Around the holiday season last year, the gaming community saw a number of games released as “broken,” with two of the most notable titles being DriveClub and Assassin’s Creed Unity. Unfortunately, according to a few different game testing firms, this year might not be much different.
Speaking with MCV, Pole to Win Localisation Director Chris Rowley explicitly said that this year won’t be different, and explained why.
The run up to this Christmas will be no different to the last one.
Console games are expensive to develop, so missing a street date is not an acceptable situation to a publisher. Day One patches have become the norm over the last few years to try and address this, but the reality is that it often takes several patches where a title is significantly behind schedule.
Babel’s Functionality QA Director Mathieu Lachance mentioned that many games will be releasing with “large errors and bugs,” and said that delaying a game could be more financially harmful to a studio than publishing one that is broken.
We’ll see many games launching with large errors and bugs. It’s impossible to release a flawless game.
In some cases, delaying a game can have a more devastating impact on the game and studios themselves than what quality concerns could have. It then becomes a balance between quality expectations and financial risk.
However, Universally Speaking QA Manager James Cubitt did mention that improvements are being made, even if the issue is “far from solved.”
It is getting better, but far from solved. People need to stop seeing delays as a bad thing, both companies and the user base. The number of companies that just squeeze QA testing into the remaining period, without sufficient time to then fix the issues and re-test, is hurting their own titles in the long run.
Of course, they could all turn out to be wrong, but we’ll just have to wait to see if that happens. Which games are you thinking of getting this holiday season?