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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.

Tags: game publishers, game developers, game industry, inxile

3/29/2012 10:14:04 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Geobaldi
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 10:49:05 AM
Reply

I'm one of the ones who donated to the Wasteland kickstarter. Absolutely loved the original way back then.

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frostface
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:04:36 AM
Reply

So I don't blame Eat Sleep Play for a glitchy Twisted Metal? Can't even invert the Y axis even though the option is there, it just does nothing. The game is a turd.

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:49:10 AM

Lol, lame. The game is not a turd.

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frostface
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:00:45 PM

It's turdish. (Although I hate to admit it, after an hour of playing the campaign I'm slowly coming around to it.) lol

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:04:25 PM

...uh, the lack of a control option isn't a glitch.

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:05:44 PM

But he says that the option is there, it just isn't working.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:08:25 PM

Then I have no idea what he's talking about.

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frostface
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:09:27 PM

Thanks Beam. Ben the option to invert the aim reticle is in the games options menu. When it's changed out to invert 'on' nothing changes, it stays the same as invert 'off'. The option not working is a glitch. But from playing it a bit more it's not really as integral to the gameplay as I initially feared, mainly due to the lock on targeting. Maybe later in the game it'll really piss me off or by then I'll have adapted.

Last edited by frostface on 3/29/2012 12:11:02 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:17:49 PM

All right. I really never noticed.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:45:46 PM

How can ANYbody play a game without Invert Y ticked? That should always be the default.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 4:10:08 PM

It absolutely should be.

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xenris
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:12:03 AM
Reply

Yeah blame the publishers. Its what I have been saying in the article about the used game sales thing.

Publishers rush games out in order to please shareholders. Its all corporate influence and THAT is what is killing the industry.

I really hope this kickstarter thing picks up and some really inventive developers start making new unique and fun games, that try something new. Instead of the safe FPS shooter formula.

He hits the nail on the head. Developers are treated like crap.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:08:52 PM

Fight the power. Get that fist in the air.

...
....

'rolling eyes'

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xenris
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 1:16:01 PM

Watch the video on kickstarter for this game. Developers of wasteland and other games are saying publishers and corporate greed are too blame for them not being able to have creative freedom.

Keep being ignorant Ben, your good at it.

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xenris
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 1:25:56 PM

Not to mention this game would be impossible without kickstarter games. Why? Because its too big of a risk. Its not a sure thing for profit.

You can keep rolling your eyes, but it only makes you look silly. I'm done arguing with you, as you haven't once countered any points you just personally attack me and don't further the conversation.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 3:42:32 PM

Shut it. All you've done is say all corporations are evil and they're ruining the industry. Nobody believes that, no analyst believes that, no developer believes that. None of them.

But please, by all means, call me ignorant again so I can just get rid of your INSANE stupidity. Really, go march in the streets and leave the intelligent people to discuss things that you quite clearly know absolutely zilch about.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/29/2012 3:43:51 PM

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xenris
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 5:43:36 PM

I listed corporate choices that changed ME2 and ME3. These were clearly not choices made by Bioware as they contradicted the very lore they set up in the first game.

Just because you don't believe something doesn't mean that its not the truth.

For the record I never used the word evil, except for saying that I never said the word evil. I feel like you can't read or you get so enraged by my posts that you just respond with your tired counter point that I'm a crybaby, spoiled, entitled or insane.

I know zilch about it? I know how publicly traded companies work, and I know how shareholders hold influence. Publishers are usually publicly traded companies except for Valve and a small number of others.

Publishers HAVE to make profit to keep their shareholders happy, if they make the same amount of profit as last quarterly its considered a failure. This is why DLC is getting out of hand.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:52:26 PM

I warned you to shut up. Guess you think I didn't mean it.

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Nlayer
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 12:31:06 AM

Ben, are you okay? I don't really see a problem with what Xenris is saying. I enjoy reading what he has to say, please don't get rid of him. :(

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SmokeyPSD
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 2:06:07 PM

His first comment was a pretty good contribution actually I thought. Why else would a publisher forgo Q&A or other instances than to aim for a better release date, land it before another title hit as one example. To maximize their foreseeable profits and wait for it, maximize growth for the company in the eyes of the shareholders. Pretty reasonable to me and hardly worth banning someone... Bad form.

