Shipped Broken

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Making video games is hard, you guys. A lot can be forgiven, but that doesn't mean we have to forget. With Bonus citation power!

These games had launch issues so bad as to make the game outright or borderline unplayable, for a multitude of users on their platform of choice.

(Sorry list item links aren't live, but they work in the comments. If at all possible, please include relevant article links with your suggested additions. Thanks!)

List items

  • 2012, 360. Taken offline during launch day for server issues. Put back later the same day. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/hybrid-launches-unlaunches-as-developers-deal-with-server-issues/4319/

  • 2012, PC. What if... Big Rigs was on *rails*, and made by some guys called *Pantera*? /chinstroke. http://www.giantbomb.com/quick-look-roller-coaster-rampage/17-6289/

  • 2012, PC. Rootkit vulnerabilities? Nobody learnt from Sony's troubles, eh? http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/30/3201421/ubisoft-uplay-drm-security-hole-tavis-ormandy

  • 2012, PC/360. Framerate issues patched on PS3, Konami refused to update on 360. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/konami-not-patching-silent-hill-hd-on-xbox-360-because-well-its-hard/4320/

  • 2012, PC. ThreeandahalfMILLION copies on the first day, with no PVP, no Auction House, and no way to play offline. So it's either a neutered MMO, or a broken single player game. Either way, it was successful. http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregvoakes/2012/06/05/the-numbers-behind-diablo-3-opening-day/

  • 2012, 360. Needed to fix a ton of glitches, but the patch corrupted endgame save files. The update was pulled offline for weeks. Then Polytron refused to patch the patch. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/maybe-go-ahead-and-download-that-fez-patch-after-all/4281/

  • 2011, PS3. Had some serious memory leaks. But it's all because it's a "brand new" engine, right? http://www.giantbomb.com/news/skyrims-ps3-lag-getting-addressed-this-month/3902/

  • 2011, PC. Carmack apologised during his 2012 keynote for how poor the PC launch was, among other aspects. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/John-Carmack-Doom-4-RAGE-PC-Gaming-QuakeCon,16610.html He wasn't taking the blame at the time though. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/10/09/rage-patch/

  • 2011, PC. The wrong code was pushed out to the Steam servers. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/not-broken-version-of-dead-island-now-apparently-on-steam/3644/

  • 2010-2011. Halo did pretty well with Bungie.net. CoD tried to go bigger with Elite, and broke its own ankles. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/activisions-hyped-call-of-duty-elite-continues-to-stumble-updated/3806/

  • 2010, PS3. PS3 version was a bad port job of PlatinumGames' codebase by Sega. So bad that Sony fixed it for them. http://www.ps3center.net//news/4281/bayonetta-ps3-patch-made-by-sony-not-sega/

  • 2010, PC. Always-on DRM doesn't work out when the DRM servers get knocked out. http://pc.ign.com/articles/107/1075124p1.html

  • 2010, 360. When you make a game that has graphics glitches, and then the glitches have glitches, are you doing it right? http://www.giantbomb.com/kane-lynch-2-dog-days/61-26394/reviews/?review_id=309

  • 2010, PS3. It's all... Obsidian's doing, right?

  • 2008, PS3. It's all... uh... Gamebryo's doing, right?

  • 2008, 360. "There's also a well-known bug in Castle Crashers that can annihilate any of your character progress, something I experienced firsthand." http://www.giantbomb.com/castle-crashers/61-20733/reviews/

  • 2004, PC. Broken quests: http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=141517 and excised content: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2009/10/after-four-years-volunteers-restore-missing-kotor-ii-data/

  • 2003, PC. The Rig. The Myth. The Legend. http://www.gamespot.com/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing/reviews/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing-review-6086528/

  • 1998, PC. The Myth. The Myth II. The Legend. http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/1999/01/06/

  • 1998, PC. See comments below.

  • TBD, NES. Ok, so it didn't *exactly* ship, but it's hella broken, and there's a kickstarter for a do-over. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/343248998/cheetahmen-ii-the-lost-levels

  • 1991, NES/GEN. $199 of broken. No citation needed.

13 Comments

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Grognard66

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Edited By Grognard66

You can add Fallout 3 and Fallout 3: New Vegas on PS3 to that list.

