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#1 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

Day 1 patches are becoming the norm these days.

The most recent example of a game abusing the system is Medal Of honor: Warfighter. The game was shipped out barely running and a huge Day 1 patch was put out to essentially make the game playable. There are plenty of developers out there that are going the same route EA did with Medal Of Honor and I believe it's getting out of hand. Patches were implemented as system that allows further tweaking to the game after it's out in the market. Currently however, plenty of developers are putting out games with lack of polish and just relying on patching the game at a later time.

So what if you weren't able to access the Internet on the day of purchase, or had issues downloading the patch? Are you supposed to play a near beta version of the game?

This discussion also leads into consumer entitlement. What are you buying when you pick up a retail copy? Is it ok for the developer to give you, what is essentially, an incomplete product and then promise a day 1 fix?

I discuss all that in one of my videos, so check it out if you like.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

#3 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

Well, when the monolithic publishers started buying up developers and IP, it became less about shipping "when it's ready" and more about shipping "when it makes our quarterly figures look good". The consumers suffer buggy launches as a result. EA needed a hit soon, and they needed it bad. MoH:W missed.

#4 Posted by bibamatt (1090 posts) -

I think that it's a better situation than not being able to patch the game, like in the old days... I realise that the best scenario would be a game that doesn't have bugs and is totally cool from day one, but still... I think I'm ok with day one patches.

Also wanted to say that I like your videos! Your Assassin's Creed "where should they go next" was really well done. Good work!

#5 Posted by believer258 (12184 posts) -

I'm not watching your video.

Anyway, you need to remember that there are at least a few months between the time a game is done and the time it can be shipped. It's entirely possible that the development crew can just go back and find a bunch of bugs that they didn't have time or didn't notice before, and go in and fix that; otherwise they wouldn't be doing anything, except making Day 1 DLC. Or they could do both.

#6 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

@bibamatt: Yeah I totally do agree. What I'm mainly referring to are patches resembling Medal of Honor: Warfighter where the game was clearly not in a position to be shipped and a Day 1 patch was used to essentially fix it. That is where it gets out of hand. Obviously patches are a brilliant method of fixing bugs and whatnot with the game, but abusing them like that is kind of getting hectic.

#7 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

@believer258: What matters is adding to the discussion on the issue I'm bringing up, not watching the video :).

#8 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@psylah maybe if those developers cared and can't work on a deadline they wouldn't have accepted all that money in the first place? I'm sick of the 'oh poor developer, the mean old publisher offered them all that money and they were FORCED to take it!' Would you pay a restaurant up front for food, and when they didn't deliver would you say "that's okay, here's some more money, take as much time as you want". How about a renovation crew? Of course not.

I have a feeling you guys would be real bad business owners.
#9 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -

@Hyunickel said:

So what if you weren't able to access the Internet on the day of purchase, or had issues downloading the patch? Are you supposed to play a near beta version of the game?

Most of the Day1 patches are for multiplayer issues, not having access to the internet for a multiplayer patch is a non-issue.

As far as single player issues go, games have always had bugs and always will. I wish there was a better solution, but even with the best QC when you increase the number of players by multiple orders of magnitude issues are going to appear.

#10 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@psylah maybe if those developers cared and can't work on a deadline they wouldn't have accepted all that money in the first place? I'm sick of the 'oh poor developer, the mean old publisher offered them all that money and they were FORCED to take it!' Would you pay a restaurant up front for food, and when they didn't deliver would you say "that's okay, here's some more money, take as much time as you want". How about a renovation crew? Of course not. I have a feeling you guys would be real bad business owners.

Your analogy is very poor, what you're accepting at the table of your restaurant is undercooked food, and in your home a leaky roof and unpainted sheetrock walls. We're talking about a game here, a product that the publishers would want to be a stellar, well polished product that gets great reviews, but they want it done from conception to shipped product in two years from the same developer. Good food takes time, and a decently built house isn't put together in a month. I'm not saying that if Danger Close had four years to make their sequel it would have been great, but a single developer can't be expected to make a triple-A title on such a tight schedule.

And by the way, Danger Close isn't a democracy, they didn't have a choice who bought them. They were a company acquisition from a merger.

