OXM: How our obsession with bugs leads to blander games

OXM's Matt writes: "Consistency is nice, but wouldn't you prefer more content?"

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jimbobwahey2786d ago

Stupid article written by a fool. I mean really? We're seeing games with less bugs these days? Pull the other one. We're seeing more unfinished games released now than ever before, with the standard industry practice of "Eh, we'll fix the issues with patches if it sells well". People need to stop making excuses for the crappy business practices of all these publishers.

dirigiblebill2786d ago

"We're seeing more unfinished games released now than ever before."

Prove it.

MysticStrummer2786d ago

It's up to the person who wrote the article to prove that "we" are seeing games with fewer bugs these days. Personally what I see is that many games get day one patches, a good number of games keep having problems through multiple patches, and some games are never fully patched. Dead Island is the buggiest game I have ever played in my 30+ years gaming. Unless the writer was using the royal "we" when he/she made that statement, he/she was wrong. Bugs will occur in most games from time to time, but the safety net of the day one patch is clearly making devs lazy. Pressure to release on time is another factor though.

dirigiblebill2786d ago (Edited 2786d ago )


OK, so both you and (I assume) he are trading on personal experience to support your arguments about bugs in games. Given the sheer range of factors involved, not least time, I guess it's impossible to say for sure who's right.

But I'll tell you what I do know. I know that games are more complicated now than ever, and thus much harder to debug. I know - having interviewed a number of QA staff on this count - that audience expectations have risen dramatically over the past 10-15 years thanks to an expanding market. And I know that we've never had so many ways to publicise the presence of bugs as we do today.

Coupled with my own experiences of bugs in the past, this suggests to me that once you take greater complexity into account, games are no buggier now, byte for byte, than they ever were - we're just more inclined to notice the bugs that do exist, and better able to complain when we do. Not a conclusive finding by any means, but what do you think?

jimbobwahey2786d ago

How many games shipped on SNES/Genesis with gamebreaking bugs that needed patching? Same goes for PSX/N64/Saturn era. Repeat for PS2/Gamecube/Xbox era.

Now it's the exact opposite, it's incredibly rare to find a game these days that doesn't need fixing after release. The only way I can see somebody not noticing the significant increase of buggy games is they were simply too young (or not even born) during previous console generations to know any better.

Now you can try to make excuses of "Oh, but games are so much more complex these days!" but that doesn't excuse releasing broken, unfinished games. I mean it's just as easy to say that publishers are making so much more money these days than they were before, so they should use some of those extra profits to release finished products right?

No, I'm sorry but there's no excuse. I see that you're the one who submitted this article so I assume you're the author as well, yes? Well ok then, since you're the one who made the original claim that games are less buggy these days than they before, it's upon you to prove what you say. Good luck with that!

dirigiblebill2786d ago (Edited 2786d ago )

"How many games shipped on SNES/Genesis with gamebreaking bugs that needed patching?"

I don't know. Do you? Does anybody? Wouldn't it be handy for all concerned if someone did? :) That way, when somebody makes a wild claim like "there's been a significant increase of buggy games" we could subject it to something approaching objective scrutiny.

I'm not the writer, but seeing as you're putting me on the spot - I've already made the case that there are "more bugs" in games nowadays simply because consumers notice them more, and have more ways to circulate their displeasure. The QA chaps I mentioned work at VMC, Babel Media, Sports Interactive and EA, so you've got a fairly broad slate of opinion there. Do you have any stronger evidence to the contrary?

"Now you can try to make excuses of "Oh, but games are so much more complex these days!" but that doesn't excuse releasing broken, unfinished games."

Depends what you mean by "broken and unfinished", I guess. Are you being literal - "unfinished" as in Soul Reaver's missing boss fight, "broken" as in Jet Set Willy? (Both, you'll notice, games from a bygone era.) Or are you talking about frame-rate problems and backwards dragons?

PS. Regarding the point about publishers spending more of their immense profits on bug-testing - again, we're somewhat at a loss for real data here. Allow me to start things off: according to Harvey Elliott, former VP and general manager of EA Casual, game budgets increased from $500,000 to $20 million between 1992 and 2008. There does seem to be more cash flowing around, but costs have rocketed.

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NYC_Gamer2786d ago

Many publishers are getting the slap on the wrist for releasing buggy/unpolished software....

kent800820072786d ago

Developers don't have time and money to work on menus/UI/debug because they want to throw in exciting extra content to make the game good

Is this even worth writing an article about? What a waste of digital space

pandehz2786d ago

Lmao the amount of bugs these days. One of these days im gonna bug spray my retail discs.