Is this a strictly pro-capitalism gaming website? That was a joke.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:13:41 AM
Reply

New vegas was a terrible example. That game was so bad, even if it didn't get moved up it wouldn't have been much better. I guess I could see where this would be an issue though. Moving release dates up, putting pressure on the devs, yea that could cause problems. But if I'm running a dev team, my name is on the line and I simply wouldn't release something than runs as badly as New Vegas, bottom line.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/29/2012 11:15:22 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 1:52:17 PM

No objections here, it just struck me: I am incredibly forgiving if I like the game I play.
Cause of course I remember there was problems in New Vegas, but I also remember that I didn't really CARE. I just saved frequently, and always before entering something. And as long as I did that I didn't care much if I had to reset the PS3 now and then.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:03:47 PM

I'm exactly like you, then... Weird.

Anyways I too am not a graphics wh*** - i love great looking games and seeing what developers can do - but I can appreciate a game regardless. It's not to say I didn't like New Vegas (even Fallout 3 has issues and I loved it) I just couldn't play it long enough with out something happening. I could mention other games in the same circumstance but you get the point.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:48:24 PM

I still play New Vegas, maybe it's because of the patches but it runs totally solid now and I rarely run into any glitches. It still pales next to Fallout 3, but it runs better.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 4:54:10 PM

I'll give it another shot then. Gotta finish ME3 and Skyrim first, but I'm certain if I can play it, I'll enjoy it.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:53:47 AM
Reply

I have never understood the willingness to finger point so quickly when everyone should share the blame.

Both the developer AND the publisher have their name on the product afterall.

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:26:03 PM

Indeed. Also if a developer doesn't meet a publishers given deadline, isn't that mostly the developers fault?

Last edited by Jawknee on 3/29/2012 12:26:35 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:48:50 PM

You can't rush genius

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PC_Max
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:17:15 PM
Reply

I get what is being said, but dev and publisher are both at fault regardless. My issue is, whether they did it knowingly. They can't catch all the bugs but I would think the major "can't play this dang thing" bugs. Thats said, in history have we not always punished/blamed those who respond with "I was only following orders" line.

Yes, its survival, but its about integrity and being professional. They are worried they won't get the next contract if they say something? Then look for finance elsewhere. IF you don't, you perpetuate the existing problem and noting changes, or at least it changes very, very slowly.

I appreciate all the work and hours they put in to the design and coding, but you have to take the criticism as well. The players paid for the game with expectations.

I wish them luck and hopefully find/create better publishers.

Keep Playing!

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JackDillinger89
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:30:56 PM
Reply

Great so who do i blame for the glitchfest that was metal gear online? (even though i love that game to death)

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 12:55:16 PM

Huh? What glitchfest? I sunk nearly a hundred hours in MGO. I never encountered a single glitch.

Don't confuse MGO with Skyrim.

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slugga_status
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:28:47 PM

With Jawknee here..I've never played MGO and encountered a glitchfest

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bigrailer19
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 4:56:22 PM

Skyrims not a glitch fest. I've got over 100 hours no issues. I would however like to see a backwards flying dragon! ;)

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maxpontiac
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:43:09 PM

I disagree, well sort of.

Skyrim used to be glitch fest for me, and now, only the Civil War is glitched.

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Fox hounder
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 1:34:58 PM
Reply

Maybe Wasteland 2 is buggy, and this guy is covering himself.

Lol, just kidding :)

Last edited by Fox hounder on 3/29/2012 1:37:16 PM

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wackazoa
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:09:12 PM
Reply

So it's McD's fault theres spit on my burger then ?



* Oh but you cant compare games with other industries.

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Temjin001
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:19:31 PM

ooooh

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2:52:32 PM
Reply

I believe him, there's no way Skyrim would have been released broken in any other circumstance.

Board Meeting

Bethesda Soft: "The game is busted, it slows down after the save reaches a certain size, we need more time."

Bethesda Pub: "It was very difficult to secure that non-tuesday 11-11-11 date so just wrap it up and you will patch it later."



Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/29/2012 2:53:08 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 3:42:57 PM

There's a reason Bethesda games are always buggy.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 4:01:54 PM

Man. I want to laugh at that World, but my glitched out game save on Skyrim won't let me.

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Laguna
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 4:24:27 PM
Reply

Ben, you seem to be very hostile lately. You need to relax! :D

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:55:27 PM

The only reason the industry is in the state it's in is obvious to me: whiny, self-righteous, entitled brats.

The complaining and lecturing will stop, one way or the other. This is ENTERTAINMENT.

