So if you're a gamer or you even lightly follow tech news, you've likely heard about the release of Assassins Creed: Unity. This release was a clusterfuck if there ever was one. Note that I'm not going to get into the game's content, only the playability and problems with the launch.
First off, the initially released minimum specs seemed to be completely out of line and insanely high. These specs coupled with horrendous performance must have been because of piss poor optimization and coding.
Secondly, the 'finished' product was so full of holes and problems and defects it was indistinguishable from the Jets. Many people were reporting:
- Problems loading up the game
- Extremely bad performance even on high-end systems.
- NPC's were popping in and out of existence and made gameplay very difficult. You would be chasing after a target and then have a random NPC pop in front of you and break your chase.
Along with many, many more if you Google about the game.
All of the above points will sooner or later filter into the idea that you shouldn't release a game until it is actually stable and complete. There have simply been too many instances of a game being released and requiring a number of patches until it is ready or even playable.
I know that you won't be able to get/fix every bug until you release it and it is played by millions of people. Even if you have the best developers in the world with an amazing development cycle, it is impossible to catch everything until you realize it out into the open.
What I don't understand is how a company can release a game when it is CLEARLY broken. All this does is erode the trust consumers have in the publishers.
I know why people release crap, unfinished games.....
The higher-ups in the suits really don't care about what the game is, only that it makes money. They don't care if you say, 'hey we need 4 more weeks to release it because of these following bugs', they only want you to release on schedule. It's because of this, that I feel bad for the developers and designers since they put the most into the game and usually the anger is directed towards them. The suits only see that the last game or product did poorly and pressure the teams to come out with an even greater product in a shorter amount of time. All this does is put an unimaginable amount of pressure on the developers and teams to rush something out. You will never produce a quality game with this sort of development cycle, only pieces of crap.
We know that the creators and those working on the game want to put out a great product, their work is their live. They put countless hours into creating worlds and characters that are sometimes mirrored images of their creators. They have to balance creating a quality product while staying to schedule. The pressure from up high, while a great driving force in some moments can only be a nagging thorn in their side that will only take away from the game.
Both sides of the publishers and developers need to come to a balance. The developers need to understand that schedules are there for a reason and that release times are important they coincide with other releases and help create a pattern of products. While the publishers need to understand that if you rush developers, you can only be promised an incomplete product. That incomplete product won't be polished, will piss off consumers and will only lead to bad reviews which leads to more pressure on the developers to come out with another 'great' rushed idea. It ends up becoming a circle that needs to be destroyed.