#11 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@psylah Single developers constantly do make games on two year cycles, and manage to do so with a level of technical polish and stability associated with the AAA moniker. Absolutely I'm not going to buy Warfighter, but I guarantee you that the stated 'take more time, fix the game, release it later' would be more hazardous to EA's margin than putting it through manufacturing broken and then working on a software patch for launch day. We talk about these guys like these are simple solutions that will be more profitable, but if that were true, wouldn't you think they'd be doing exactly that? These guys aren't dumb, they have metrics for days, and I would put dollars to donuts that an October release date on a military shooter is better for their margins than six months of extra polish and a March release date. March is a time for 'hardcore' franchises that sell on name, October is a time for mainstream franchises that sell on premise and marketplace confusion.

The earlier part wasn't about Danger Close in specific, just this common trope of 'bad publisher, buying up all the indie devs!' as if they were a marauding horde and that the dev had no choice but to take the money. Even those people who just work there and don't make the decisions are making the decision to work there and not go off to explore their indie dreams free of the boss man. I know if I give someone 35 million dollars to make my holiday shooter game, I want it good and I want it on time. That old saying "Good, Fast, or Cheap; Choose two." Big devs certainly aren't choosing Cheap.
#12 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

What if it's all an elaborate conspiracy to make it harder for pirates to get functional games!??!

#13 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

Seriously, aren't there other trends in gaming worth howling about than the fact that devs are fixing their games? And fixing them so promptly that the fixes are in before the game is released? Jeeze.

#14 Posted by Jahbu (21 posts) -

Wonderful video! I truly agree with your stance too:)

#15 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -

Can't believe some people are defending them shipping broken games. I don't care what the reason is. If someone without a means to download a patch paid 60 bucks for a broken game then that is unacceptable.

#16 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

I wholeheartedly agree, but I would argue that it was out of hand a year ago when Skyrim came out completely fucking broken on the PS3 and then their early patches broke the game even more on every platform. This has continued to plague games like Fez, and then there's the Silent Hill HD Collection not getting patched at all on the Xbox 360. I think there was another Konami game not getting patched on one platform or another, but I can't remember what it was. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead games remain completely broken from episode to episode, and people trusting them to patch certain issues are finding their saves deleted entirely or their cries going unanswered. It may even have been out of hand in 2010, when Fallout: New Vegas came out broken, or in '09, or earlier, who knows?

When the patching process works and a day-one patch makes a game mostly functional, I have absolutely no issues. The problem comes in when games are supposed to get patched and companies who make games I fucking love basically just say, "Ah, fuhgeddaboutit." I even kind of understand in the case of Fez; that was a game that pretty much ran waaaaay over budget and past its intended release, and it ultimately didn't sell like Minecraft or Trials: Evolution so they didn't necessarily have the funds to fix it. But it's getting old, and I'll continue to appreciate developers who don't need those patches to release a working game.

#17 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

@Brodehouse: But EA has been doing exactly that with their NBA titles! NBA Elite and NBA Live 13, both games that were supposed to come out year after year (nearly complete), were cancelled for quality issues, and to make sure that when the game is shipped, it is shipped well-polished and complete, not buggy and broken as was shown by the Elite demos. They are willing to put in the money AND time to make a decent game, but why not take the time to do so with the Medal of Honor name, instead of risking ruining the franchise with a lackluster entry? Instead they do a two-year crunch and launch a middling game in the CoD window, which might as well be a death sentence. Christmas sale season won't help when the kids asking their parents for a game are knowledgeable enough to look at scores and know that CoD will at least be marginally consistent, the newest Halo game is out and apparently pretty good, and MoH is getting poor reviews.

At least pushing it into the spring or summer lets it have the FPS market to itself, and maybe they could scrape together the sales of people who are over the other two blockbuster shooters while shipping a game with 6 to 8 months of more work.

I don't know, with the Live series and the MoH series, and now NFS launching against Forza, it looks like EA is doomed to playing second fiddle on their biggest licenses and IPs.

