Now Loading…Video Games Going “Gold” in a Near Unplayable State
In this week’s “Now Loading…” segment, PlayStation LifeStyle’s staff discuss video games going “gold” in a near unplayable state, and the seemingly different meanings within the industry of what that “gold” status really is. This discussion comes in light of recent examples of a number of games not being up to mark when they hit store shelves. Please note that each opinion should be attributed to the respective individual and not to the website as a whole.
Cameron: I think this whole day-one patch idea is just a product of our current society and gaming in general. Things can now be patched in at any time, which is great, but I think it’s being used as a way to get games out quicker, with less content or more issues. At the same time, with how big game budgets have gotten, I don’t really blame these companies for trying to get their product out quickly and on the best possible date, thus skipping some features and testing (I don’t know that side of the business). You can also look at just how hard these systems can be to develop for and how demanding gamers are, which makes companies try to hit every little graphical possibility. This can create unforeseen issues that honestly can pop up at launch, even after companies spend time testing out the product before release.
So with that said, yes, day-one patches upset me and games going gold with horrible glitches and bugs is a big no-no. But I do see why gamers are partially at fault here for these issues. We demand 1080p and 60fps or else we call for heads to roll and, sometimes, that pushing for blades of glass so sharp that they cut your ankles i.e. cause rushed games to be released. We are all at fault for these issues; developers, publishers, and gamers alike, so everyone sit in a corner and think about what you have done.
Zarmena: First and foremost, developers need to be honest with themselves about what they can and cannot achieve. I understand there’s pressure from gamers who sometimes unreasonably demand the world, but a line has got to be drawn somewhere. Setting unrealistic targets and expecting overly ambitious projects to be delivered by a set date or within a set time-frame is recipe for disaster, and probably why we’re seeing an increasing number of games “going gold” in a piss poor state.
This “gold” standard in the industry seems to mean different things to different companies, and I think it’s time that the video games industry, as a whole, is regulated somehow. That means we need to start taking the industry a little more seriously as opposed to repeating the same old “it’s just video games” line. We desperately need some set standards in the industry, and some set rules to govern it by. It should never be acceptable, under any circumstances, to release a broken mess of a game – a product that costs $60 on average.
There will be parts of the gaming community that will continue to have unreasonable demands. But I’d rather have a game that functions as described, and gives me immense enjoyment, rather than a mere technical showpiece. Day-one patches are not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not unusual for video games to run into minor hiccups and for developers to have to release patches to fix them. But if it becomes a 1-2GB norm, without which a game barely functions, then that’s a problem. Such a product should neither be on store shelves nor be accepted by the gaming community.
Alex: Like it or not, day-one patches are here to stay. Would I like that to change, though? Definitely. Publishers need to be more realistic with release dates and such, but with how much money is involved with games these days, that’s not going to happen any time soon.
I’m happy that games can now be modified post-launch, but these days, that’s just a convenient way for developers to release games and just fix them later, which sucks big time for consumers. Add in the fact that my PS4 HDD is very close to being full with patches and such, and well, I sometimes long for the good ol’ days when you played a game the way it was meant to be played right off the bat.
I kinda agree with Zar that these things need to be regulated at some point. Sure, there’s gamer backlash, but that’s not enough. Publishers market the crap out of their games and for the most part, it works. Not every gamer/buyer visits sites, forums and whatnot to check up on upcoming games or the biggest issues with ’em. And that’s the main problem, isn’t it? Once publishers get the dough from consumers, they can take their sweet time rolling out patches and fixes.
On a different note, here on PlayStation LifeStyle, we make it a point that we review games with day-one patches enabled. It sucks since it means our reviews come out late, but I’d rather we do that than run a review early but it won’t be the same thing readers will experience.
At the end of the day, though, gamers as a whole deserve better. Let’s hope enough vote with their wallets that publishers stand up and take notice.
Do any of our readers think games going gold in a poor state is a cause for concern? Share your thoughts below.