Welcome to another episode of our Monthly Releases Spotlight, the video series where we run down all of the games coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita over the next four weeks.
our detailed releases schedule, March is packed to the brim with AAA blockbusters and delightful indies alike, toplined by Ubisoft’s post-pandemic RPG shooter, The Division. Keep an eye out for PlayStation LifeStyle’s Monthly Releases Spotlight at the beginning of every month or the last week of the previous month to know which games to buy for the following month.
Please bear in mind that these release dates are subject to change, and if you’ve noticed a hitch don’t hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Now Loading...Games Having Launch Day Issues
Now Loading...Thoughts on Day One Patches & Launch Issues
Minor launch day issues are fine. I expect patches to smooth out some wrinkles, and I'm completely fine with developers continuing to optimize their games post-launch. However, if there are entire aspects of the game not even functioning? That's a whole different story. Developers know their launch date well in advance. They prepare for it. Sometimes they delay because of issues. So come launch day? That game should be playable. Gamers should not have to wait for a patch to experience something they just paid $60 for.
Everyone's tolerances for what issues they are okay dealing with are going to be different, and many games may have different issues for different reasons. It's statistically impossible to test all possible parameters of the final code of a game to ensure that it is going to work in every statistical possibility. Add to that the game engine, operating system, and sometimes you have some weird bugs or issues that only come up once the game is in the public's hands.
Most often, day one patches are not going to be admissions of something being wrong in the game, but little optimizations to the game. Playing without this patch will not ruin the experience or render the game unplayable.
As long as developers are active in resolving discovered issues, I can forgive a few minor bugs or lack of complete optimizations here and there, as long as the game is playable and all of its advertised features work at launch. And let's remember this is only for launch day buyers. Most people who even wait a couple of weeks for fixes often don't even experience issues as they are discovered and fixed quickly.
Like Chandler said, everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to this. I remember when there were no patches/updates back in the day and I'd get hit with some kind of a strange bug in a game that'd require me to restart. So in a way, I'm glad that there are day-one patches that can rectify issues before we get into the game. On the other hand, I do think some devs have gone a bit overboard with the concept. It shouldn't be OK to patch in entire components later on - whether it's multiplayer or story mode. I can't find a single excuse to rush a game out with critical content missing. Take your time and deliver the full experience. Minor quibbles can be dealt with.
Minor day one patches are fine and much cheaper than the developer having to recall the game. Plus we should be thankful that things can be patched so easily.
However, it seems more and more that developers are shipping games incomplete and just using early patches to cover it up and finish the game.
It's a tricky one. On the one hand I appreciate that minor issues and technical hiccups are inevitable at launch, particularly for online-centric titles. No matter how many betas are hosted to stress test the servers, they'll never replicate the influx of traffic on day-one. But if early adopters are left facing a game that is borderline unplayable, then it's inexcusable.
Street Fighter V
has been placed into the spotlight because its content leaves much to be desired, but the fact that Capcom has set up a support Twitter account
for server status is almost a sign of the times.
I guess it's made all the worse by the pre-order culture that trumpets the arrival of a new release, and I worry that it's beginning to get to the stage where developers scrambling to release major patches after launch is the new normal. Naughty Dog often cites that the decision to bump
The Last of Us by a few weeks helped transform the game from a great one to a classic. We can only hope more developers adopt a similar mindset.
With how technically advanced games have become, issues are to be expected. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that every scenario cannot be tested in the studio so running into minor issues or encountering hiccups early after launch doesn't bother me a whole lot.
The two things that annoy the hell out of me are drastic online issues after numerous beta tests and major story problems that developers don't own up front. If your game is largely dependent on multiplayer, it's pivotal that that mode is functional for the overwhelming majority of users at launch. If your game is largely dependent on a single player narrative, there is no excuse why players should be getting stuck along the main quest line with no reasonable option to continue.
Not only do developers need to address these issues but they have to be upfront with gamers (customers) as well. Transparency would go a long way in regaining trust despite these problems.
While I appreciate that we now have ways of making games better and squashing bugs post-release, I have to say, it's getting a bit ridiculous! I mean, shouldn't devs be given enough time to complete a game without the "Oh, we'll fix it with a day one patch" mantra?
What's even more annoying here is the
size of these game updates. Day one patch just around 1GB? Well, consider yourself lucky! Most launch patches hover around the 2-3GB mark and more, which makes me believe that it could have very well spent more time in the kitchen.
Sadly, I see this trend continuing since publishers have schedules and target goals to hit. I'm really hoping this gets remedied at some point before it gets out of hand -- if it's not already.
Servers conking out for day one or the first week is another annoying and recurring issue. How on earth are publishers/developers still fucking this up?
Street Fighter V's is one of the worst offenders so far, which is sad to see since the core game itself is more than sound.
I think many gamers are learning to avoid pre-ordering or purchasing games at release because of just how many titles do launch with issues. Online games usually have server struggles, making day one play next to impossible, and single-player experiences are no stranger to game-breaking glitches, of which early adopters are the guinea pigs.
Make no mistake, I do love the fact that minor tweaks can be made post-launch, but I don't think developers should be using this as an excuse to push out buggy or incomplete content for day one $60 purchases.