#18 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

The gameinformer show did a pretty good job talking about this in their MOH show. They talked about the difficulty of reviewing a product when a day one patch improves large problems in the game considering that there are still a large enough people who don't have their consoles connected to the internet and often can't. They talked about a guy who sent them a letter saying how he lives in a secluded area in a southern state where broadband internet isn't available and he will never be able to download patches. I used to work as a mover and have worked in locations in my state (Washington) where there was no cellular signal and no broadband. These people are fucked when a day one patch fundamentally fixes basic gameplay issues. Essentially they've spent $60+ on a broken product.

Online
#19 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

@JasonR86: Isn't Polygon working under the idea that their game reviews will be adjusted based on major, game-changing patches?

I think that's a pretty good way to go about critiquing games, but only in cases of severe brokeness. Otherwise they'll have alot of reviewing to do, since patching broken features has become the norm.

#20 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

@psylah said:

@JasonR86: Isn't Polygon working under the idea that their game reviews will be adjusted based on major, game-changing patches?

I think that's a pretty good way to go about critiquing games, but only in cases of severe brokeness. Otherwise they'll have alot of reviewing to do, since patching broken features has become the norm.

I understand why they would do that but that inherently splits their audience. It's probably easier for Polygon to do that because their audience is entirely online. Gameinformer can have an audience who doesn't even have a computer because they are primarily print. I think the demands between print and internet are really different. I don't see how Gameinformer can review a product without addressing they day one patch, what it does, and what it is like to play the game without the patch.

Online
#21 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@psylah said:

@JasonR86: Isn't Polygon working under the idea that their game reviews will be adjusted based on major, game-changing patches?

I think that's a pretty good way to go about critiquing games, but only in cases of severe brokeness. Otherwise they'll have alot of reviewing to do, since patching broken features has become the norm.

I understand why they would do that but that inherently splits their audience. It's probably easier for Polygon to do that because their audience is entirely online. Gameinformer can have an audience who doesn't even have a computer because they are primarily print. I think the demands between print and internet are really different. I don't see how Gameinformer can review a product without addressing they day one patch, what it does, and what it is like to play the game without the patch.

GameInformer is still a magazine? Wow, man. Wow. I thought print media for games was completely wiped out. Next you'll be telling me they still print EGM.

#22 Edited by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -

What? Software isn't completely free of bugs when its released? Stop the presses! Oh, and how else should a software developer ship patches for their products, U.S. postal mail? I'm pretty certain the operating system installed on the computer you used to upload your video and post this thread required some patching whether it was Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.

#23 Posted by LikeaSsur (1586 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

I think the principle of the matter is they shouldn't be shipping it when they know there's enough bugs, glitches, and imbalance to warrant a patch.

#24 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3924 posts) -

I don't really have a problem with day 1 patches myself, ideally the game should be as bug free as possible before it's shipped but if something needs fixing it's good that it'll be fixed shortly after I put the game in. I think a bigger problem is games that are busted and you have to wait a few weeks to get it fixed, or games like Skyrim, as mentioned, that are totally borked and never end up working correctly. Those are examples are that are inexcusable for a product you expect to charge money for. If anything, a day 1 patch that fixes those issues are great to avoid problems like that.

#25 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

I think Day 1 patch is better than no patches and buggy games. Yes, it sucks and yes it is quiet annoying that these people are releasing games without finishing it. But I would rather play less buggy(notice I did not say "bug-free") games than a buggy game.

#26 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

You clearly don't have the slightest understanding of the way business works. AAA games like MoH are driven by huge marketing campaigns spanning several months, all building up to a specific release date. This date is determined far in advance through multiple factors, with the game's current state and potential to be finished on time only being one of them. If that date is missed, not only will millions of dollars of marketing have been wasted, but the game will end up significantly underselling, especially after being timed so closely to the holiday season and other big-name releases in the same genre.

So does it become smarter for them to push the game out and get their big day-one nut, fixing what they can along the way to mitigate drop-off, or delay the game and lose 50% or more of their sales by going directly against Halo 4, the new CoD, or missing the holiday season altogether? I think the answer should be obvious.

#27 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

I don't really have a problem with day 1 patches myself, ideally the game should be as bug free as possible before it's shipped but if something needs fixing it's good that it'll be fixed shortly after I put the game in. I think a bigger problem is games that are busted and you have to wait a few weeks to get it fixed, or games like Skyrim, as mentioned, that are totally borked and never end up working correctly. Those are examples are that are inexcusable for a product you expect to charge money for. If anything, a day 1 patch that fixes those issues are great to avoid problems like that.

