket to that timeline?

  • UnpluggedBeta

    lol, people still buy games at release?

    Why?

    Well, whatever, thanks for doing unpaid QA testing for me when I buy the “goty” version months later in some bundle or steam sale!

  • Smug

    and that’s why americans must continue to fight for freedom against enemies from the inside (as well as against the outside influence)

    The moment you guys lose the first and second amendment, it’s going to be hell

  • Mr0303

    Sales are pretty standard in any industry and the value of the product goes down as time passes. The functionality and fragmentation problem are pretty exclusive to the gaming industry.

    As for the people who buy games on release – they are the most important customers and without them the gaming market will crash.

  • Paying for playing online on console is also a modern cancer that way too many people have accepted easily in my opinion. We are getting scr*wed left and right, and tons of fools are ok with this. DLC all the day pre-ordering bonus, cut content.

    At this point and all those years we had to wake up, NOTHING will change it will only get worse. Young players are used to this and think it’s perfectly normal.

  • OldPalpy

    Yeah the term for that is “development hell”.

  • Ax

    But what if i want those shekels?

  • John Smith.

    I got two theories going on in my head and they both add up to a shitty outlook on things.
    No 1: Game companies create a game, then either removed bits and pieces of the finished products coding or adds in a bit of coding that locks away parts of it for future DLC releases. This is done as a way of further monetizing the product in way to offset any projected losses from piracy.
    In short, loyal costumers get shafted by greedy companies to pay off any losses produced by freeloaders. (How fucking Marxist!)
    2: Companies create a game but decided to not include the entire product into the initial release to save money on development as they have no real idea how well it will sell. If the game sells well, not included, but planned content will be released as a mix of free and pay to play DLC to keep players hooked on the game to extend profits through privacy violations(EA) for cash or from micro transactions in an online mode.
    Either way, game companies use the media to build up hype, lures players into buying their products on day one and then puts their faith into players having too much pride to admit they just got scammed into paying over a $100 for a $30 beta game by a hipster.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    >become too lazy
    they’ve always been lazy. if you actually think there are more games that are released broken now than then then you’re too young.

  • sdmblack

    To be fair, Amiibo Festival is a very well polished…dice roller? Very stable framerate, smooth models.

  • malbhet

    So damn True.

  • Meittimies

    Lets not look at past pc games releases with rose-tinted glasses, Windows ME-era games in particular were sometimes hard as hell to make them work. Sacrifice and Messiah come to mind which are hard to make work on modern PCs as well. Not to mention the way faster evolution of graphics card, resulting in your less than a year old card not being able to support most of the newest games available. And finally games either got patched once every blue moon or not at all so you were stuck with whatever bugs or online balance problems the game had.

    Only thing older games did better was not being released in a clearly unfinished and untested state.

  • braneman

    What I really hate is when an early access game gets the EA status as an excuse. It happened with ARK and most of the bugs/exploits are still there and the developers just keep piling on more content rather than fixing what they’ve got already.
    It really annoys me when steam reviews will ignore problems with games like they did with Starforge based on what could be coming in the future. Because Starforge is a dead unfinished pile of crap that never went anywhere but sold pretty well because of the promises of the developers fooling people into writing positive reviews.

  • RAMIREN

    Some people may not agree with me here, but the way I see it, the problem is two fold, we have developers pushing out shoddy products and a huge chunk of gamers enabling them. This all started to become common place around 2007-2008 when COD:MW launched and gaming experienced an influx of otherwise casual players. Three key things happened.
    1 – Developers started to target them as the larger casual demographic, non sports/fps/racing games became niche with some notable exceptions. They realised this huge demographic was profitable with minimal effort, hence multiple versions of what is essentially the same game. (FIFA, COD, etc)
    2 – Quality dropped as the casuals have no experience of the golden age of gaming when games worked properly at launch and DLC/microtransactions weren’t a thing. These people don’t know any better so they don’t demand it and devs/publishers happily take advantage.
    3 – Even younger non casual gamers who play outside the casual range have no idea what gaming used to be like as they weren’t born, hence they fall into the same trap as the casuals.

