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"It feels like the developers are knowingly shipping games with giant chunks missing."

That sentiment from OS User RipCityAndy seems to sum up the sentiment of OS'ers at the moment.

In a recent poll on Operation Sports, 47% of respondents said they were no longer buying games at launch after what has been an absolute epidemic of games shipping with broken pieces within them.

With notable non-sports game flubs the past couple of weeks, including the new Halo: The Master Chief Collection shipping with broken online matchmaking as well as Assassins Creed: Unity being a buggy mess -- it seems like the fervor over video games shipping as incomplete nearly 'beta' versions has reached a new level.

In sports gaming, several titles have shipped with pieces or components which simply were not working. NBA 2K15's insistence on being always online even for single player experiences was a brief disaster, as-is Driveclub's continual server issues. NHL 15 managed to ship so stripped down, it caused a near mutiny on OS.

From an editorial point of view, this puts us in a weird position. We want to convey our impressions so our readers can have informed buying positions as soon as possible -- but recently publishing a review on the same day as launch is a good way to be a few days too early on what will inevitably be a mass influx of bugs and issues discovered by the community. As it stands, we have elected a far more conservative position of releasing day one impressions -- but leaving the scored review to a few days after release.

For us, much less to many consumers needing to spend $60 on a brand new game, the uncertainty of how a piece of software is going to react to gamers logging in is simply too great to justify a day one purchase recommendation. That is the unfortunate reality of gaming in the final days 2014.

Is there anything developers and publishers can do to ensure better launches of games in the future?

Member Comments
# 1 elgreazy1 @ 11/14/14 03:51 PM
Answer: Yes, developers & publishers can ensure better launches by having a bit of professional integrity and looking to satisfying the customer's needs instead of the shareholders.


Edit.

I work for an interactive, digital agency. There have been countless times when we've been pushed to the brink by our clients, but never under any circumstance do we released a broken product - even if it means we lose money (that one time). If we did release a broken product, it would taint our name and the product/client we are working for. It's about ethics and integrity, and many gaming companies simply don't care because they can get away with what they're doing. It is the norm now. Consumers don't care. They accept this.

I've seen countless posts from people on OS who are okay with waiting a month or two for patches to Madden before they even begin their Franchises. 2 MONTHS!?! That's a 1/6th of the way through the life-cycle of the game! And the worst thing, they do this every year because they expect the product to be shipped broken.
 
# 2 murph17 @ 11/14/14 04:12 PM
Should you: no.

Will I and most sports gamers continue to do so: yes.
 
# 3 Branchurian @ 11/14/14 04:28 PM
No

However, seems most ppl are complacent with doing the same thing every year. We want better products yet we accept being spoon feed garbage. Then when you say it's garbage, you come back & eat the same garbage. We can be mad all we want but not at the devs. We should be mad at ourselves for we are the source of why things are they way they are.Until we look inward & really change up our habits, why should these gaming companies change up their habits. Been a fraustrating decade with the PS3/XBox. Looks like this generation will be a waste too.
 
# 4 prowrestlingguy @ 11/14/14 04:32 PM
Almost every sports game that I've bought over the last two years has had some sort of crippling issue at launch for me. Some of those games were able to fix those issues with a patch while other games were broken for their entire shelf life.
As of today, I'm telling myself I won't buy another game until at least a month after launch...however when next year's launch cycle hits I'm sure I'll have an incredible hard time with that...
 
# 5 Ghost Of The Year @ 11/14/14 04:35 PM
Should you? Only if you want to. I mean, I don't want to see any laws made where you MUST buy at launch lol
 
# 6 kystormchaser @ 11/14/14 05:11 PM
I bought MLB The Show 14 on launch day. I don't remember any problems at all. The online experience was too laggy to be enjoyable but the offline experience was fine.

Buying NBA 2k15 on launch day was obviously a bigger fiasco because of their server issues, and those server issues still constantly linger under the surface when playing mostly offline, and take most of the enjoyability out of the MyPark experience.

Battlefield 4, well we know what happened with that, although had the rubber banding issues not destroyed that game it's longer life-cycle made the early glitches more tolerable.

Madden 15 seemed OK on launch day, but again I play mostly offline and am not super into Madden.

I can't decide if the issues though, particularly with 2k is more a function of the game pushing the envelope in a way that can not realistically be tested prior to launch (playing 5 and 10 year seasons over multiple permutations) or the companies knowing the community will forgive them for mistakes.

To SOME extent (not all obviously) I think the gaming community is too unforgiving with minor glitches that do not affect gameplay. (i.e. I can't change my JERSEY COLOR!! or the blowing shorts glitch with 2k) Its still a video game, the experience (I looked at the scoreboard in MLB:TS and noticed my BA was slipping, I mean really) has become so immersive exact reality becomes the expectation.
 
# 7 RandyBass @ 11/14/14 08:27 PM
Is there anything developers and publishers can do to ensure better launches of games in the future?

Yeah, run beta programs. Surprised they don't do this already.
 
# 8 TjJunior @ 11/14/14 11:52 PM
When you look at a title like EA UFC, which was pretty sub par at launch and compare the gameplay and content to the way it is now for 20.00 bucks in the xbox store, you gotta say NO! I mean why would you when you can get a far superior product for a cheaper price later?
 
# 9 Cards_King70 @ 11/15/14 04:08 AM
I usually will pre-order to reserve my games that means I will pick up them during launch day. However, I won't buy some unknown games at launch day for obvious reason ,but I often ended up regret for not buy them asap for some reasons.