As I think about it more, though, the reason it offends us so much when a game comes out broken and doesn't get patched is because we're getting used to buying broken games that get fixed within the first few days. Basically, we're being trained to buy broken games; if something doesn't work right, we just assume "Eh, they'll probably fix that in a patch, they always do." Maybe we should learn, as consumers, to get more patient and wait for some of the more broken games to get fixed.

#28 Posted by John1912 (1968 posts) -

Ive always been a split console and PC gamer going back to the 80s. Dealing with PCs for 30 years somehow patching even to fix crippling bugs just doesnt bother me. You just had to learn to accept it. Sad its an issue with consoles, but shit happens.

#29 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3924 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:

I don't really have a problem with day 1 patches myself, ideally the game should be as bug free as possible before it's shipped but if something needs fixing it's good that it'll be fixed shortly after I put the game in. I think a bigger problem is games that are busted and you have to wait a few weeks to get it fixed, or games like Skyrim, as mentioned, that are totally borked and never end up working correctly. Those are examples are that are inexcusable for a product you expect to charge money for. If anything, a day 1 patch that fixes those issues are great to avoid problems like that.

As I think about it more, though, the reason it offends us so much when a game comes out broken and doesn't get patched is because we're getting used to buying broken games that get fixed within the first few days. Basically, we're being trained to buy broken games; if something doesn't work right, we just assume "Eh, they'll probably fix that in a patch, they always do." Maybe we should learn, as consumers, to get more patient and wait for some of the more broken games to get fixed.

Yeah that's probably true. I think for anything to change though, it would be one of those situations where everybody has to get together and vote with their wallet which is pretty much impossible. Also the other issues is, unless you can get reviews for a game before the release date, which doesn't always happen, you don't know a game is busted until you have it. There's a lot of stuff about the games biz that when you think about for too long gets really frustrating. For me I feel like the best I can do is support devs who worked quickly to fix issues and are transparent about things.

#30 Posted by Mirado (1054 posts) -

The problem I have with the "what's wrong with them fixing these issues on day one" stance is that some of these bugs should have NEVER made it past QA.

One of the bugs in MoH: Warfighter they stamped out was something to the effect of: changes the VOIP so that the team channel “no longer includes players from the other team.” How the hell did that make it to release? That's not a bug you just stumble upon, that's a broken feature.

Or, and I love this one, it added a "new feature" that allows you to “add friends and join parties while in-game.” Again, what the hell? No one felt the need to prioritize that during development? Move that higher up on the implementation list? This game was undercooked. It needed a few more months in the oven, but they knew CoD would run a train on them if they released afterward so they had to cut whatever corners they could so they could get SOME money out of it. (And I bet CoD is going to have some hilarious day one fixes as well.)

Not all problems can be fixed by giving the devs more time, but quite a few of MoH's could have been.

#31 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

@Little_Socrates said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:

I don't really have a problem with day 1 patches myself, ideally the game should be as bug free as possible before it's shipped but if something needs fixing it's good that it'll be fixed shortly after I put the game in. I think a bigger problem is games that are busted and you have to wait a few weeks to get it fixed, or games like Skyrim, as mentioned, that are totally borked and never end up working correctly. Those are examples are that are inexcusable for a product you expect to charge money for. If anything, a day 1 patch that fixes those issues are great to avoid problems like that.

As I think about it more, though, the reason it offends us so much when a game comes out broken and doesn't get patched is because we're getting used to buying broken games that get fixed within the first few days. Basically, we're being trained to buy broken games; if something doesn't work right, we just assume "Eh, they'll probably fix that in a patch, they always do." Maybe we should learn, as consumers, to get more patient and wait for some of the more broken games to get fixed.

Yeah that's probably true. I think for anything to change though, it would be one of those situations where everybody has to get together and vote with their wallet which is pretty much impossible. Also the other issues is, unless you can get reviews for a game before the release date, which doesn't always happen, you don't know a game is busted until you have it. There's a lot of stuff about the games biz that when you think about for too long gets really frustrating. For me I feel like the best I can do is support devs who worked quickly to fix issues and are transparent about things.