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fisk0

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Edited By fisk0  Moderator

Well, and Fallout 2 with it's infamous "half my car just disappeared and took all my stuff with it" bug.

Also, Boiling Point and Söldner both were released with a lot of crippling AI and physics bugs iirc, having vehicles randomly getting stuck and exploding, and the enemies crashing their vehicles into trees.

Oh, and never forget Battlecruiser 3000AD - after 8 years of development, almost written off as vaporware, the publisher got the bright idea of taking one of the developer's milestone builds and sent it in for production. It barely booted, and few features were even implemented yet. The developer sued the publisher and eventually managed to self-publish a working game, two years later.

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Yummylee

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Don't forget the mess with the PC version of Dead Island! Also there's the 360 version of Kane & Lynch 2 with that weird freeze bug everytime you nail a headshot with a shotgun. Err, Persona 4 Arena's 360 version also had that 2nd round glitch as well. Diablo 3 should probably nail a spot, too.

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Brackynews

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@fisk0: I think you just described Duke Nukem Forever before Gearbox got ahold of it. ;D Also according to trenchescomic.com that was certainly not the last time a publisher rather than a developer has decided when to go gold. Like, on a Sunday when nobody was in the office. O_o

@Yummylee: I recall Jeff saying (probably a Jar Time) he had a hard time conferring with other reviewers about the 360's freeze bug, and he didn't take it to IO without the video evidence in hand. Yes it was legitimate, but I think that speaks more to the false sense of uniformity that console hardware has, when multiple people never experience a bug that someone else can (and on multiple consoles at that). So if we take it for granted that QA testing played for more than 7+ hours at a time, it probably was seen, and it somehow got flagged as a shippable bug. Then yeah, it shipped broken.

To some extent I think this list needs to involve some level of corporate mea culpa, clusterfuck, or truly odd circumstance, as with Rage and Bayonetta. That's why I'm trying to include links for context. If at all possible, please include them with suggestions. Thanks!

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ZombiePie

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DocHaus

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WWF No Mercy (N64) would erase all of your save data for no reason on occasion. I think the developers offered to replace the cartridge (you see, this was in the days before you could patch things post-launch) but it didn't happen for several months.

Tekken 6 (console version) the netcode was so bad that people just stopped playing until Namco finally patched it up.

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ZombiePie

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Edited By ZombiePie
@DocHaus said:

WWF No Mercy (N64) would erase all of your save data for no reason on occasion. I think the developers offered to replace the cartridge (you see, this was in the days before you could patch things post-launch) but it didn't happen for several months.

Hey if we are talking about games that got shipped that do horrible things with your saved data I guess there's Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie for the DS. It had the horrible glitch where not only was it broken but playing it would randomly reset your DS to factory defaults from time to time. 
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slowbird

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Edited By slowbird

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

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eccentrix

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Edited By eccentrix

Battle vs. Chess is a weird one. I've read/heard about release dates in 2010, 11 and 12. There are reviews dated with the 2011 release, but its Wikipedia page says it was never released in the US due to copyright infringement. A month or two ago (Edit: I guess it was last week. Huh.) it was released on Steam for a few days without giving access to key codes before being removed from the store. Now they're working to release it on Steam as Check vs. Mate. I guess I should do some more research and update the wiki.

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Praxis

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Edited By Praxis

Planescape shipped in a very buggy state, with long load times, slowdown during combat, and other assorted glitches, both major and minor. Many walkthroughs for the game warn you to patch before playing it, and numerous sites contain instructions on how to fully install the contents of its CDs to hard drive in order to alleviate its horrendous load times.

Also, no "Shipped Broken" list would be complete without Myth II, which contained an infamous hard drive-erasing bug that forced Bungie to issue a complete recall of the game (before it went on sale, thankfully).

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Brackynews

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@slowbird: I never played Big Rigs, so I wanted someone to make the case. lolololololololol ;)

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xtafxfoulfellow

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Edited By xtafxfoulfellow

Unfortunately, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines

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peritus

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Edited By peritus

Inclined to say battlefield 3.

That game had the weirdest bug in multiplayer on launch, where you were constantly looking at youre character from a spectator view while still alive and playing.

Also... battlelog ...