Anyone familiar with my presence on social media knows how I feel about Halo: TMCC. But there’s only so much I can say about one game — not really, but I’m gonna lay off for now since I enjoyed the HCS tournament over the weekend. MCC isn’t the only game with problems these days; many games are being released unfinished, or are just incorporating horrible, anti-consumer business practices. I’m here to ask the simple question… why?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where this all started, but my mind seems to always go back to Battlefield 4. We all know BF4 was terrible from the start — constant crashing and glitching plagued that game well into this year, and people pretty much forgot the game existed, but why? My guess would be the jump to next-gen, because keeping last-gen deadlines while porting to unfamiliar hardware seems like such a good idea! Needless to say BF4 was a disaster, people lost faith in the franchise — how many people do you know excited for Battlefield: Hardline? — and even more people lost faith, if they ever had any, in EA.
Next target on my list comes in the form of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. Why, you ask? While the game itself wasn’t broken, or particularly good, it suffered from what I call “the centerfold treatment.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, Ubisoft added a shiny layer of graphics and a dab of gameplay that were nowhere to be seen in the retail release of the game and made us think Watch Dogs was going to be the next big thing. Unfortunately, this blatant lie led an average at best game to reach sales of over 7 million, yet you never heard word of the game a month after its release.
Following Watch Dogs on my list we have Destiny, a game until recently I would have said was solid. Not my personal favorite game in the world, but still a game that didn’t get too much wrong. Well, now that’s changed. Upon the release of the new DLC, The Dark Below, Bungie decided to give a big middle finger to anyone who has decided to not pay $20 for what’s essentially some reskinned weapons and a new raid by locking us out of content. Yep, that’s right, if you opted NOT to buy the DLC now you will not be able to participate in the weekly heroic or nightfall strike missions, as well as daily story missions.Now some may say “but Chewy, it’s only every few weeks that the missions are unplayable.” I don’t care if it’s once every time Halley’s Comet comes around, locking people who paid the $60 premium for your game out of ANY of the content they paid for is unacceptable. It’s funny because Bungie kept reiterating that Destiny was NOT an MMO, but it seems they can cherry-pick the aspects the of an MMO that will make them the most money.
Finally, let’s take a look a game that I believe to be even worse than Halo: TMCC — Driveclub. A lot of RULers might not know of Driveclub, it’s a PS4 exclusive and is basically Sony’s terrible answer to Forza. According to reviews, Driveclub was bland, didn’t have many cars (c’mon, you’re a racing game) and overall was just very vanilla. All that aside, Driveclub was almost 100% reliant on online connectivity for their most anticipated modes, pinging servers constantly to keep track of lap times and leaderboard standings. Well, they didn’t count on tens of thousands of people playing at once, so the entire game came crashing to a standstill, all because the game had to meet bull**** corporate deadlines of a Holiday 2014 release.
So let’s see, so far we have corporate greed, developer/publisher lies, a lack of consumerism and a bunch of games that were released MONTHS before they were ready to be launched, but we still haven’t answered the main question, why? Well, I think it’s a combination of a few things:
1. Publishers and developers haven’t yet realized that the development cycle for current-gen titles is longer than they were last-gen, but they still rush them out like they’re making games for 2007, which leads up to point number two…
2. Clearly not everyone is living in the past. Some devs/pubs KNOW it takes longer to develop games for these new consoles but aren’t willing to delay them because they have to hit certain numbers for investors, and they know people will buy the game anyway because it’s what their friends buy.
3. “We can patch it later!”- The creed of almost all developers and publishers these days. Launch the game with limited accessibility and patch in other promised features slowly, very slowly.
But it doesn’t stop here, the industry is full of anti-consumer practices, just look at most free-to-play games. The trend is going to continue until we finally start being start as consumers and not dumping our money into these games on day one. Let the developers and publishers know how you feel and don’t settle for what they’ve given you. It’s in your right as a consumer to let them know you’re dissatisfied and you’re not going to deal with this anymore.
Like I said, the current state of games makes me :(, and now I know why.
TL;DR – Games are broken, we’re being ripped off and 🙁