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Submitted by pixlbit 770d ago | opinion piece

The Ethics of Releasing a Buggy Game

PixlBit | "Something that has become commonplace in gaming’s new world is the infamous day one patch. Because development cycles are so incredibly tight games often have to go to the production line in an incomplete state, leaving the developer in a position to complete the bug fixing post-production, but pre-release. In many instances, the day one patch still isn’t enough to shore up the various bugs, leaving players with a game that may not even work properly on their machines. This begs the question – is it ethical to put a game on the production line that’s incomplete?" (3DS, Dev, Fallout: New Vegas, Industry, PC, PS3, PS4, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Malice-Flare  +   770d ago
releasing something that is so buggy that it is noticeable by the customer is unethical and downright criminal...
ziggurcat  +   770d ago
buggy is one thing, but lying about how you've ironed out all of the problems that were in your previous games, and knowlingly releasing a game to 1/3 of your userbase in a completely unplayable state is for more inexcusable.
Anon1974  +   769d ago
As games become larger and more complicated, this is bound to happen more and more. Sure it can suck, but that's the trade off. The bigger games become, the more that can go wrong.

I still don't know why everyone is so up in arms about Skyrim. The game launched with a problem on the PS3 that effected a minimum amount of users and the major issue was patched within weeks of launch. Skyrim had fewer bugs than either Oblivion or Fallout 3, and yet people acted liked the game was broken on the web, while critics were rightly throwing honours at the game, and rightly so. Funny how they choose only to look at Skyrim, which was an excellent game for the vast majority who played.

We saw a glitch with the 360 version of Borderlands 2 that was making the game unplayable for months before it was pathced and no one said boo, except the users on the game's forums who had to contend with a game that became a crashing mess the further you advanced. Also a damn fine game all around, when it was running properly.

Frankly, I'm glad we're able to have day one patches. Back in the day, when a game shipped broken (and they did) they stayed broken and all you could do was kiss your money goodbye and wish you'd read a few reviews while killing time at the magazine rack in your local drug store.
Doesn't matter it's a console game. This happens every single years since mw2. Just need to get them hyped and it will sell 10 million +.

This happens on pc sometimes. But on a smaller scale.

No one will be cautious in buying skyrim 2 it will sell easy even if bugger.
#2 (Edited 770d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
InTheLab  +   769d ago
Please. Remember Rage? PC is not immune. There's always an article about Bugs,patches, fixes, etc on N4G. Doesn't matter the game. When you have millions of gamers with different specs to cater to, there's bound to be problems.
Bakkies  +   769d ago
They do it, because they can. It's not like they are severely punished by the law or have to make amends.

Look at Skyrim and the faulty Xbox360 or the launch backwards compatible PS3's.
PopRocks359  +   769d ago
If consumers indulge and buy it anyway, they will continue to perform the practice.

Vote with your wallets, people.
ACEMANWISE  +   769d ago
The ethics?

To safeguard their games. They aren't releasing unfinished video games because of laziness or rushed deadlines. They are making sure each physical disc is inferior and problematic without some form of online intervention to correct it. That way they can help safeguard their games from their perception of piracy. There are two forms: Consumer piracy and nonconsumer piracy.

Consumer piracy is their main concern. It accounts for the majority of their perceived losses. It is not really piracy because it's legal, but these companies see it as such as they have fought in court over these issues time and time again. It involves the sale of used games, the act of borrowing a game to a friend, and the act of letting your family all play the same copy to a video game.

Due to the nature of the format (physical) and the companies' lack of ability to control it properly, it's physical properties make the disc ownable. Thus the courts ruled in favor of used game retailers, further negating any further action against lending the disc to a friend, family, etc.

The other form of piracy is from nonconsumers, those who take the video game without purchasing it and, in some cases, mass distributing it to others for free. Whatever the reason, they usually get possession of the game code, convert it and distribute the code in digital form. Remember the word possession. It is the thing they will be taking away...from all of us.

The final agenda is to stream everything through a service without giving anyone possession. Instead they will only offer access, not ownership. Think of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo as banks where they safely store the developer's vauables. The banks then loan out these valuables with interest and split the profits they make, without ever giving anyone anything. Of course there is risk to consider but these banks will make their place as secure and unhackable as possible.

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