Absolutely. When I say we should be more discerning, I mean that more as a personal philosophy than as a general crowdlike furor. In the case of Hotline Miami, they've been so transparent about their patching process and bugs that there's no issue present there. It helps that the game's also had zero errors on my part.

But, personal advice? Until you see that happening or have read reviews, maybe don't buy games on day one.

I'll say this, though; at least with video games, it's possible to patch the most frustrating thing in a game. When I begrudgingly agreed to see The Expendables II at its midnight premiere, nothing could have saved me from the interminable boredom in the middle hour or so.

#32 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2403 posts) -

Day 1 patches are a funny thing because if they know all these problems exsist and are even able to fix them in time for release how much extra time could they have need in order to ship with all the major problems fixed. Is hitting the specific release date really so important that they coldn't just hold off untill the fixes were put into place?

#33 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3085 posts) -

I don't understand why a Day 1 patch is bad. Yes, maybe they should have done more QA and had the bugs fixed before release, but at least the problem gets fixed. Some people may miss out because they don't have internet, but I'm willing to bet that most people playing on current consoles and PC are almost always connected to the internet.

#34 Posted by fox01313 (5089 posts) -

@Oscar__Explosion: Well the problem is that between certification on multiple consoles (usually happening at different times) & also getting the game to the companies making the physical discs/boxes not just domestically but internationally many times, compounding this with the fact that today most games generally don't have a 100% bug free situation to them (or the cost of money/time is so high to do this they just can't take it on), a day1 patch is useful & while this unplayable state is rare at launch with MoH, it's necessary. A single player game is easy to fix for bugs but anytime you add networking, multiplayer/co-op especially on pc, there's so many kinds of software & hardware issues that can create bugs on a game they never figured out when making the game. Studios also have a certain deadline to make the games, contracts written for people working on the game & money to run the studio up to those deadlines so after a certain point of the finalization of game creation, some studios can delay a game a month or so to iron things out but some are so financially set that they just don't have the power/funds to do so without tying things up for a longer time where the game might not even come out if it runs out of support on putting the game out.

#35 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2403 posts) -
@fox01313 I pretty much suspected as much that there was much more to it then just going and fixing bugs. Thanks for the reply.
#36 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

Just don't buy games on day 1? It's working for me. A week or two after release when I make sure it's fixed and playable (or if i do), i buy it.

#37 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -
@psylah

@Brodehouse: But EA has been doing exactly that with their NBA titles! NBA Elite and NBA Live 13, both games that were supposed to come out year after year (nearly complete), were cancelled for quality issues, and to make sure that when the game is shipped, it is shipped well-polished and complete, not buggy and broken as was shown by the Elite demos. They are willing to put in the money AND time to make a decent game, but why not take the time to do so with the Medal of Honor name, instead of risking ruining the franchise with a lackluster entry? Instead they do a two-year crunch and launch a middling game in the CoD window, which might as well be a death sentence. Christmas sale season won't help when the kids asking their parents for a game are knowledgeable enough to look at scores and know that CoD will at least be marginally consistent, the newest Halo game is out and apparently pretty good, and MoH is getting poor reviews.

At least pushing it into the spring or summer lets it have the FPS market to itself, and maybe they could scrape together the sales of people who are over the other two blockbuster shooters while shipping a game with 6 to 8 months of more work.

I don't know, with the Live series and the MoH series, and now NFS launching against Forza, it looks like EA is doomed to playing second fiddle on their biggest licenses and IPs.

Once again, I think you are taking an outsider perspective and not applying any respect to the business sense of the people making the decisions. I don't expect a lot out of EA, but I will always expect they will act in a way that best protects their margins. Comparing MOH and NBA, I think you have to reflect on how dire the NBA situation must have been, to mothball it twice. To be fair, they are different situations; MOH2010 sold 5 million copies despite bad reviews, its main competitor left the pure modern military stuff somewhat behind and appears ripe for an upset critically. Meanwhile 2K's NBA games are critical darlings, that market is far more hostile (there are those who will buy both MOH and CoD, no one buys 2 NBA games in the same year), and they have no existing framework to work off of. It being late gen also contributes to the idea of scrapping it and just setting out to steal them on launch next time. Straight up, I don't think sending MOH to manufacturing in a crippled state was going to hurt their margins as much as they would spending additional time and losing their holiday window. Especially since the majority of the consumers are buying it for the multi, most will be getting the launch patch. If the numbers and metrics said otherwise, I'm sure otherwise would've happened. I think the target audience (Linkin Park fans) hangs harder on the launch window than the vagaries of patching (or hell, the overall quality).