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Teddie9
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:40:48 PM
Reply

Well this happens to be how the rest of the coporate world works.

By no means an excuse but a reality that we really don't seem to have immediate control over.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 3/29/2012 6:42:05 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 7:32:17 PM
Reply

Sounds like a crappy situtation to be in.
I can sort of, just sort of, sympathize.
When our instructor assigns us huge projects we have a limited time to get things done. I don't think there's been a single 3D project I've done where I felt anything was fully finished before submitting it for review. I literally have to consider the deadline and scale or overlook certain elements while working within constraints to meet a deadline.
I see this being pretty similar between devs and pubs. The pubs want to market a product that fits their time table, but the devs want to create a game that meets their own standard of quality, I'm sure most of whom take pride in. Sometimes I think when people label a dev as being "lazy" when something isn't perfect they're being overly judgemental because they can't really know what all was going on behind the scenes. I sometimes wonder if games like Enslaved, NG3 and others would've been quite a bit better if given more time. I think it just boils down to how much a pub is willing to work with their team members to make things right and fair.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/29/2012 7:33:27 PM

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 7:50:41 PM
Reply

This is why I have said time and time again that publishers need to stop releasing all their games at 2 keypoints in the year(spring and late fall). It is a recipe for disaster and many devs and gamers have had to suffer because of their bad decisions. Deadlines are a joke, only monetary deadlines hold any real value, as in we have no more money we can't continue.

Developers need time, even if you can give them all the time in the world and an unlimited budget they will still have bugs, BUT the amount will be drastically reduced and game breaking glitches/bugs would all but disappear. They don't need eternity, nor an unlimited budget but they need patience. This is also why I am not a fan of releasing details about a game till it is within roughly a year of being ready for release, this just enrages inpatient gamers.

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___________
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 3:31:09 AM
Reply

OH PLEASE!
im REALLY starting to get sick of this whole whiny its not our fault mentality developers are coming up with!
always have a truckload of excuses lined up for anything!
im sorry, but YOU make the game so its your job to make sure it releases finished.
if the games not running how it should its your responsibility to go to the publisher and say sorry guys but were not on schedule we need more time to clean things up.
if you dont then you have NO ONE but yourselves to blame when people get the sh*ts that the game is buggy.
developers and publishers need to learn all there doing is hurting themselves.
release 1 buggy game every once in a while no one cares as ive said a million times no ones perfect.
BUT when you release buggy game after buggy game after buggy game, well thats a whole other kettle of fish!
thats when you get customers saying f*ck you if you cant be bothered making a working game then i cant be bothered going to the store and purchasing it.
and all you have accomplished is loosing customers, is that what the industry really wants?
im really getting sick of this its good enough mentality!
no its not good enough, its either finished ready to be released or its not!
theres no such thing as its good enough, for the love of god have some f*cking pride in your work!

this is exactly whats REALLY pissing me off about the world today.
no one gives a flying f*ck about their product!
i miss the good old days where things were actually play tested, they would go out and invite people from the public to test things make sure they worked and people liked them.
nowadays though companies dont give a flying f*ck if they work, just release it its good enough!
optus box for instance has a USB port on the front so you can plug a USB drive into the port.
but allot of drives these days have really short slots so the stick is too wide to fit into the port.
printers are the same, i went to JB today to look for a new printer and every single god dam one had a slot for USB so narrow my USB drive would not fit in there.
WTF is the point of having a USB slot if USB drives cant fit in there!?
dont they test these things out?
ah f*ck it just put it there who cares if it actually works.............

or last week i bought a new controller for my PC.
no instruction manual no nothing!
so how are you suppose to know how to get it working?
its plug and play is it?
i spent 2 hours on google trying to find the official website, or some guides on how to install it.
NOTHING!
so i took it back to EB and asked if they had a phone number i could call, they gave me the companies tech support line.
oh sorry sir we dont provide support for that item.
WTF!?
so you want customers to purchase the item but you wont tell them how to use it?
a piece of paper detailing how to install it is really that expensive its going to send the company broke is it?

drives me nuts, gone are the days where companies gave a f*ck about their customers!
what happened to the good old days where a company would sell you something, come to your house, install it for you, then ring you a week or so later to make sure your satisfied with the product?
now your lucky if you get a tech support line to ring, let alone them coming to your house to install it for you!
no one has pride in their work anymore its just everythings its good enough.
NO ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!


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