Can Game Developers Be Redeemed?

Bad games happen. It’s a sad fact in the video game world, but it’s to be expected every now and again. Bad games are usually the product of one or many things. Rushed development, technical bugs and glitches, glitchy game mechanics, and the list can go on and on. As you probably already know one of my gaming goals for this year was to not pre-order any games from Ubisoft. While I have nothing against the company personally, I’ve been let down by them too many times now and I refuse to buy another broken unplayable game from them. I mean seriously, when you mess up a game like Tetris something’s wrong. Ubisoft isn’t the only game company that’s messed up though and it of course won’t be the last, which got me to thinking can they be redeemed? Can they rise up against like other companies and come out on top or will they just fade into the bad video game abyss?

Listening to the people that actually bought your game can go along way. While that doesn’t mean that developers should be a slave to their fans and make the games that only they want to see, they should listen to see what problems that people are having with the game. A major example of this is Dragon Age 2. People complained about this game so much. They hated the overused environments, the limited area of gameplay, and the loss of interaction with party members. What did BioWare do though? Did they completely ignore the fans and just make the next Dragon Age blindly? No. Did they bow down to the fans and make a game that the fans wanted. No. What they did was listen. They still made the Dragon Age that they wanted with Dragon Age: Inquisition, but they made it so that the major complaints were taken care of. Reused and overused environments were gone, a huge open world gameplay mechanic was brought back, and there was more interaction with party members. Both the developer and the fans win making BioWare come out on top and making them a developer that people can trust again.

Sometimes a major redeeming quality can be just fixing something that’s broken. I don’t want a huge day one patch or even a huge patch a couple of days or weeks from now, I just want whatever it is to be fixed before I get my hands on the game. Don’t let game after game have the same broken mechanics or gameplay glitches. These can all be fixed, so take the time to fix them. While fixing your mistakes can lead to being redeemed, not fixing them can make people trust your company less. An example of a developer not learning from their mistakes and fixing them has come up recently with GTA V. When the game was initially released, everyone had to wait a month before getting a chance to access the online stuff. When that day came, what happened? The game was plagued with server issues as well as other technical issues. While this is understandable because it happens from time to time, it should have at least been a learning experience for Rockstar so that it didn’t happen again. But what happens when GTA V released online hesists? The same thing. If things weren’t fixed the second time around, will they be fixed the third or the fourth? How many times do things have to break before they get fixed, and how long do you expect the fans of your game to keep forgiving you for making the same mistakes?

Showing people that you’re taking time to create and release your games is also another redeeming quality. It shows that as a developer you want to put out a game that’s worthy of your brand name so you’re going to take your time whether it be 2-3 years or more to put out a game that you can say that you’re proud of. No one is going to forget about your brand just because you went a year or two without putting out a new game. This is a huge problem when it comes to Ubisoft. They release Assassin’s Creed after Assassin’s Creed year after year after year so that the game is shoved down everyone’s throat. If they really wanted to redeem themselves they would take the next couple of years off from releasing an Assassin’s Creed in order to take the time and work on an Assassin’s Creed that was just as amazing as Assassin’s Creed II.

While some game developers learn quickly from their mistakes, others don’t, and some are just going to keep going until they run themselves into the ground. When it comes to Ubisoft, it seems like they’re halfway down that road of no return. Ubisoft took on way too much trying to get at least one Assassin’s Creed game out a year and it shows. Do they listen to what people are complaining about, fix the mistakes with their games, or slow down and make a quality game? It doesn’t seem like it. Even some of their other games that they’re releasing aren’t so great either. It says a lot when you mess up a game like Tetris which has been around for years and has been done successfully by other developers.

Having said that, I still think that Ubisoft can be redeemed some day if they turn things around soon. I’ve played Child of Light and Valiant Hearts: The Great War recently and not only did I enjoyed them, but I seen a lot of potential with each of them. They’re different from the standard Ubisoft game, but they’re good. They play nice, are glitch free, and they show that it took a lot of time and effort to make each game, but these games alone cannot fully redeem such a huge developer. If Ubisoft just listened to some major complaints, fixed the major issues with their games, and take the time to make a quility game then there isn’t a reason why they can’t be redeemed.

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2 Comments

  1. I like that Dragon Age Inquisition still had gamers moaning. “Oh it’s too big. Quests are repetitive. Wah wah wah!”. It doesn’t matter how many people appreciate a games comprehensive foundations, someone will find some singular implementation to moan about! Such is gaming I suppose.

    • It’s like a very sarcastic Hawke said in DAII, “You could give the Arishok a sack of gold and he would complain it‘s heavy.” Sometimes people will complain just to complain even if it’s unwarranted.

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