    This quality drop is now systemic, profitability is now king, appealing to the casual majority is norm, and as long as the casuals acquiesce it’ll stay that way. Because the buying power of non-casual gamers is in the minority now.

  • Feniks

    “Perhaps I’m just being an old grognard over here”

    You are I’m afraid. Most gamers don’t want to wait a few months before all the patches and dlc are out. I doubt they even care.

  • Feniks

    Everyone’s got an agenda. If you want objective truth you won’t find it anywhere.

    Of course most people just want to hear things they agree with.

  • Anon_Amous

    Yeah that may be true. Polish and actual gameplay content being interesting are two different things I suppose. I doubt it’s buggy.

  • d0x360

    Games have been being released unfinished and buggy since pre NES. The difference is today they can be fixed. Then if you got a buggy cartridge it was yours and unless you waited 3 months and bought the game again chances are every single bug was still there. How many revisions of Mario and Zelda alone were released? Even on n64 there were multiple revisions of games…games that cost $90 and you were SOL if you had the broken one.

    Yea it sucks when bugs slip through but I thank God (not actually god) that they can be fixed. What I find unforgivable are games like AC Unity, Batman, the division, mkx etc which were released broken on purpose and they knew it would take months to fix if they ever got fixed at all. That’s unacceptable.

    When it comes to ubi soft it’s a result of the fact that they have like 5 different 150+ people studios working on a single game then near the end all these disparate systems made by separate teams with separate team leads gets cobbled together and nothing works. This is usually about a month maybe 2 before release and then it’s a mad rush because unlike Nintendo and to some extent Microsoft and Sony other companies won’t delay their games until they are done.

    Sad really.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Maybe if you take it at face value. I’ve always seen it as a “there’s no going back” sort of thing.

    You can’t redo a first impression, no matter how hard you try there aren’t any true take-backs. People are going to remember.

    I think that may have been what he was getting at.

  • Mr.Sixes

    I find this saying to ring hollow

  • Mr.Sixes

    I actually skipped over all these releases, I’ve loved some games that were said to be rushed despite some frame hick ups and long load times due to bad optimizing. I however am getting frustated with games that are like fallout where it’s clear they put a LOT of love into everything…EXCEPT bug testing.

  • edge

    I don’t think we’ll see a second crash, just everything moving to ad revenue shitty mobile phone games. I guess we’d see a console gaming crash, if it doesn’t die in a few more years in favor of PC or tablets.

  • Smug

    Nigs and muslims being subhumans is closer to the truth than whatever agenda

  • Dale Frewaldt

    Bethesda did exactly this with Fallout 4. Didn’t change that from being a hot fucking mess.

  • Raijodin Urchak

    Great read – I completely agree.

    Until consumers start curbing their “GOTTAHAVEIT” impulses and start withholding dollars from these developers, nothing’s going to change.

  • garf02

    cause wiiU was not tailored to be “on installation” basis like PS or xb so a mandatory 500 GB hard drive was not needed, instead an smalled but more efficient SSD is a better choice.

    for people wanting to go full digital, there was always the option of their own external hard drives

  • totenglocke

    A single digital game almost completely fills the Wii U storage. Hell, I only have Mario Kart 8 & Hyrule Warriors DLC plus a handful of digital games from the virtual console and over half of the storage is gone. Not to mention if Nintendo cared about drive speed, they would have used USB 3.0 so that external hard drives wouldn’t run slow as frozen shit.

  • Carlos

    The quote stands true. If the developers were competent. The problem nowadays is that devs don’t know how to code for shit. They’re not even capable of developing in-house engines anymore and would rather use UE4 or shit-for-brains Unity3D, without actually having an understanding on how to actually program for those engines, so they end up falling into pitfalls and don’t know how to fix it. Many devs of yore would modify the engine to suit their needs and make the game based on that. Thus saving space and reducing memory footprint. Nowadays, no one seems to know how to compress their damn textures and audio, so we get games that are 20GB+ even if they’re remasters of games that were 8GB AT MOST back when they came out and even look and perform worse than the original release (Bioshock, I’m looking at you). They also can’t optimize for shit, leading to games that only look slightly better than past games and perform much much worse (Hello Deus Ex: MD). I’d love to get more technical but I’m sick, medicated and not thinking straight.