News Post

One of the popular opinions on OS and around gaming (seemingly) is that patches spur game developers to willingly let bugs be shipped in a game because it can be patched later. The question we're asking today is just that: Do you believe sports game developers willingly let bugs into the final product because they can be patched later?

Sound off by voting in our poll on your right on the frontpage and above you in the forums!

Member Comments
# 1 Retropyro @ 12/20/12 05:40 PM
I believe it's true. But I'd take that knowing that the game can be fixed unlike back in the past where the game was just screwed.
# 2 nuckles2k2 @ 12/20/12 05:41 PM
It's just the nature of the beast. I'm sure developers let some bugs go in previous console generations if the "bug" wasn't game-crippling.

I don't think developers get lazy and say "ahhh **** it, we'll patch it.." Errors are going to happen...we get "patches" for our operating systems on computers, phones, tablet computers, etc. Software on video game consoles is no different. Now the quality of the initial release of a game is a diff story...some companies just seem to be sticklers for quality more-so than others. I don't think you can directly link that to patches...I think it has more to do with:

"if we build it, they will come."


Wasn't it reported that EA had to get permission from the NFL to skip a year of Madden? Because they're contractually obligated to release a game every year?
Not sure if that's an internet rumor, or if it's legit. I wouldn't be surprised either way, but it sounds like something that would be in the contract where millions is changing hands for the rights to the usage of a brand.
# 3 mestevo @ 12/20/12 05:42 PM
In general, no. To say patches are a crutch and are due to lazy programming is to ignore that games have never been more complex nor has there ever been more pressure for a game to be great.

Just like the NFL, people complain about all the changes in the name of player safety, and they ignore that players have never been faster or stronger.

Patches are a luxury we're lucky to have. They cost money though, so no I don't think they're taken as lightly as some would believe.
# 4 rudyjuly2 @ 12/20/12 05:47 PM
Definitely agree. Games are rushed out the door with the idea if something is wrong they can just patch it. It's human nature in a deadline world. The deadline is no longer when the game goes gold. It's often a couple months after now.
# 5 DJ @ 12/20/12 06:12 PM
Seeing as how it's almost customary for sports games to receive a patch on launch day, I do believe that developers do allow bugs to get through.
# 6 Calipup @ 12/20/12 06:17 PM
A game will mostly always have bugs and some minor problems that will need to be fixed. If they kept pushing back the deadline to make sure there were absolutely no bugs at all, the consumers may have to wait who knows how long.
# 7 BBallcoach @ 12/20/12 06:52 PM
A game will have bugs that slip by the devs... I don't think they purposely ship games with unplayable bugs, but more often than not we see games get day 1 patches, what does that mean? well two thoughts occur.
1. They caught a bug after it went gold
2. They knew about the bug after it went gold and decided to just fix it with a patch.

If it's #1 that's defensible. If it's #2 that can be due to a deadline or laziness (or what ever you want to call it)
# 8 TreFacTor @ 12/20/12 06:57 PM
I voted yes, but that's just my opinion on some developers and some games (guess which ones). While some will contend that making games is harder, and the patches are a tool for repair, I can't agree fully because it would depend on the game and game maker. If the game took 4 years to develop and is a new Ip I would be remiss if I nit picked on every little problem. If the game is the 5th or 20th installment running a revamped engine, then absolutely I'm nailing it to the wall patches or not.

Don't get me wrong some of my favorite games have bugs, but most of those games get better and improve with input from their community so that the next game doesn't need life ICU when it's released. Will there be bugs that slip through? Of course no one is perfect, but when you continually let the same ones pass it's a tell tale sign that it's perfectly ok with the devs to let the go un addressed.
# 9 fsufan4423 @ 12/20/12 06:58 PM
Since most sports games don't make huge advancements (NCAA 13) its crazy how many bugs and glitches get through. When they decide to patch the problems, we treat them like heros for fixing something that should have never been released in that state to begin with.
# 10 CM Hooe @ 12/20/12 07:04 PM
I voted yes, sports game developers do tend to let bugs appear in retail releases, but only because the alternative - delaying the release of the game - is not something that is allowed to happen.
# 11 cattlekiller @ 12/20/12 07:10 PM
I'm glad we get patches in most game series.
WWE 13 for instance only one patch and all kinds of issues still, and now they are bankrupt no telling if they are going to fix whats there or just say screw it.

