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Online Games = Beta

Posted: November 21st, 2018, 7:26 pm
by VideoGameCritic
I've been playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on my Xbox One, and while I enjoy the game, it's become clear that you need to continuously download updates just to keep the game in working condition. At first I thought the patches were only necessarily for minor bugs, but no, the game basically broke down when I didn't update.

Before the internet intruded upon our console paradise, games were vigorously tested by teams of professionals before release. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise; they were solid.

Then, with the advent of online gaming, publishers discovered that people were willing to VOLUNTEER test their games FOR FREE. Those people must have had a lot of time on their hands. Anyway the publishers coined this "early access" to cover the fact that they were basically outsourcing a time-consuming and expensive portion of the Q&A process.

That led to the current business model which sucks. Games are released a few months early in a barely playable form. Then the developers just continue to work out the kinks and tighten things up (as the money rolls in). The customer who payed full price is little more than a beta tester.

After a year or so when the game is solid, they sell it again under the "Game of the Year" moniker. If you're a collector, this is the version you want. This of course is what they should have been selling to begin with.

What's amazing is how the industry pulled this off and most gamers went along offering little resistance. There must be a very powerful gaming lobby out there which tries to give everyone the impression it's a good thing. These are probably the people who shout me down whenever I post a message like this.

As a collector, I kind of resent this whole situation. Games sold in physical form should be fully functional out of the box. I don't even see how this is controversial, yet people will say I am unreasonable. Thoughts?

Re: Online Games = Beta

Posted: November 21st, 2018, 9:58 pm
by Steve
I don't think anything you've outlined would be considered unreasonable. However, I am perhaps part of the minority in thinking that some of these things just have to be accepted or choose not to participate. The part of this argument that I find frustrating is that some people make it sound like it is just the videogame industry. I find myself saying things like "they don't make them like they used to" about all kinds of things. It's not even just technology based. The don't build houses like they used to, they don't make cars like they used (and the roads we drive on), furniture, etc. It's an unfortunate side effect of the society we live in. Everything is rushed, shortcuts are taken, and quality control is borderline non-existent. So, most people (including myself) will probably agree with what you've said but it does become stale complaining about it repeatedly - and that comment isn't meant to be rude even though it reads like it does.

Re: Online Games = Beta

Posted: November 21st, 2018, 10:43 pm
by Stalvern
Nobody on the planet has lower standards than gamers do, as a group.