No Man’s Sky has launched their new update titled “Foundations” and when Nerds Templars own Rocky Maxwell asked if I was going to write about it, I really didn’t want to. But this update brings to light an issue that isn’t new to the Video Game industry, but it is an issue that we as consumers need to address. What does The Division, No Man’s Sky, Master Chief Collection and Watch Dogs 2 have in common? They were shipped either broken or unfinished.
I want you to go back to 2011, look at Skyrim. Did the game have glitches? Hell yeah! Did the game have bugs? Absolutely. But it didn’t need to be patched. The game worked as it was intended on day ONE, not a few days later, not a week later, on day ONE. It’s gotten to the point where other reviewers are holding off final review scores. While I may not review many blockbuster hits, I review a game based on how it is when I get it, I don’t review it based on promises from the developer to fix what’s broken.
Let me push my point further. Here’s aN insight on what my process is from me writing my review to it being on our site. I play a game and I write about my experiences, pros, cons, feelings and an overview of everything. Once it’s written I read it 2-3 times to catch mistakes and then I submit it to Ken, my editor, so he can catch any mistakes I missed. He then adds pictures, pretty it up for you guys and then it goes on the site. I don’t write a review, leave out the concluding paragraph and then add it six weeks later with an apology. I do my due diligence, make sure everything is correct and then I have my finished product.
Where a lot of people get their gaming news is IGN, which is fine, they’re usually a good source of information. What I found was 3 tweets posted back to back on November 15th from an IGN employee that say:
“Watch Dogs 2 launching with busted multiplayer is a good example of why we do reviews in progress.”
“We’re both letting consumers know there’s a big problem right now, but also holding off on a final score to be fair to the developers.”
“The last thing I want is to give a game I like a permanent lower score because of problems that prove to be temporary.”
As a reviewer myself, I feel like this is a dangerous mentality. People go to reviewers for their thoughts and opinions so they can make an informed purchase. When you fail in that, you fail your reader. Notice the last tweet, this employee uses the term “I like”. I’ve liked plenty of games that I’ve given a bad score to. I’ll admit, I played No Man’s Sky for weeks and had a pretty good time. My review judged the game as it was however, the good and the bad. These developers have the ability to delay a game if it’s unfinished or if it’s broken. That used to be common practice. Sure, the community would be mad for a couple of days, but in the end people knew it was to help the game. What we’re seeing today is the opposite, what we’re seeing today is not okay.
Remember the Master Chief Collection? How broken it was at launch? The story missions worked fine, but good luck if you wanted to play multiplayer, because you couldn’t. The Division? They just launched a new patch that changed the game completely to try and bring players back. Watch Dogs 2 launched with broken multiplayer and No Man’s Sky launched with so few of the promised features that it was under investigation for false advertising. How did we get here? Why do we think that this is ok? We’re offering our hard earned money for games and we’re not getting full games anymore, we’re only getting content. Some of which may not work.
This article started off as a No Man’s Sky update post ,but turned into something much more important. If you agree with me that we shouldn’t excuse games for launching broken, let me know. If you think we should excuse those games, let me know why. As you can probably tell, I put a lot of emotion into this topic and that’s why I’ll be doing another post like this tomorrow. Different topic but same format. That’s it for today. Let me know your thoughts and opinions
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