Before I step any farther forward, I want to make note that Magnolia has decided to no longer be with me, so I will no longer be making references to her on here. I wish her all the best. Her loss.
Alright. There’s an epidemic of epic-demic proportions going on in the gaming industry, and I’m here to write about it. Glitchy Games. Shortened? GG. And if you’re a gamer, you know what that means. If you aren’t, ask your nerdy friend. He/she’s got the answer.
Sometime shortly after Titanfall, the gaming industry, seemingly as a whole, decided to change its selling strategy. Instead of changing the release date to accommodate the backbone of the game–i.e. developers, coders, etc–the Collective Corporate Office decided it’d be best to simply release the games, as complete as they are on the release date, and fix the issues as they show up. The disaster that is Destiny aside (NO COMMENT. Not a glitchy game, but a terrible, greed-lined, money-grubbing game. Okay. ONE COMMENT), there’s been a circus parade of releases that not only snub the consumers buying them with their disgusting, unfinished quality, but also intend to improve the game with DLC (or, downloadable content).
Quick explanation for the marketing strategy: Game A is supposed to come out on November 4, just in time for Christmas, Black Market sales. The release date is secured, oh, a year in advance. Two years, sometimes, and the DLC A is secured for X months after the game releases, DLC B for X months after that, and so on. The IDEA is to fix the small glitches as they show up with updates and the like, so they wouldn’t have to move back not only the released game, but the DLC for the upcoming year. Because that’s a thing now.
It’s the ever-evolving face of the gaming world, right? Eh. I’m going to disagree. It’s the ever-devolving face of corporate marketing. Why do I say that, you ask? Well, this automation trend is seen across the board. Ever since the recession, in order to get the 14% increase in sales over the previous year, Big Business has had to do more with less. So they hire a corporate lackey to manage development. This lackey either has 1) NO (or at the most a very fundamental) understanding of how game development works, or 2) gives so few shits as to what the product looks like he drops trow every time a request comes into his office for an extension (can you tell I’m frustrated with the trend?).
Lackey gets promoted, moves elsewhere before the game is released, new guy comes in with, again, no understanding, wings it by the seat of his pants by listening to Big Boss Hoss’s Requirements for Being Promoted, and with head in the sand, they release the game. This is an exaggeration to say ALL gaming industries are doing this, but you can be damned sure some of them are.
“Surely, Chris, you’re blowing this out of proportion.”
- Destiny was glitchy at first, but not by much.
- Then came Advanced Warfare–where you’re randomly kicked out of multiplayer for “exceeding 4182 frames” of something or another (which they just bug-fixed) and random “exploiters” shoot through the walls of off-limits buildings on EVERY MAP.
- Next was the Assassin’s Creed Unity game came out (check out this article by Forbes magazine) where characters are, literally, faceless and crash bugs, environment bugs, are destroying the gameplay. Because? Money money money.
- Next? Halo: Master Chief Edition (a thread at IGN magazine highlighting MAJOR glitches like the WHOLE storyline of Halo 2 won’t load. The WHOLE thing. Yep).
- Enter Dragon Age: Inquisition where, among other things, multiplayer didn’t exist for those playing for the first time on XBOX360. Like, no multiplayer at all (My brother’s been keeping me up on this one).
The only game that doesn’t seem to have had huge issues was the Borderlands Pre-Sequel, although it had a few glitches from the second game they decided to leave in. They rolled with the punches (in their defense, they were using the same platform as previous games, so they probably had most of the kinks worked out before they even started development).
It’s RIDICULOUS how shoddy everything has become. Ridiculous.
But? I have a secret. I know how to fix it. It’s in the title. You watch other people playing the game on Twitch BEFORE you give some corporate sellout 60 bucks (and potentially 60 more bucks for the “Season Pass”).
Twitch is, well, an app. It is also a way for people to watch other people playing video games. While I saw very little reason for it at first (who is so nerdy they bypass playing video games to watch people play video games!?), after my brother and I discussed how insanely poor some of these releases are (Destiny anyone?), we came to the conclusion the only way to really know for sure how a game is, is to watch someone else playing it. Why? You look at reviews and get a 4/4 for Advanced Warfare. As in, NOTHING wrong with the game WHATSOEVER. It’s like these people didn’t even play the thing: they just giggled about it over a mimosa, then wrote their Bestest SEO-optimized article (focused on gaining readership and generating buzz for said busted game, most likely paid off by… you guessed it… Corporate Lackey) and promoted it throughout the intersphere.
That reminds me. I need more mimosas in my life.
So. Word of advice to anyone sharing my distaste and disdain for the current streak of horrible, money-greedy decisions: do not buy the game on the day it’s released. Buy it the day after. And, Twitch it the day of release. Watch to see how the “experts” are judging it. If they avoid Team Deathmatch for some strange reason, MIGHT BE BAD. If enough people do this, someone upstairs will say, “Huh! My Christmas Bonus was only a quarter of a million this year instead of the expected Two Normal-Sized Houses’ worth. WHAT GIVES?!” And figure out, durr, your Money-Forward, Lined-Pocket Synergy plan didn’t work.