The NE Forums War Room #2: DLC and Game-Breaking Bugs

The Nintendo Enthusiast Forums are filled with great people who make great posts and start great discussions. In this space, we give those great discussions a chance to shine – and invite the readers to come and join the forum community.

Just this past week, Warner Bros. Montreal responded to a thread on their official forums regarding the possibility of a new glitch-fixing patch being released for Arkham Origins, a game with reportedly still many bugs and glitches nearly 4 months after the game’s release. A community manager for the forums responded by saying that \”the team is currently working hard on the upcoming story DLC and there currently are no plans for releasing another patch to address the issues that have been reported on the forums.\” In other words, they expect the people that aren\’t able to even complete Arkham Origins due to its bugs, to go ahead and buy more game content that they may or many not be able to complete either.

\"batman

Naturally, gamers everywhere were displeased, including some in our forums. Particularly, user imthesoldier (who was featured in our last Ridiculously Awesome Post) started a thread displaying his outrage at these events. Here is the opening post of his thread, as well as some of the highlights of the discussion that came out of that topic.

I simply do not understand this line of logic. Back when console games did not have patches and DLC, what you got was a complete game, not just from a game content situation, but also that the game would usually be free of any bugs and glitches. Now because consoles are so connected with the internet, it sort of gives a lot of these developer some leeway and say, \”Well, this bug is annoying, but we\’ll fix it later.\” Or you get this: \”Well, we could add this mission to the game, but we could make more money by locking it out of the game, and then have gamers pay to unlock it.\”

I don\’t know, maybe I\’m overreacting, but I truly miss the days when you bought and played a game, it was both complete and did not have game breaking glitches or bugs that caused much annoyance to the player. Is it really too much to ask to fix what should be fixed?

-imthesoldier

No, that’s certainly messed up. If I can not expect them to give me a fully-developed game when I pay $60 up front for their game, why should they expect me to pay $60 up front in the first place? By attempting to twist the definition of what is and what isn\’t \”right\” to put out as patches and DLC after the game has released, publishers are breaking the bond of trust that used to be there between gamers and game developers.

-juegosmajicos

Oh man Jueg how much this. \"clapping

Your post could be the reason I won\’t day 1 the next CoD. ET hit it right one night playing he said \”when will we get tired of being the beta testers?\” And you know what, I\’m pretty sure I\’m there.

And the bad thing is I see more and more AAA headed this way. What game doesn\’t come with a patch no more from third party? And frankly I\’m getting tired of being a beta tester. And while I like and have bought some DLC the thought of \”get day 1 DLC here first\” makes me sick. If it was that ready put it on the disk!

-mattavelle1

Don\’t forget that some games have the DLC already on the disc, but is simply locked out until you \”buy\” it to unlock it. Truly one of the worst offenses in micro transactions and price gauging.

I was checking out [the IGN Wii U Forums] the other day, and a thread was about those 120 indie games coming out for the Wii U. It was baffling that the people there were playing this news off as meh, because it might not sell consoles, among other things. It was even more baffling when some there were saying that most indie games are shovelware and crap. I can almost guarantee if this news were on the PS4 or X1, the mentality would\’ve been different.

I was even calling out on some guy who said he wants the big games. But I feel most of what I say these days there goes on deaf ears, and that’s fine. But my point in all this is those indie games are almost assuredly going to feel like more complete games than some of the AAA titles out there..

-imthesoldier

I miss the time before achievements and trophies when cheating in games was not only not frowned upon, but looked up to….

Ever since the introduction of achievements people have been getting penalized for cheating in video games instead of being rewarded….

I remember a time before all this DLC nonsense and achievement whoring…. A much purer time when you got what you [expletive] payed for….

I also miss not having to pay for extras in games that should have been included as bonuses to begin with…. [expletive] pricks….

The DLC situation is just going to get worse…. I honestly believe everybody thinks their DLC will be the next COD map pack sensation…. It’s just complete nonsense….

What’s even worse is then they release the game with ALL THE DLC, later on after everyone else has already bought the DLC in its\’ previous form, all on a single disc and FOR THE SAME PRICE AS THE ORIGINAL RELEASE!

-LightsaberBlues

\"Red
Pictured above: Warner Bros. Montreal.

As most gamers, I frown upon these types of practices that are becoming more common amongst third party studios. Granted, this game was a cash-in and none of the bugs in the game prevent you from completing it.

The studio who made this game probably does not have the capacity to work on the DLC and fix the game’s issues. If they weren\’t being pressured by their publisher, Warner Bros, this probably wouldn\’t have happened. Unfortunately, more and more third party devs are trying to expand to a size that they can\’t adequately manage for the sake of gaining more money.

