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Are Patches Really Good for Gamers?

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Old 08-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #25
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As another person stated, it's a double edged sword. Sure it allows for any errors that made it past Quality Control (or lack there of) to be fixed but at the same time it gives developers an easy pass. Games are so complex now and so long that it's nearly impossible for a small team of testers to catch every error, that's fine, and this is when millions of consumers get to test every facet of the game. So patching is a neccessity at times.

Much like the case of MLB2K8, we say a myriad of problems with Madden 09. We see a game with CPU AI running out of bounds, horrible clock management, beyond effective CPU QB, broken Franchise Mode (2 years in a row) etc from THE BIGGEST GAME COMPANY & BIGGEST FRANCHISE OF ALL TIME. To me, this screams rush-work and lack of quality on the side of the developer and this has been the case for many years now. It's very clear with NCAA 09 & Madden 09 that patches aren't the exception but the rule. This is a company with infinite resources and an obligation to put out an as-near-perfect addition to the millions of consumers who purchase & support the game each year, yet they're given a free pass, of sorts.

There are many people to blame for this. You can blame the companies who are pushing harsh deadlines on developers and only care about the bottom line. You can blame the developers for being sloppy and not putting out quality even though they're reputation is on the line. And most imporantly, you can blame the consumer for giving both a free pass. By purchasing a product half-finished, you essentially are giving the companies & developers a "get out of jail free" card for their lack of quality and laziness. Until the consumer makes a stand you will not see anything change.

Games should not be allowed to get shipped knowing there are problems with the product. How would a consumer feel if a car company would put out a vehicle with faulty brakes? How would a consumer feel if a food company put out an item that could be poisonous or bacteria laden? Maybe, just maybe the government should start stepping in as they have with other products to ensure that the consumer isn't being sold false goods.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:44 AM   #26
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Patches are bad in my opinion. Yes, they do fix problems in a game after release. However, if developers knew they couldn't release patches they would make sure the game was completely finished and tested before they would release it. If they didn't, they know they would loose a lot of money through the lack of sales once word got around that the game was released unfinished or full of problems.

Patches make developers lazy and are bad for consumers. Companies like EA and others are knowingly releasing unfinished games with the attitude of "it is ok, we can finish later in a few months with some patches". Consumers can change this I believe. If enough of us refused to buy games on their release day, instead waiting to see if it is a finished product, and not buying until the game was "finished" (read: patched) then I think developers would stop with their shady tactics.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:47 AM   #27
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Come to think of it, if a game is properly tested then the only "patches" that should be needed after release are Roster Updates.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:53 AM   #28
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Re: Are Patches Really Good for Gamers?

Yeah because there were never problems in games before patches. What perfect game have you played?
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:21 AM   #29
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No game is perfect, but it would eliminate the huge game breaking glitches that companies like EA are knowingly letting out the door on release day.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:09 PM   #30
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Re: Are Patches Really Good for Gamers?

I'm going to say "Not Good," because not every gamer gets on the Internet with their console.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:17 PM   #31
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the problem isn't with the actual pathes themselves. Let me clarify. Sports games(EA,2K) are the only ones in the industry shipping titles every 12 months, when it takes most games at least 18 months to complete. They know about these bugs/glitches in the game before it ships. They have to. There's nothing that would convince me otherwise. Most of these companies seem to care more about turning a profit for shareholders, than making good games. Granted it cost a lot more to develop for next-gen(excluding wii). But for the most part it has taken three or four years before the gameplay was remotely compareable to the last generation of hardware. As mush for the graphics and all that it takes 18 to 24 months to release a decent game. Don't beleive me. The old nfl 2k on dreamcast was in development for two years before it released. I still haven't seen a game that even comes close to the animations and camera views on that game. If u weren't paying attention, u would think u were watching a game on tv.

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Old 08-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #32
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Re: Are Patches Really Good for Gamers?

I think the whole premise of the article is off base.

We aren't getting more patches because developers are using the process as a crutch -- we're getting them because next-gen games are far more complex than their last-gen predecessors. The following quote is taken out of context, but the basic principles the author describes can apply to any increasingly complex system:

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Originally Posted by Leadership and Change in Human Services by Wolf Wolfenberger
"In complex systems, there are more "parts" and whenever there are more parts, there are more things that can go wrong. Think only of how many more "parts" there are to a jumbo jet, as opposed to a 1920's plane or an ox-cart.

...the more complex a system becomes, the less it takes for the system to become destabilized and the more quickly it can become destabilized. A jumbo jet can be disabled by something being wrong with about a pounds worth of small parts..."
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