Publishers Continue To Charge For Broken Games

Major publishers continue to release broken titles and we continue to buy them

By Grayshadow, Posted 24 Nov 2020

Watch Dogs Legions was originally going to launch in Fall 2019 before being delayed to May 2020 then we finally got the game in October 2020. Players were provided with a broken mess with many issues that caused numerous crashes. Assassin's Creed Valhalla released and while many praised the game's improvements the title suffers from major audio issues that completely mute the dialogue being spoken. Activision released Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, an unpolished mess that constantly crashes even shutting down Xbox Series X consoles completely. Yet we continue to buy these games on day 1, reviews often conveying the incredible nature of the gameplay but ignoring the glaring technical problems that are often posted on Reddit and YouTube. When are publishers going to be held accountable for this? Releasing broken products should carry consequences, it's the only way this is going to stop.

Incoming Crash

This isn't new, the idea of releasing an unfinished game and following up with the "we'll fix it later" excuse has become common. Live service titles like Anthem, Star Wars Battlefront 2015, Marvel's Avengers, and Fallout 76 are some prime examples of this. Some titles have recovered and become incredible hits like No Man's Sky and Star Wars Battlefront 2 but those of us who purchased the game on day 1 still get burned. Paying full price for a day 1 release clearly not ready for release.

As I stated, Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War all released in the last couple of months. Most of these titles have been adequate to promising scores but when reading through most of these reviews things start to become increasingly more suspicious. Take Dexerto's review of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Read the quote below and take a guess what score they gave it.

Even if the lack of content was to be ignored, Black Ops Cold War is riddled with bugs. Players have been reporting crashing since day one, assets look like they have clearly been carried over from Black Ops 4, and there are just random bugs that affecting gameplay. There’s even a problem right now that causes controller vibration to turn off if you disable voice chat, for some reason. There are too many to count.

This game scored a 7. For an early access title, this would be acceptable but this is a $60-$70 finished game that charges $10 for a next-generation upgrade. IGN's review strangely does not make mention of any crashes that PC users have been experiencing since launch and while it's possible the reviewer Ryan McCaffrey did not experience considering these issues have been so problematic that Activision addressed it, something is wrong here. Again, the game is scored a 7 for its campaign.

Dialogue Complete Mute (Xbox Series X)

I'm also at fault here, giving Fallout 76 a 55 and Watch Dogs Legion a 70 knowing full well all the problems I experienced. These games launched broken, are still broken, and we are expected to pay full price for the chance to test them. Where are the consequences for this? Battlefield 4, SimCity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Assassin's Creed Unity, Mass Effect Andromeda, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Wolfenstein Youngblood,  WWE 2K20, Madden, NBA 2K, and the list keeps growing.

When did this all happen, when did we start to consider games that launched in broken states to be not worth serious criticism? To stamp a mediocre score of 7 despite having frequent crashing problems, major audio issues, game-breaking bugs, and say it's okay especially from multi-million dollar publishers? Games crash sometimes, bugs exist but when they become so common that the player has to worry every second about the need issue that's when this is unacceptable. I'm tired of this and you should be as well.

It's become such a problem that it's worth praise when a game launches that does not crash every hour or have serious issues. You would think working after being available to the public would be expected but you're wrong. Now we should be grateful, thank you multi-million dollar publisher for releasing your game in a stable state.

With the next-generation of systems here gamers need to take a stance against this. Game prices are looking to go up from $60 to $70 and yet the quality continues to decay. Don't accept this as the standard, if you paid $70 for a game then it should work. You shouldn't have to worry whether you can get through a single match with the game crashing. And most importantly a broken game with major issues does not deserve a 7.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Activision
Developer(s): Treyarch, Raven Software
Genres: First-person shooter
Themes: Cold War
Release Date: 2020-11-13

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