Since I am hardcore Gust fan, I always keep eye on their games then will buy them during launch day. I also am doing same thing for my favorite brand games ,but I will pass on them if I discover that game is not liking to me i.,e. FFXIII.
 
# 10 jcmreds @ 11/15/14 09:57 AM
There are a select few games that I buy on launch day. MLB The Show is an automatic day one purchase, and GTA. The only reason I picked up NBA 2K15 was due to an insane trade in deal, but as an offline player I've enjoyed it quite a bit.
 
# 11 Eaglerock562 @ 11/16/14 11:23 PM
Is there anything developers and publishers can do to ensure better launches of games in the future?

Yes, infact they use to do this, but with NBA 2K they have not done it in the past 2-3 years and that is DEMO....of not just a five minute game of the final two teams, but a limited access to each game mode and a five minute demo of each possibly.

See, the thing is this. When a game is released and a company is quiet about the issues that game has after released leads consumers to only one conclusion and that is that the company simply didn't complete the game and just shipped it out to meet the release date and collect the money. It shows a complete lack of respect towards your consumers and it won't be long til it leads to someone saying enough is enough and ends up sueing a company (after all, in this world there's always a first for everything).

Another thing that these developers and testers and companies can do is simply fix all the issues within a product before turning their attention onto adding new features and creating new issues. Ignoring existing issues on a yearly basis while adding new features to a game can only lead consumers to a conclusion that the company simply DOES NOT know how to fix the issues.

Last thing is simply this, take ownership and responability of your product if you are going to release it and advertise the heck out of it in the media. Stand by what you say about your product and deliver. Ignoring the problems or responding with the "company line" doesn't solve anything other then make your consumers even that much more doubtful of your product and that much more convinced that they should invest their money in an alternative (which means another company's product of the same gametype) or simply invest in something else that might not be in your field of expertise all together.

Consumers can survive without games. These companies can't survive with out consumers.
 
# 12 Commercial Seal @ 12/10/14 03:28 PM
Developers are putting and promoting graphics more then the actual interaction with the game .... Where living the mid 80's crisis all over again... Gamers want quality// Developers want quantity! !
 
# 13 23 @ 12/10/14 10:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eaglerock562
Is there anything developers and publishers can do to ensure better launches of games in the future?

Yes, infact they use to do this, but with NBA 2K they have not done it in the past 2-3 years and that is DEMO....of not just a five minute game of the final two teams, but a limited access to each game mode and a five minute demo of each possibly.

See, the thing is this. When a game is released and a company is quiet about the issues that game has after released leads consumers to only one conclusion and that is that the company simply didn't complete the game and just shipped it out to meet the release date and collect the money. It shows a complete lack of respect towards your consumers and it won't be long til it leads to someone saying enough is enough and ends up sueing a company (after all, in this world there's always a first for everything).

Another thing that these developers and testers and companies can do is simply fix all the issues within a product before turning their attention onto adding new features and creating new issues. Ignoring existing issues on a yearly basis while adding new features to a game can only lead consumers to a conclusion that the company simply DOES NOT know how to fix the issues.

Last thing is simply this, take ownership and responability of your product if you are going to release it and advertise the heck out of it in the media. Stand by what you say about your product and deliver. Ignoring the problems or responding with the "company line" doesn't solve anything other then make your consumers even that much more doubtful of your product and that much more convinced that they should invest their money in an alternative (which means another company's product of the same gametype) or simply invest in something else that might not be in your field of expertise all together.

Consumers can survive without games. These companies can't survive with out consumers.
This one case I have to disagree with you on 2k because the we're on the forums. Mike Wang did a huge QA. Da Czar and leftos as well as davez were al communicating and taking feedback.

I'm a little more forgiving with sports titles because of such short windows of production but those patches should work. Playing a demo which is already stripped down won't give good enough feedback unless they releasea full demo and marketing usually doesn't.



Anyway I think I'm more conservative with my money. As much as I like AC I simply won't but a game if I perceive its not worth the headache to me.
 
# 14 MalignantPlague @ 12/10/14 11:38 PM
That's cool because I am definitely more of an "offline" player when it comes to playing my sports games. On a side note, in NBA 2k14 for PS4 I was disappointed to find out that when you play just a regular season mode, such as a 14 game season and not the full thing, forced trades are always on. That was almost enough to keep me away from that mode because I hate that I can just trade wherever or whoever I want. Is this fixed in NBA 2k15?
 
# 15 fistofrage @ 12/11/14 12:58 PM
If you are an offline player. Never, ever, buy a sports game at launch, especially an EA sports game if you like to play anything but default.

Its a major waste of time and effort to tweak sliders and try to customize a game to your liking only to have a patch or tuner completely change or even destroy the gameplay.

If you can hold out, you should always play the sports games 1 year in arrears. The game has been patched and you'll be playing the final version and all the reviews are out and the problems are all clearly listed so you can make an informed decision.

Unfortunately Madden gets a rating of 8+ every year. There are things like lack of holding penalties and the sack issue as well as CFM issues. It would seem that at best it could get a 7 and then go down from there based on all the other issues that have popped up. As long as these games get good reviews and the sales numbers are there, they will keep throwing out unfinished programs.

Basically as long as they can functionally play online head to head, the game is a go. They may or may not address issues for sim gamers or offline gamers.
 
# 16 Mr_Braun @ 12/12/14 03:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commercial Seal
Developers are putting and promoting graphics more then the actual interaction with the game .... Where living the mid 80's crisis all over again... Gamers want quality// Developers want quantity! !

This.

A lot of beautiful games with half assed gameplay have came out lately,
 

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