ATTN Gaming Industry: Should We Expect Problems With Every New Game Release?
In the wake of what some would consider the most botched month of game releases in history, can the gaming industry handle big releases?
In the wake of what some would consider the most botched month of game releases in history (and we’re only halfway through the month), Ubisoft, 343 Industries, and Sledgehammer Games have left many of us wondering if any of these companies are equipped to handle AAA title releases. For those under a rock for the past fourteen days; Assassin’s Creed: Unity was nearly unplayable for many gamers (this wasn’t necessarily a server issue though, more on that further down) and Halo: The Master Chief Collection was basically absent of multiplayer for the first 48 hours of its release due to high server loads.
The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare server issues can almost be expected at this point, because it happens every year, but still, why is it happening? Large-scale online gaming has been around for 10 plus years now, shouldn’t these major companies with millions of dollars and high-paid programmers be able to fix these issues, buy more servers/space, etc.?
Well, I would like to offer a theory. Yes, maybe they can do that. Maybe they can buy more servers and hire more programmers, but why should they? Why should they invest tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars into bolstering servers when the demand will only last a couple of days? The influx and high server load will last two weeks, tops; after that you will begin to see a more steady distribution of traffic to where existing servers can handle it.
“Well, if they do not fix it, I will not play.”
Yes, you will. Don’t lie. The simple fact is that many of us will deal with the problems until they are resolved. It really becomes a numbers game for these studios. If they lose money by adding additional servers, they’re not going to do it. There is not a high enough percentage of gamers who will stop playing due to these errors, plain and simple. Am I saying it’s right? No, but this is a huge, and ever-growing, industry; as many rappers have so eloquently put it, “If it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense.”
Unless customers leave in high enough quantities to affect the company’s sales, it is not fiscally responsible to address these issues.
“But what about Assassin’s Creed?”
Unity has been plagued with errors since day one, however, none were really pertaining to server load. Their issues revolve more so around production quality, or lack thereof. Ridiculously low frame rates, broken textures, and supreme parkour action are just some of the game’s issues. The game should have been delayed, as there are far too many issues with it to be acceptable. The embargo for reviews on Assassin’s Creed: Unity was 12pm of the release day. The game was out for 12 hours before reviewers were allowed to speak on the many obvious issues with the game. This should have been a sign to gamers that they were about to be in for a rough ride.
While we can all agree that this game should not have been released, we also need to keep in mind that there are so many people involved with these games that a lot of the time it’s not even really up to programmers and project leads. As stated earlier, video games are big industry (48 Billion and growing), and with big industry comes demands from investors and stockholders. Basically what it comes down to is hoping gamers deal with these issues until they can be fixed. Once again, not saying it’s right, just saying how it is.
What do you think? Do you agree?