Straight up, I think EA are a bunch of craven (biz speak: risk-averse) and reactionary business people. But I don't think they're completely terrible at their jobs.
#38 Posted by Demoskinos (15139 posts) -

Sometimes yes....broken games get shipped and that sucked but sometimes the game is finished and the dev team has usually two or three weeks after a game goes gold for it to be released to allow for time to press the discs. If your basically sitting on your hands you might as well use that 2 weeks and fix bugs that slipped through on the initial pass. Its not always as evil as its made out to be.

#39 Posted by Raven10 (1922 posts) -

I think it's a huge problem. Not everyone has an Internet connection. And this has happened in single player games, most recently AC3. That had a huge Day 1 Patch that fixed dozens of major single player bugs. Simply put, if the game isn't done then don't ship it. I understand the pressure from shareholders to have a good quarter, but as a corporation it is dishonest and insulting to release a product that isn't finished. Both AC3 and MoH have code on the disc that did not pass Cert, meaning on previous generations they would have been denied release on the platform. EA and Ubisoft knew the games were broken and released them anyway, promising a day one patch to bring them up to quality standards. And those include both single player and multiplayer issues. It simply shouldn't be acceptable for a publisher to release a game that isn't ready. Finish the game and then release it, not the other way around.

#40 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

But apparantly we want the problem to be there for another month or so! 
It's what we want VGK, don't question it! I know it doesn't make sense but that's how we want it now. 
Apparantly.. for some reason. 
#41 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

@QuistisTrepe: Patching is a wonderful system. In fact it's a godsend. I love that developers have the tool to fix their games on the long run. My only focus is on games that abuse the system in a way similar to how MOH did. Now if a game is pressed on a disc, in a near complete state, virtually free from most buys they could probably fix, the that's completely normal. The developer did all they can to put the game out, and after they pressed it they go back and iron out the game and put up a Day 1 patch. In MOH's case, the game was literally broken if you don't patch it. Controller issues, game-breaking bugs, like the patch list was huge. That's when I see patches being abused in a wrong way.

#42 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

I think the principle of the matter is they shouldn't be shipping it when they know there's enough bugs, glitches, and imbalance to warrant a patch.

I think already pointed out that the development cycle throws a monkey wrench into this line of thinking, but I'll also fire back with the assertion that patches aren't always for problems as large as you've described. Skyward Sword got a patch for a small (although significant) problem; before the Internet came to consoles, it was common for developers to release 1.1 versions of games that fixed minor problems in a similar manner (not that you could tell without really specific knowledge); and fan patches of older games are often for really minor glitches like that. That last one isn't even a matter of these being older games, since there are some pretty damn expansive ROM hacks out there.

#43 Edited by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

@StarvingGamer: The question is: How is it that there are a lot of games out there who manage to put out a solid enough game on release? I mean even though a game like, let's say Infamous 2, obviously had bugs. It was at a fully playable state even if you didn't download the patch initially. Medal Of Honor wasn't at a playable state when it was pressed out. Just because there is a deadline for pressing , doesn't justify why the game was shipped in that condition. We can't as gamers start giving free passes to developers that sell you a broken game and then put out a patch later the essentially is the other half of it. How on earth did the shipped product pass certification in Warfighter's case?!

Hey maybe in the future publishers will start selling you an alpha build of a game for full price and then asking you to download patches to get the final product. I know that's kind of an extreme example, but with what you are currently explaining, that seems to be a completely fine notion.

As I stated time and time again, I understand what you explained good sir. I understand all that. But just because I understand it, doesn't mean I think its right for things like this to happen.

#44 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1896 posts) -

I can't remember too many console games before this gen that were so buggy on release that a day 1 patch would be necesarry. PC games, yeah, but not console.

