Don't expect games to have less buggy launches


According to QA professionals

2014 was a rough time for games being released in complete, bug-free states. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Sonic Boom, Halo: The Master Chief Collection… so many games were released that were just down-right broken and had to be released with multiple post-launch patches.

While 2015 isn’t going too much better (we’re looking at you, Bats), according to bug testing firms interviewed by MCV, there unfortunately also isn’t any sign of it getting better in the runup to Christmas either. Pole to Win localisation director Chris Rowley said:

“The run up to this Christmas will be no different to the last one… Console games are expensive to develop, so missing a street date is not an acceptable situation to a publisher. Day One patches have become the norm over the last few years to try and address this, but the reality is that it often takes several patches where a title is significantly behind schedule.”

In the article, Mathei Lachance – Functionality QA director at Babel – claimed that sometimes a delay to fix bugs is more damaging than the bad reputation that will come with launching a broken game.

There is some positivity though, as Universally Speaking’s QA manager James Cubbit seemingly disagrees with Lachance, saying:

“It is getting better, but far from solved… People need to stop seeing delays as a bad thing, both companies and the user base. The number of companies that just squeeze QA testing into the remaining period, without sufficient time to then fix the issues and re-test, is hurting their own titles in the long run.”

So expect for games in the future to be just as buggy as Assassin’s Creed: Unity, all thanks to the growing cost of game development and QA biting into profit margins. Be cautious of any games you buy, because the complaints of 2014 have already seemingly been forgotten.

With stories like this, it’s always worth remembering the famous Shigeru Miyamoto quote:

“A delayed game is eventually good. A rushed game is forever bad.”

Publishers have learnt nothing from broken game fiasco, warn bug testers [MCV UK]