When is a game finished?

With the number of AAA titles released in the past few years that saw unstable releases, it’s no surprise that a lot of us are tired of the bullshit. When a developer releases a game, it should work, no matter what (cough.. Tony Hawk… cough). Yes, things aren’t nearly as bad as they were last year (I’m looking at you Assassins Creed Unity and Master Chief Collection), but what is a finished game really? Are we counting the games that see a multitude of bug fixes the following weeks after release finished? Is the gaming definition of complete actually the definition of sufficient? I think it is.

Where does this problem begin though? I can’t pinpoint when it started, but I can say that this issue might be caused by developers knowing that if it’s broke, they can fix it. If you don’t have the ability to fix a game that’s released broken, how easy is it for you to get the funding to make your next game? Besides that, how successful do you think your next game’s going to be? Think about it. If you’re able to fix almost any issue that can pop up after release by releasing updates, bug fixes, and patches, how tempted are you to shelf a possible bug for later to focus on other things.

Let’s look at another side of this connected world of gaming. How many games have you played in the last five years that later received major content updates? Of those, how many were worth the wait and should that game have had that content from the beginning?

Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe a part of me misses going to a local game store and buying a game that didn’t need to be patched. A game was an experience on it’s own. No bullshit. What do you think? When is a game finished?

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