This bit of candid info came courtesy of Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach during a larger interview with the Wall Street Journal. Bach was quoted as saying that in the production of games developers ignore certain bugs.
Just fixing bugs doesn’t make a great game. All games ship with small bugs that developers more or less deliberately have chosen to ignore. The big question is which bugs you choose to fix.
While this may come as a surprise to some gamers, as someone who has been around technology and programming for a long time I’m not surprised in the least bit. Video games are extremely complex things that have ridiculously complex logic and more lines of code than you would probably want to imagine. The truth of the matter about this is that ALL games WILL ship with bugs, there is no getting around it. Unlike some though, I don’t believe this is necessarily indicative of a lowering of game quality but rather an increase in-game complexity. Before a game was able to be “patched”, the bugs were permanent, at least with today’s games there is at least a chance that they can be fixed post release. With milestones and deadlines to be met, decisions have to be made. Trust me, as someone who has had to deliver a product with known bugs, nobody likes to do it but it is sometime an unavoidable truth.
Most games now end up having sometime massive day one patches to fix issues that couldn’t be fixed before the game had to go to manufacturing. This leads some people to ask why developers don’t simply delay the game a few weeks and fix all the bugs before the game ships. This is a feat that is becoming more and more difficult to do as gamers continue to demand more and more freedom and choice, developers simply can’t comprehend everything that a player or player’s might try. I’m not defending a game shipping with massive bugs like say Dead Island, but I’m not against a game shipping with known small bugs that can either be fixed before you even play with a release day patch or one a few weeks after release.
Battlefield 3 ships in about 3 weeks and the team at DICE is still hard at work putting the final touches on the code before it goes to manufacturing, according to Bach they ‘couldn’t release the game today.’