It is not just a random occurrence but a prevailing trend these days that every brand-new, big-budget game comes with a day-one patch. Yes, it was a reality till the early days of Xbox 360 to have bug-free newly released games, but the same looks to be a distant dream now. To refresh your memory, just think about the recently released Assassin’s Creed Unity of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which was just in shambles on the face of the series of performance-related issues, before some life was breathed into it by the form of the first patch. This phenomenon makes a dedicated gamer to think that game QA testing hasn’t remained the top priority of the companies like Ubisoft, but that is not the case at all!
A Disturbing But Accepted Trend:
It appears like a tacit deal between the gamers and publishers, as both have no qualms in accepting the buggy games, which can be deemed unplayable at the time of their release. No wonder, it is a common sight these days to see the launch of buggy PC, mobile or even console-based games.
Yes, they don’t get good reviews, but gradually they earn the acceptance among gamers. Depending upon the Internet access and other factors, gaming experience may vary, but the obvious verdict is that amidst a present state of affairs, it has turned into a compulsion for publishers to release buggy games.
The Big Role Of The Internet:
It has become a lot easier and convenient for the developers to fix bugs and glitches in the games, which are played on PCs and consoles, having a constant Internet access. On the hindsight, with the help of the Internet, developers not only fix the bugs but also push the retail versions of games. Developers release these buggy games with the belief that the bugs can be fixed later on by releasing patches via the Internet. Even if it has become a norm these days, companies should avail reliable game testing services to ensure the longevity and viability of their products in the long run.
Need For A Potent Testing Mechanism:
Much of the present trend may be attributed to the fact how exceedingly complex (read dynamic) games have become these days. Given the complexity of the current games – and there’s a need to be so – there is nothing much that the companies can do technically to prevent any bug or release an entirely bug-free game. It is not possible in the present scenario – with games having a life-size recreation of locations, numerous plot missions and side-quests among other factors – to have big-checked while being developed.
But, game developers can avoid big bloopers by sticking to a rigorous testing approach. It is not wise to rely entirely on free game testers, or Beta testers who cannot fully justify your purpose as most of them would be there just to play a free new game. When it’s about a serious (and on top of it rigorous) testing, it is imperative to involve professional QA teams to get the maximum output regarding quality.
After all, releasing patches after complaints only hint at the lack of seriousness of the game publisher.
Laxmikant B. Thipse
Founder & CEO
GameCloud Technologies Pvt Ltd