I think people have become very quick to defend publishers, or more companies have 50 cent armies in play.

#45 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1896 posts) -

And aren't some 40% of consoles not even hooked up to the internet?

#46 Posted by LikeaSsur (1586 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

I think the principle of the matter is they shouldn't be shipping it when they know there's enough bugs, glitches, and imbalance to warrant a patch.

I think already pointed out that the development cycle throws a monkey wrench into this line of thinking, but I'll also fire back with the assertion that patches aren't always for problems as large as you've described. Skyward Sword got a patch for a small (although significant) problem; before the Internet came to consoles, it was common for developers to release 1.1 versions of games that fixed minor problems in a similar manner (not that you could tell without really specific knowledge); and fan patches of older games are often for really minor glitches like that. That last one isn't even a matter of these being older games, since there are some pretty damn expansive ROM hacks out there.

But there's a difference between fixing problems that you couldn't really see anyway (unless, as you said, you had knowledge of it) and a 4 page report on everything that was fixed, a la Warfighter. And the time frame from development done to release date shouldn't impact that. Does it? Yeah, and that's why we get these day 1 patches. I know not every company can afford the Blizzard model of "We'll release it when it's done" way of releasing games, but you'd think/hope that a final playthrough would be done after the development is finished before it comes down to the wire and all of a sudden, somebody just happens to throw the game in and say "Oh, crap, this game needs some serious fixing."

#47 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

You'd think/hope that a final playthrough would be done after the development is finished before it comes down to the wire and all of a sudden, somebody just happens to throw the game in and say "Oh, crap, this game needs some serious fixing."

I just fail to see the issue when the game's actually fixed essentially in time for release.

#48 Edited by believer258 (12184 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@LikeaSsur said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Well, they're releasing the fix on the first day, aren't they? Isn't that indicative that they recognized a problem and fixed it speedily?

I think the principle of the matter is they shouldn't be shipping it when they know there's enough bugs, glitches, and imbalance to warrant a patch.

I think already pointed out that the development cycle throws a monkey wrench into this line of thinking, but I'll also fire back with the assertion that patches aren't always for problems as large as you've described. Skyward Sword got a patch for a small (although significant) problem; before the Internet came to consoles, it was common for developers to release 1.1 versions of games that fixed minor problems in a similar manner (not that you could tell without really specific knowledge); and fan patches of older games are often for really minor glitches like that. That last one isn't even a matter of these being older games, since there are some pretty damn expansive ROM hacks out there.

But there's a difference between fixing problems that you couldn't really see anyway (unless, as you said, you had knowledge of it) and a 4 page report on everything that was fixed, a la Warfighter. And the time frame from development done to release date shouldn't impact that. Does it? Yeah, and that's why we get these day 1 patches. I know not every company can afford the Blizzard model of "We'll release it when it's done" way of releasing games, but you'd think/hope that a final playthrough would be done after the development is finished before it comes down to the wire and all of a sudden, somebody just happens to throw the game in and say "Oh, crap, this game needs some serious fixing."

I don't pretend to know everything about game development but there is something called "crunch time"; it's when the due date's approaching and people are working mad overtime to get shit done. Even if they did have time to finish the game from beginning to end and test that playthrough for bugs, glitches, etc., they would never have time to properly fix them for release. You're talking about a problem occurring in a product with millions of lines of code written by a combination of computer programs and about 75-100 people, any problem of which can have one or several causes, and fixing one thing can potentially cause another problem.

In short, this is a vast underestimation of the sheer size and complexity of a modern full-priced video game. EDIT: And I'm not talking about complexity of design, I'm talking about the actual things used to make these games. The coding, the engine, etc.

#49 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

@Hyunickel: Because you can't anticipate what bugs or delays there are going to be when you're developing a marketing strategy a year or more in advance. Some games experience a smooth dev cycle, other games suffer major setbacks. These things happen. You can't demand that a developer give up millions of dollars in revenue to pacify your personal indignation. There's nothing "right" about asking a studio to take a loss, potentially resulting in mass layoffs or a compete shuttering, to spare you the burden of downloading a day-one patch.

Don't try to bring morality into this. It makes you come off as incredibly naive.