Real Talk By: Knowledge
There has been a recent and frustrating trend of games that are highly anticipated, full of hype, and at initial launch, broken.
Years ago, a game that launched with online bugs and the need for a patch was accepted because, flat-out, the companies had no idea how many people would try to play at once, or even how many people would go out and buy the game. Now, companies project their total buys and see a huge number in front of them and use this number with their game launch in mind. This would lead me to believe that all the hours of works all the manpower used would be proportionate to how many people they expected to go out, day one, to buy these games. However, if any of you have had the misfortune of buying one of these games, then you’ve experienced the pure frustration that comes with the sight of a “Destiny Servers are not available” or “2k servers are unavailable” sight on your TV screen.
There are 5 big games that stand are the forefront of this problem, you could call them the poster children for being broken. The games I’m referring to are Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, NBA 2k15, DriveClub, and Halo Master Chief Collection. Every single one of these games was listed just a year prior as some of the most anticipated games of 2014. Every one of them are made by developers who are known for pumping out great games and have huge followings, not to mention some are just the newest release in a series or a re-mastering. More troubling, every one of these games was broken when they were released. Whether it was online connectivity problems, or a patch was needed to fix a graphics glitch, every one had problems.
Destiny: Where do I begin? If you didn’t have trouble getting onto the servers, you had trouble maintaining a connection to them. And for a game that you can only play online, this is a huge problem. If you didn’t glitch across a planet on your sparrow, you get killed by an enemy who magically walked through all of your bullets and split you in half with a sword, and then they died. Matchmaking was one of the smaller problems but still spotty. The whole storyline problem is for another time, but the game was riddled with problems.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: While one of the more visually striking games, more specifically storyline, the online play was faulty at best. This franchise has built up a reputation with online gamers so deep that a lot of gamers don’t even play the story from the time they open the box until the next game comes out. Yet, somehow people had a problem with connectivity whether it was PSN or XBL.
NBA 2k15: Just good luck in general. Matchmaking was a nightmare, so much that it turned some of the less dedicated 2k fans away from online altogether. If you were looking to play a special mode called “The park” it was hard to even get into a game or make your own. Online modes for 2k have always been somewhat spotty but this year’s version was a whole new ball game, pun intended.
DriveClub: The problem was so bad that they simply didn’t let people play online at first. Then it grew into first come first serve and you couldn’t race online until someone else logged off. The entire game is based around building this club of drivers and building a reputation across the Playstation Network as the best. Well good luck even making a club because you couldn’t until Tommy Newcomer signed off.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection: In a word, matchmaking. KJ himself once called me and said he had been waiting in matchmaking for one round of online multiplayer for over an hour. You would think maybe it was because of a lack of players online. That was not the case as there were hundreds of thousands of people online throughout the world and it was also what some people call in the gaming community “high-tide gaming”.
As I said before, these games are not the only ones but they are, to me, the biggest games with some of the biggest problems. How is this possible? How can game developers not expect the possible blockbuster games to have potentially millions of people trying to play at once? I understand that every day the gaming community grows and even more so every year. But when you project your sales numbers to the world, you better be ready for what comes if you meet those numbers. As a community of gamers, but even more simply as customers we deserve more. I expect these huge games to account for how many households own a gaming system, how many of them own online accounts, what times people are more likely to play.
Stop rushing these games! We understand that you need time to sure everything up, it’s hard for players to understand sometimes when games get delayed, but I would rather see a fantastic finished product and not some game that needs a new patch every week. Also, sometimes cough*call of duty* cough, you don’t need to put out a new game every year.