In the era of internet connected gaming machines, we have seen an increase in the use of post release patches that were not possible 15 years ago. Before this flexibility, games that were released in an unplayable state were captured in time that way. Now it is the norm to have large day-one patches to give the developers extra time within the release window to polish off a game and still make the date.
Could the goodwill of gamers be getting taken advantage of with our acceptance of not having a final product on the physical disc? Did this behavior incubate a ‘fix it later; reap the rewards today’ mentality?
Having all of the marketing in place for a massive launch is what really matters to these publishers as the gaming industry continues to grow. It seems like publishers are chasing the profits and boosts to financial sheets that the mobile segment once provided. Release big AAA games before the end of the fiscal year to satisfy investors. Done.
While Assassin’s Creed has experience poor release perception, most recently it has been Mass Effect Andromeda, who has gain all the attention for its release quality. Kotaku reports the series has been put ‘on ice’ and the studio has been downsized. As one of EA’s most beloved series, there is an expected amount of care and respect that should be put into a products’ release that shows the consumers they care. A development studio is filled with over worked employee’s who sacrifice time with their families to then be forced by the publisher to release a less than ideal product only to be met by a soured public reception.
Large games cannot be treated the same as mobile games. Large games come with grand expectations that can have crushing effects when not handled carefully. A flop of a major release can potentially kill a franchise. Is the possibility of hurting the public perception of a franchise worth simply making investors happy for that quarter? It seems so. The internet is hyper ruthless, more than it should be, and tears these missteps apart.