By now I know that I am not the only gamer that feels like this so I just had to say it for all of us. I mean really has it become that hard that not even experienced companies can do it effectively. I mean really, have the budgets gotten so tight that they just forsake quality testing?
The game that just brought this to mind is NBA 2K9 which has major issues with its online component, I have had the game since its release and save the day I wasted playing Fracture (I will write about that later), I have only been able to successfully get online and actually play a game a grand total of..ONE time!! I mean I have to just watch as the rapper “The Game“, tears up the leaderboards and I can’t even get my game on? (I see you L-A-X, I am coming for you lol, and before you try to add him as a friend, his friend list is already full I tried :) )How does this happen you say, well first off the online portion of games is not rated by the ESRB. So you know that little screen that pops up that says that online experience may differ, yeah that actually gets them off the hook well at least legally. But not to beat up on NBA 2K9 too much because I actually think that besides that part that it’s the best and most realistic basketball sim available today. Then there are others and I mean maybe gaming companies are having a bad year but does anybody remember the whole Grand Theft Auto IV online debacle?
Going back to just the game themselves, how about Madden 2009 a game that a lot of people love, it ships with more bugs than a new version of Windows. I mean this game actually had so many glitches that after year 3 of a franchise it literally became unplayable. They told people that they wouldn’t lose their franchises because they didn’t make any changes to the database but of course that only works if you hadn’t tried to start your third season and the game had already started freezing, now at that point the file was corrupt and the update which took them almost 4 weeks to actually get out was useless. There were also just major components of Madden, new features that didn’t even work due to so many bugs.
I know that their will be bugs in video games especially in online components, I mean when you have your largest release ever its hard to anticipate load, and while you can never really know there are tools that simulate load and latency to give you a pretty accurate idea. This a page out of the book of most computer software companies that I think the console based gaming industry needs to steal. I mean MMORPG’s like WoW can support thousands and thousands of players at once and you are telling me that less than 10,000 players can crash most console games online. This isn’t something new and it isn’t something that can’t be fixed, they just have to test them better. We put down our hard-earned money to buy these games that are more expensive than ever before we deserve better.
They need to have a better testing and Q&A program especially for the online components of games. You can not tout features that will allow gamers to do “things they have never been able to do before online” and then consistently as an industry fail to deliver reliable service. I mean as a techhie I am like what are they using to run these things, so old server under somebody’s desk or something because no big boy server like an HP blade (which may be overkill), with big enough bandwidth, and some decently managed storage would even have these problems. Video game companies could host the online component on several different games on the same box, which would save space and money and probably be more efficient. And if they really wanted to go out on a limb at some point after they had mastered that, they could even virtualize the whole thing.
Ok, I am going to techhie hear but what I am saying is they have the money and the resources to make better games and give their users a better finished product. They think that by next year or even the next time a game comes out that we will have forgotten, but the truth is that real gamers never forget.. do we?? So does anybody else feel the way I feel?