I'm OK with games released with minor things that might have slipped thru , but game breaking things that make or break someones purchase that continue to plague the game I'm not.
# 12 dickey1331 @ 12/20/12 07:54 PM
I think so. You have games that have release day patches which is probably used to fix bugs they know about it.
# 13 H to the Oza @ 12/20/12 08:05 PM
I think so too, but I place the biggest blame on the short, one year (less?) development cycles
# 14 xirdneh132 @ 12/20/12 10:04 PM
I don't think it's laziness just a time issue. NCAA Football must be released in August (because EA says so), Madden must be released before the start of the regular season so to me it's more about timing. Madden starting a new engine has all of a few months to get everything together and implementing new things, especially something as complicated as football, there will be bugs. Grand Theft Auto and other games don't have those issues, they can spend over a year fully developing every aspect of the game. I believe the developers are working as hard as they can, it's the business side that sets a deadline and forces them to push things through.
# 15 BreaksoftheGame @ 12/20/12 11:18 PM
I just finished implementing a software application for a company. At some point you need to release the thing live. You can only have functional and integration testing for so long. The issue is the time to regress any changes in testing. It is a lot of man hours. One change to dynasty in franchise mode and then many scripts need retested.

I wish sport games went to a MORPG format where the companies could have better scope for a project instead of creating a "new/fresh" game every year. But that type of change would require a massive structural change for the companies.

Personally patches address issues better than new versions of a game ever will. With internet connectivity increasing to close to universal for gamers I think more patches will equal greater efficiency rather than longer time to release games etc.....in fact I was hoping the disc and release date would all but disappear soon.
# 16 DirtyJerz32 @ 12/20/12 11:53 PM
Not sure if its laziness more than consumers expecting a perfect product. Now, if a game ships with a feature that isn't working correctly then yes a patches needed.

Also, the time that developers get to put out games is a pretty quick cycle. If all developers had 2 years like, COD, Halo, RDR than they probably wouldn't need patches.
# 17 Knight165 @ 12/21/12 12:06 AM
I doubt they "willingly" let games ship w/bugs.
It's a poor choice of words to talk about this topic on.
There is a date.....that date is pretty much immovable and not set by the devs themselves.
If there is a bug in the game that they cannot squash before that date..yeah the game is going out to go gold.
Nothing they can do about it.

The topic should really be..
"Are development teams FORCED to ship games with bugs?"

# 18 tril @ 12/21/12 12:13 AM
its not laziness its part of the software development lifecyle. Bugs are categorized, and as long as the bugs dont break the core functionality of the product, the product will ship, especially if its found near or at the deadline.
# 19 canesfins @ 12/21/12 01:39 AM
I had to vote yes, The reason is when I got NCAA on release day most of the bugs in the game were so obvious that your telling me the developers/whoever accidently let it slip by and did not notice it in tests? I'm not even talking about the small stuff that some people complain about but whoever played ncaa 13 a couple days after release day can most likely agree what I'm saying about the obvious bugs.
# 20 simgamer0005 @ 12/21/12 03:52 AM
one thing to remember is that console patches are specific to this generation, specifically 360 and PS3. so for many sports franchises the ability to patch a game kinda changed the way people experience sports video games. before that, when you bought madden or ncaa or any game, you had the game, the final version. there were many bugs in the game, but i believe also devs tested the versions that went gold and was made into a disc and released much more thoroughly. in a first person shooter or non-sports games, many people were used to patches on PC games. but for sports franchises that weren't on PC, patches were a very new thing. in theory a game shouldn't need a patch.

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