I don\’t see this practice stopping anytime soon. With some of these franchises, there’s too much money involved. Transitioning into the HD era was expensive and complicated for most companies as Nintendo will attest to. Some of these games probably cost so much to make that they need to put out an extra game to recoup the money spent making the previous entries in the series. Either that, or there’s just too many fans of the series that the best possible decision for the publisher is to rush another game out..

-Aki64

I was very pleased with Arkham Origins…. Human Head made a great port of a buggy game so…. But [in my opinion] all games are buggy in some fashion or form these days….

I find it’s just something that is natural within games…. Come to think of it, I don\’t think I\’ve ever played a game that didn\’t have a bug or glitch in it, ever….

Going all the way back to ATARI and NES I can remember glitches and bugs in some of my favorite games…. I remember enjoying most of them too…

-LightsaberBlues

I think glitches here and there are one thing, but when they start interfering with the gameplay, or outright prevent you from continuing the game is where I draw the line. But thinking about it, you\’re probably right about games to a certain extent always having bugs in them. Maybe what I did\’t consider a glitch in the game really was a glitch. I suppose I have this mindset where the games of the 90s were practically flawless and you could play them for hours and hours without having to worry about any game-breaking glitch or the system freezing even (which did happen from time to time). When I play NFS: Most Wanted for example, I sometimes wonder if the game will freeze, or when I start the race, my car will not start at the same pace as the others, things like that. For the most part, they are simply annoyances, but I say that because these annoyances shouldn\’t be part of the game. There have been some pretty infamous glitches that people laughed at (recently the Aliens: CM one of the Alien just walking casually by you), and so forth, but I wonder if because developers have such a time schedule to fulfill, they are at times forced to compromise not just on features to add for later dates (DLC), but also compromise the game itself and simply patch them up at later dates (which would not surprise me one bit).

It is possible that this helps explain why I don\’t pay full-price for a lot of games these days because of these day-one patches (I do make exceptions of course), and other future patches when these issues should\’ve been addressed in the first place. I will say though that because games of twenty years ago are nowhere near as complicated as today’s games, they are less likely to go wrong and have problems. There’s an interesting factoid about the Saturn V rocket I remember which had over 6 million components in it (also one of the most complicated pieces of technology ever designed by man), and it had a 99.9% success rate, which means you have some 6,000 components which would fail on a given mission. Games I think are approaching that threshold of so many things going on that something is bound to fail or have issue at some point.

But like I said, I think you\’re probably right. Maybe it is just something we will ultimately have to accept as games become more complicated, but if that’s the future of where video games are headed, I don\’t think I\’ll be able to handle it as well as others. I look at buggy games like a badly edited movie. The flow has been disrupted, some things just don\’t make sense, and at times you find something happening before it actually happens. When it comes to the presentation of a game, that is where I try and focus a lot of my attention to because a finely tuned game is like a finely crafted piece of art with little to no imperfections. This is where I want video games heading to, and I believe it’s possible. But I suspect part of the problem is you have all these games on multiple platforms with different architectures and power outputs, something is bound to go wrong at some point or another.

Ultimately, I simply don\’t want the type of mentality from developers that, \”Well, we could fix this issue, but instead we\’re going to opt to adding in more DLC.\”

-imthesoldier

\"batman
Pictured: Warner Bros. Montreal losing their customers\’ loyalty.

It’s fairly obvious what Warner Bros. was thinking with this move: \”A large portion of our customers already have the game in their hands and do not suffer the glitches and bugs that the vocal minority suffers, therefore, it makes sense to just go ahead with our DLC plans. After all, we still need to hit our profit target, and DLC has always been part of the plan; to give up on it now would mean missing the profit target, and angering investors. We are a business, and we need to make money — and DLC makes a lot of money.\”

That’s all well and true, Warner Bros., but you\’re forgetting about a certain other factor that makes a lot of money: customer loyalty. A loyal fanbase that will lap up everything you make, because they trust your product. But they don\’t know that anymore, and you are losing that factor by pulling such dick moves as this DLC fiasco.

But what do YOU think? Do developers have the right to focus on DLC when their games are riddled with bugs and glitches, especially the game-breaking kind? Are gamers really at fault for buying a product without first doing research about any of its potential flaws, even when they believe there to be a relationship of trust between them and game developers? Let us know in the comment section, or even better, join the NE Forums and help shape future discussions!

Alejandro Balderas
AKA Juegos Magicos. "You killed my father. Prepare to die."