I was driving home from work the other day and started thinking about the games I regretted buying at launch and why. This is not going to be an exhaustive piece on the evils of large publishing houses, but I am genuinely questioning why games still seem to be released before they are technically finished.
One game that comes to mind, is The Crew 2. While the game was quite fun for 20 hours or so, the strange omission of no PvP multiplayer means that it will probably not find a player base until later on, if at all. Another weird and frankly disappointing point for The Crew 2 is the apparent lack of patches post launch. I had to wait almost a month for the first patch (hotfix) to be released.
Even when the 1.03 patch was released, it only fixed a couple of annoying bugs with regards to the rewards program. Amazingly other bugs weren’t addressed, so if you set up your house with your favourite vehicles they still reset as soon as you leave your dwelling. From my take on it, it appears the rewards program that they had set up (for players who had finished the first game) seems to be the cause of quite a few of these issues. So why wasn’t it tested before launch?
I actually think the market is slowly changing, and gamers are becoming a bit more discerning about buying games at launch. With the advent of so many digital game sales now, on PC and console, it is enough for gamers to wait in some cases. I do enjoy a good sale, and I tend to wait for quite a few games to drop in price before I’ll commit to purchase. Part of that reason is the cost of digital games in Australia. For a game that is $60 US, Australian gamers get charged $100 for the same thing. It is pretty outrageous, but as long as we keep buying them I guess that won’t change.
On that note, I have pre-ordered some games that I think will be pretty good when released. The three games I have pre-ordered are Forza Horizon 4 (also available on game pass at launch), Red Dead Redemption 2 and Battlefield V. Previously with these franchises, I have got plenty of value out of them, hence I don’t mind pre-ordering.
I am treading more carefully now with Ultimate and Gold editions of games, and will be a lot more selective in my day one gaming purchases.
The way that games are easily patched has given companies the excuse to release stuff way too early. Overwatch for example came out barebones in terms of modes. No Man Sky also looks very different now when compared to how it launched.
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Totally agree – I think the reception to No Man’s Sky would have been quite different if it had been released with more of the content it accrued over the last two years. The negativity would have mostly disappeared too.
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Yes, the Day One patch now is more common than getting a properly released game. I now get a pleasant surprise when I load a new game up and it is complete and running without the early patches. Shame, but that is where the industry is positioned at the moment.
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