Designer: Publishers Are Responsible For Buggy Games
When we encounter a bug or a glitch in a game, we immediately blame the developer. They're the ones who actually made the game, right? Logical.
But Wasteland creator and inXile CEO Brian Fargo says that's a mistake. He says developers are treated terribly by game publishers these days and if a buggy game makes it to store shelves, it's the fault of the publisher. Speaking to Ripten, Fargo said that between devs and pubs, "there is more tension than you can believe." He called the way developers are treated by publishers "abysmal."
He added that designers won't speak out against this poor treatment because if they do, they might not get another contract. As for the issue with bugs, Fargo cited developer Obsidian and Fallout: New Vegas.
"Look at the most recent one with those poor guys at Obsidian. They did Fallout: New Vegas, the ship date got moved up and, who does the QA on a project? The publisher is always in charge of QA. When a project goes out buggy, it's not the developer. The developer never says, 'I refuse to fix the bug,' or, 'I don’t know how.' They never do that. It’s the publisher that does the QA, so if a product goes out buggy, it's not the developer’s fault.
So, [Fallout: New Vegas] goes out buggy and they didn’t do the QA, their ship date got moved up and they missed their Metacritic rating by one point. Did they get a bonus? No. Do you think that's fair?"
Fargo did say that not all publishers were guilty of mistreating developers, but the "terrible stories" floating around out there are worrisome. For the record, Fargo turned to Kickstarter for his latest project, Wasteland 2; they managed to hit their goal of $900,000 in only two days so obviously, that has worked out very well.
3/29/2012 10:14:04 AM Ben Dutka