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What Is The Accepted Level Of Instability For New Games?

I imagine this varies from gamer to gamer but it's a more relevant question than ever:

Considering the sheer number of new games that release today with obvious problems, is there a new "accepted level" of instability that most consumers are willing to tolerate? Obviously, that level must be a lot higher than it used to be for console gamers.

One of the biggest reasons console gamers preferred their platforms over PC - back in the day - was simply because of how user-friendly and pain-free the consoles were in comparison. We understood PC was a technically superior platform but many of us simply didn't care, and we tended to prefer the games we had on consoles (JRPGs, sports, action/adventure, platformers, etc.). I mean, for the most part, if you didn't like RTS, FPS or WRPGs, there wasn't much point to having a high-end gaming rig.

But above all else, it was the "push a button and play" simplicity that we appreciated. It was the fact that the games would pretty much always work, and continue to work. In the age of patches and updates, it now seems like no big game releases that is as clean as it should be. I was worried about this the instant I understood that consoles were basically going the PC route, and I feel those fears have been realized. Now, we really do have to alter our expectations. We just have to accept that games will invariably release with problems.

So, taking that into account, what is the new accepted level of instability? At what point do we just throw up our hands and say, "this is unplayable; I'm waiting until you fix it"? As much as I loved The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I put many, many hours into that game and here we sit, over two and a half months after release, and it's only now approaching what I would consider to be an acceptable stability level. That's an extreme case, of course, but most games have issues. That much we know.

And it's annoying.

Tags: video games, current gen, gaming industry

8/9/2015 9:51:12 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (16 posts)


bigrailer19
Sunday, August 09, 2015 @ 10:18:25 PM
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It takes a lot for me to just not play a game because of issues. In fact I can only think of a few: AC Unity, Fallout 3 dlc, and New Vegas, among some others. I never played AC but after the huge update which involved a large part of the map, I lost all interest in trying to be patient enough to get through it. As far as Fallout both the expansions and new Vegas simply froze far to often, and frame rate drops were game breaking. Gave up. Also Skyrim was another. I got well into the game, over 100 hours, and walking into water would freeze the game. I had to stop trying at some point because walking around a body if water was too time consuming. ;)

Anyways I suppose those are good examples of my tipping point.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 8/9/2015 10:19:26 PM

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Ignitus
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 12:54:41 AM
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Depends on the person. Buying games at launch means that you are going to do the quality assurance for the developer. Because of that, I am buying my games months after release. By that time they are fully patched up and usually cheaper.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 9:56:07 PM

yeah i agree man we should be the devs/pubs QA testers

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xnonsuchx
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 2:05:21 AM
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Instability on a console is a sign of shovelware or rushed work. There's no reason any game should be released w/ anything worse than insignificant bugs that don't really affect gameplay. Missing features (depending on features) on release is more acceptable if they are expected shortly after initial release. PC gaming is inherently more of a crapshoot since it's harder for developers to take all PC hardware configurations and drivers into account (well, maybe not with Macs, since they kinda follow the console 'standardized hardware' model), so it's understandable quite a few (though mostly minor) bugs will show up.

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RICHIECOQUI
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 9:37:28 AM
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There is just too much pressure on these developers if the game needs to be delayed then so be it but then gamers start crying on social media about the delays we all need to be patient and let these developers finish their work!!

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bigrailer19
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 10:21:48 AM

Developers are not given enough time either. AC is a good example. Sure the developer might start working on it a couple years prior to release but the annualization and having to meet a strict deadline obviously hinders these games.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 2:07:25 PM

Blame the publishers for that, I think.

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Temjin001
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 9:52:57 AM
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http://kotaku.com/metacritic-matters-how-review-scores-hurt-video-games-472462218

A somewhat related read.

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Ignitus
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 7:35:02 PM

A very interesting article, very insightful. Thanks for sharing it.

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ethird1
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 10:43:23 AM
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People still forget the worst day one console game in history? Battlefield 4!

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maxpontiac
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 11:50:53 AM
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I would rather developers be given all the time need to complete a game that way these "Day 1" patches can become a thing of the past.

Not going to happen though...

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matt99
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 3:22:20 PM

Well the longer the development the more it costs to make so at some point it stops being worth it. However, most games could do with a few extra months and still make a lot of money.

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frostface
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 12:51:27 PM
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I just this week bought secondhand AC:Unity and I have to admit I'm enjoying it more than I thought though I categorically disagree with it being worthy of a score of 9. It does so much right but even after the 7.5GB patch I had to install, the game has crashed twice on me and I still see people dropping into the environment. Also the game slows a little when there's lots of crowds on screen. Ubisoft where ambitious with that game but sacrificed stability to achieve their vision. In one hand I applaud them but theres technically too much wrong with the game even after being patched to push it into that elite 9+ we hear about. But then again, feck review scores. But I can only imagine how bad the game must have been on release and that's unacceptable. Heck, even were it's at now is unacceptable but I guess I've grown accustomed to games being broken and have become more forgiving. Shame on me.

Last edited by frostface on 8/10/2015 12:52:57 PM

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matt99
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 3:20:26 PM

It wasn't that bad on release, people just like to complain. It had bugs, but I found it totally playable. The main problem with it was the integration of micro-transactions and making some missions damn near impossible to do solo.

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frostface
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 4:28:22 PM

I have found that alright. Just playing the game doesn't get me enough currency to afford the higher rated gear.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 9:55:27 PM
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i think the instability was a think at the end of boss fights was a reward cos the game went all wakey and you knew you had beat the boss and/or the game so i guess a little bit here and there is not too bad but i don't like it too much and @Ignitus is right that we should worry about us the players doing the QA for devs and/or pubs and thats not our job the gane should work from day 1 with not major problems the odd glitch or bug that isn't game breaking isn't the end of the work but not good in a perfect world there wouold be no bugs but it is a perfect world so you kinda have to accept the odd bug or glitch at times but its not excuse for these brocken games and thats why i didn't get AC Unity untill just the other week cos it was brocken when it first came out and that wasn't good enough for me at all, even though my friend wasn't too fused.

happy gaming

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