Should Game Companies Be Held Accountable?

Should game companies be held accountable for known issues with their products?

I asked this question after reading the response from Street Fighter X Tekken developer regarding the online sound and network issues below:

The new netcode implemented in Street Fighter X Tekken allows for up to 4 players to have a smooth online experience, however depending on the connection stability between players, things like “spontaneous match rollback,” “voice effects cutting out,” and “sound effects cutting out” also are occurring. This netcode is written in a completely different way than the Street Fighter IV series netcode, and that is why these problems are occurring.

As Street Fighter X Tekken is a tag battle game, the amount of data that is exchanged between player connections is a lot more than the normal 1v1 battles of the Street Fighter IV series. In order to compensate for this and provide a smooth gameplay experience, the netcode was written the way it currently is. Unfortunately, this has also brought on the sound problems we are having now.

In order to completely fix all the sound issues, the smoothness of the online gameplay has to be traded off, so it is a very complicated and difficult balancing act. We would like everyone to know that the development team is currently looking at various ways to improve the sound issues.

We will have additional updates on this and other things soon, so please stay tuned. Thank you all for your understanding.

While I’m sure Capcom knew this was a problem during testing they felt it was acceptable to release the product instead of delaying the release to fix the problem the right way.

What if fans never complained? Would the problem have been addressed? Why are they now working on an already known issue?

How would you feel if you purchased a new car and the dealer forgot to mention that the door jams or the radio/cd player is glitchy from time to time but still charged your full price? Or a DVD that was known to have issues during playback by the company but they failed to fix it and still charged you full price?

While a car cost much more than a video game, I still believe the same standards should be set to deliver a quality product to a fan base that is spending quality money. Statements such as:

In order to compensate for this and provide a smooth gameplay experience, the netcode was written the way it currently is. Unfortunately, this has also brought on the sound problems we are having now. In order to completely fix all the sound issues, the smoothness of the online game play has to be traded off, so it is a very complicated and difficult balancing act.

Having now? Really? So they never saw this before eh? Personally, I find that statement to be bull. Don’t tell me about your programming woes trying to making sure all the code play along well with each other, fix the problem or don’t release the product. At no time did they say, we apologize for this or we’re going to make up for our mistake. If I paid full price for a game that was to be fully functional and it doesn’t meet that I need to be compensated for my purchase, especially if the problem is so easily found and affecting the majority of the users.

Movie theaters give our free passes to another showing; dealerships offer free items to make up for their mistake, even restaurants give out free meals or discounts on meals/bills. Microsoft lived up to their mistake with the RROD and offered extended yearly warranties. Why? So the customer will know how sorry they are and to keep you coming back.

Games cost roughly $60 dollars and development in the millions of dollars if people spend their money on a product they should be able to fully experience the best way possible. My recommendation of compensation would be either discounted or free DLC character packs or clothing packs for those who purchased the game day one until the problem is fixed. Maybe they bundle these packs in with the network fix, I don’t know. Either way, something should be done to make right what was knowingly done wrong. My hope is that this doesn’t come off as a rant or venting but their responses sparked this post, enough is enough.

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