PlayStation Plus Vote to Play Deadline Contributed to the Buggy Launch of Zombie Vikings on PS4
During the first ever PlayStation Plus Vote to Play for September 2015, members went with Grow Home from Ubisoft, while Armello and Zombie Vikings settled for 2nd and 3rd, receiving launch day discounts rather than being included in the Instant Game Collection.
In a Gamasutra blog post, Zoink Games PR & Marketing Manager Mikael Forslind looked back at Zombie Vikings, which “suffered from several bugs (including game breaking ones) when we launched.”
According to Forslind, the Vote to Play deadline didn’t give the development team enough time to polish Zombie Vikings:
Zombie Vikings was part of something called Vote To Play on PlayStation. That meant that during a couple of weeks in August everyone who had a PlayStation Plus subscription had a chance to vote for three different games. The winning game would be released September 1 on PlayStation Plus for free, and the other two games would be released with a launch discount the same day.
Since we had this deadline we worked extremely hard to get the game finished, and we submitted the game just a couple of days before the release day. When we submitted we had fixed all the bugs we could at that moment, but we were aware there were still some bugs left so we immediately started working on a day one patch. Most bugs that were left were because of the online mode that Zombie Vikings have. We’ve never made a game with an online mode before and that task turned out to be way more complex than we could have ever imagined. Working with a Vote To Play deadline and with a complex (for us) online mode turned out to be a real challenge and were the primary reason the game launched not polished enough.
Since launch, Zoink released a couple patches to improve frame-rate and fix bugs. However, because they need to go back and fix certain things in the game, Zombie Vikings is going to be re-launched with a new update:
We’re still working on what content to add but our goal with the game is to fix not only all the bugs but also add new enemies, a new game mechanic, and improve the experience. This major update will launch together with the Steam release, and all PlayStation 4 users will get it for free.
At the end of the blog post, Forslind offered up some tips to other developers who experience a similar situation. These include not releasing a buggy game, being transparent and honest about what’s happening, and working on your game until it’s 100% what you want it to be.
Did you buy Zombie Vikings? Do you hope Vote to Play returns for November?