Should You Buy Games at Launch?

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Old 11-14-2014, 04:29 PM   #1
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Should You Buy Games at Launch?

"It feels like the developers are knowingly shipping games with giant chunks missing."

That sentiment from OS User RipCityAndy seems to sum up the sentiment of OS'ers at the moment.

In a recent poll on Operation Sports, 47% of respondents said they were no longer buying games at launch after what has been an absolute epidemic of games shipping with broken pieces within them.

With notable non-sports game flubs the past couple of weeks, including the new Halo: The Master Chief Collection shipping with broken online matchmaking as well as Assassins Creed: Unity being a buggy mess -- it seems like the fervor over video games shipping as incomplete nearly 'beta' versions has reached a new level.

In sports gaming, several titles have shipped with pieces or components which simply were not working. NBA 2K15's insistence on being always online even for single player experiences was a brief disaster, as-is Driveclub's continual server issues. NHL 15 managed to ship so stripped down, it caused a near mutiny on OS.

From an editorial point of view, this puts us in a weird position. We want to convey our impressions so our readers can have informed buying positions as soon as possible -- but recently publishing a review on the same day as launch is a good way to be a few days too early on what will inevitably be a mass influx of bugs and issues discovered by the community. As it stands, we have elected a far more conservative position of releasing day one impressions -- but leaving the scored review to a few days after release.

For us, much less to many consumers needing to spend $60 on a brand new game, the uncertainty of how a piece of software is going to react to gamers logging in is simply too great to justify a day one purchase recommendation. That is the unfortunate reality of gaming in the final days 2014.

Is there anything developers and publishers can do to ensure better launches of games in the future?

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Old 11-14-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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Answer: Yes, developers & publishers can ensure better launches by having a bit of professional integrity and looking to satisfying the customer's needs instead of the shareholders.


I work for an interactive, digital agency. There have been countless times when we've been pushed to the brink by our clients, but never under any circumstance do we released a broken product - even if it means we lose money (that one time). If we did release a broken product, it would taint our name and the product/client we are working for. It's about ethics and integrity, and many gaming companies simply don't care because they can get away with what they're doing. It is the norm now. Consumers don't care. They accept this.

I've seen countless posts from people on OS who are okay with waiting a month or two for patches to Madden before they even begin their Franchises. 2 MONTHS!?! That's a 1/6th of the way through the life-cycle of the game! And the worst thing, they do this every year because they expect the product to be shipped broken.

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Old 11-14-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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Should you: no.

Will I and most sports gamers continue to do so: yes.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: Should You Buy Games at Launch?


However, seems most ppl are complacent with doing the same thing every year. We want better products yet we accept being spoon feed garbage. Then when you say it's garbage, you come back & eat the same garbage. We can be mad all we want but not at the devs. We should be mad at ourselves for we are the source of why things are they way they are.Until we look inward & really change up our habits, why should these gaming companies change up their habits. Been a fraustrating decade with the PS3/XBox. Looks like this generation will be a waste too.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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Almost every sports game that I've bought over the last two years has had some sort of crippling issue at launch for me. Some of those games were able to fix those issues with a patch while other games were broken for their entire shelf life.
As of today, I'm telling myself I won't buy another game until at least a month after launch...however when next year's launch cycle hits I'm sure I'll have an incredible hard time with that...
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: Should You Buy Games at Launch?

Should you? Only if you want to. I mean, I don't want to see any laws made where you MUST buy at launch lol

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Old 11-14-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
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The only game ive bought in the last 5yrs (besides a few $1-10 dollar games) was Madden 25 when i purchased the new ps4 last year; what a joke! Played madden a few times over the course of a month but its coming close to a year now that my ps4 and m25 have been in their boxes! I dont trust games now days! I would just stick to buying a football game every year and play the sheet out of it but we all know what that scene has been like the past 10yrs! Ive only been buying older games here n there that only cost a few bucks to combat the lost years of fun! I guess the general population is numb to the idea of buying broken games year after year! Thats why I have bought like 2-3 copies of all the classic games so years from now I can still have some joy in my free time! Im sure my kids and kids-kids will have a bunch of fun too!

PS- Somebody did something to pi**off the video game gods!
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:11 PM   #8
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I bought MLB The Show 14 on launch day. I don't remember any problems at all. The online experience was too laggy to be enjoyable but the offline experience was fine.

Buying NBA 2k15 on launch day was obviously a bigger fiasco because of their server issues, and those server issues still constantly linger under the surface when playing mostly offline, and take most of the enjoyability out of the MyPark experience.

Battlefield 4, well we know what happened with that, although had the rubber banding issues not destroyed that game it's longer life-cycle made the early glitches more tolerable.

Madden 15 seemed OK on launch day, but again I play mostly offline and am not super into Madden.

I can't decide if the issues though, particularly with 2k is more a function of the game pushing the envelope in a way that can not realistically be tested prior to launch (playing 5 and 10 year seasons over multiple permutations) or the companies knowing the community will forgive them for mistakes.

To SOME extent (not all obviously) I think the gaming community is too unforgiving with minor glitches that do not affect gameplay. (i.e. I can't change my JERSEY COLOR!! or the blowing shorts glitch with 2k) Its still a video game, the experience (I looked at the scoreboard in MLB:TS and noticed my BA was slipping, I mean really) has become so immersive exact reality becomes the expectation.
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